It’s rare to watch a sitcom that offers both a a good laugh or two or seventeen in addition to making you think about the nature of comedy, attribution, image and the creative process and making you forget that you are, by virtue of your carefully crafted demographic, supposed to really like Louis C.K. and very much dislike Dane Cook.
In this scene from Louie, C.K. visits Cook to ask for a favor — Lady Gaga tickets for his daughter’s birthday. Cook uses the opportunity to confront his colleague about his role in perpetuating rumors that Cook stole some of C.K.’s material. Along the way, he remarks on the public perception of both comics — Louis as a “comic’s comic,” perhaps offering something a little more inaccessible, a little more challenging, and Dane, by contrast, as a people’s comic, a brand, a “sell out.” On one level it’s definitely “funny because it’s true,” but it’s also funny because I am cringing and imagining being in that room during that conversation is making me break out in nervous laughter. And this is probably because this scene, while carefully constructed, seems very honest. It seems like a conversation two people in a creative field have had, are having and will continue to have. Except for the “itchy asshole” part, perhaps.
The whole thing is crafted beautifully, making its points without ever being preachy or, worse, boring. Check it out, via FX:
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