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‘Louie’ Review: “Late Show Part 1″

Louie Season 3 Late Show Part 1
FX

Louie’ could finally get his big break this week, but is he up to the challenge?  ‘Louie’ season 3 finds the window of opportunity in its tenth episode of the year, as Louie’s fortuitous success on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ leads to an unforeseen offer that could change Louie’s career forever.

Last week’s ‘Louie’ episode “Looking For Liz / Lilly Changes” saw Louie searching for Liz (Parker Posey) after their date in “Daddy’s Girlfriend, Part 2,” and later seemingly losing his eldest daughter Lilly as well.   So how does “Late Show Part 1” keep things moving forward?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Louie’ season 3 episode 10, “Late Show Part 1!”

We find our hero Louie once again killing It onstage, though this time in a club in Los Angeles.  Louie jokes about the American idea of choosing when to expose children to certain aspects of life, whereas children in other, less shielded countries find out in much more graphic manners.  First world existence has its downsides as well, as people fret over being consumers with the best products, when reviews of a Blu-Ray player from some random, potentially unhinged stranger shouldn’t matter to us.

After the show, producer Ross Mark of ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ approaches Louie, having watched the set and deemed the time and material appropriate for Louie’s ‘Tonight Show’ set the following night.  With Tom Cruise as the opposite guest however, whose segments tend to run a little long, Louie worries about being bumped for the Hollywood star even as his agent Doug and Ross assure him it won’t.

The following day in Louie’s dressing room, the comedian gets mic’ed up for his appearance, when Ross enters with bad news: Tom Cruise hasn’t bumped him, but exactly the opposite!  Tom hasn’t shown up for one reason or another, and Jay Leno himself enters to confirm to Louie that he’ll be the main guest that night, as they quickly usher him toward the stage.  Jay explains the mishap to his audience, and barely made up, Louie makes his way onto the stage.

The next morning, Louie finds his sleep interrupted by phone calls, having to explain to housekeeping on the phone that the entire purpose of his “Do Not Disturb” sign was so they wouldn’t call asking when they can clean.  Unable to go back to sleep, Louie checks his phone and sees a number of missed calls from Doug, returning them to find out that his set from ‘The Tonight Show’ has gone viral with over a million hits.  Not only that, the head of CBS wants to meet with him one hour hence, which Louie agrees to grumbling that an hour isn’t even enough time to masturbate.

The unhelpful receptionist doesn’t answer their questions of who they’re there to see and for what purpose, but it isn’t long before they’re called in to meet the chairman of CBS himself (Garry Marshall).  The chairman congratulates Louie on his set the previous night, making smalltalk before explaining that he has a secret that could change Louie’s life.  The information is sensitive, so much so that the man makes both Louie and Doug sign confidentiality agreements before revealing…Dave Letterman is retiring after the current year!  Is Louie the man for his job?

No, certainly not the comedian responds, who believes someone like Jerry Seinfeld would be better suited for the task.  The chairman explains that they’ve actually got Jerry Seinfeld locked down, though Louie would make a nice $1 million or less option compared with Seinfeld’s $12 million.  The chairman further presses Louie into the idea, believing him to be on the back nine of his moderately successful career, simply waiting for an opportunity like this to come along.

The chairman postulates that Louie is afraid of his potential failure, but all they should do for the moment is send Louie back to New York, get him into better shape and reconvene in a few months to perform a test show.  If America likes Louie as Dave Letterman’s replacement, everyone will think the chairman a money-saving genius, though if Louie fails, the chairman wouldn’t take any of the blame.  In the event of his failure, Louie’s career would likely be over, but the chairman instills in Louie that he has a chance to change his life with this opportunity, however slim.  Uncertain, Louie stares at Doug.

Over the credits, we see largely still takes of the production directing Louie’s agent Doug (Edward Gelbinovich)

We get the sense that ‘”Late Show Part 1″ was written more of a setup for a larger story, because the narrative seems much smaller than we’re used to from ‘Louie.’  The story basically goes from A to B, and wrings a few laughs along the way, but doesn’t cover enough ground to feel like a satisfying whole.  All in all, the episode would probably be better served as an hour-long, much as last year’s USO effort.

Did you get your fill of awkward ‘Louie’ laughs?  What did you think about the episode? Let us know in the comments and check back next week for another all-new ‘Louie’ episode recap of “Late Show Part 2” on FX!

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