Turn off the Lights

Louie – Eddie

The second episode in the double feature of Louie had slightly less laughs than “Come On, God” but it was every bit as good. The plot of “Eddie” centered on Louie reuniting with another comic that he hadn't seen in twenty years. Their misadventures in Brooklyn led to some uproarious comedic moments; before things took on a more somber tone when Eddie reveals his real purpose for visiting in one of the series' most well written scenes to date.

One thing should be made clear right away, Louie's old pal, Eddie, is a jerk. From his first moment on screen to his last he was abrasive and condescending; which is not to say he wasn't funny, at times at least. Played by comic, Doug Stanhope, the character's personality wasn't far from the actor's, or at least his onstage persona. He was obnoxious to everyone he meets, as soon as he meets them, if not outright belligerent. Eddie hasn't said two words before he is getting into a fracas with comic Greg Rogell. (Who got a great laugh for his brief bit of standup on Tiger Woods' sex addiction.) Eddie lays into Rogell and any non-rode comic, for not having the resolve to live in their car and have debilitating drug addictions – like “real” comics. Though Louie and Eddie both started out together, it is clear the two now have very different views on what it means to be a comedian.

It isn't long before Eddie is in another altercation, this time blowing up at a liquor store clerk. Calling the guy a racist immediately after laying into him with several Arabic stereotypes was particularly funny. Especially since the clerk turned out to be Hispanic. Eddie's best laughs came when Stanhope got to showcase some of his own standup. After dragging Louie to an open mic at what might be the worst venue in New York, Eddie took the stage. His brutally honest and depressive material was hilarious, especially to a tipsy Louie, who had been pulling off their communal bottle of booze just as much as Eddie. Laying out how little he now cares for sex was just a prelude to the horrifyingly dismal life that he details for Louie in the final scene, which was light on laughs, but packed quite an emotional impact.

Eddie was grating throughout the episode, but it resulted in humor more often than not. Though with his final act it would be hard not to remember him as more than a jerk. After dropping hints of his impending suicide throughout the episode it wasn't a shock to hear Eddie confess his intentions to Louie. Knowing it was coming didn't take much of the sting out of seeing someone dropping all that on a supposed friend. I'm a firm believer that a person has the right to cash out whenever they desire, but only if they aren't leaving anyone behind to blame themselves. Which is exactly what Eddie could have done, if he didn't feel the need to burden Louie with the knowledge. Hearing a doctor had given him the means to off himself, with the intent that Eddie do just that, was certainly worthy of sympathy. As was him having no one to say goodbye to. But the only reason Eddie is saying goodbye at all is because he is choosing to kill himself. As sick as it would still be, if Eddie at least wanted Louie to talk him out of it than telling him would be at least somewhat understandable. Thankfully the ire Eddie's doctor-approved suicide brought up wasn't enough to take the shine off an incredible scene.

Louie is justifiably furious with Eddie after hearing the news, and in his anger rails on the suicidal comic. Louie's refusal to give him a reason to live was an applaud worthy moment. As Louie said himself, he has worked hard to find answers to that question and shouldn't have to hand them out to someone too stubborn or fed up to look for his own. A bickering couple passing by breaks the hostility, and Louie realizes the futility of his argument. Eddie is determined to do himself in, and there is no way to make him take back sharing it. Louie is also a much better guy than Eddie, and doesn't want to say goodbye to his old friend by berating him in the street. It may have taken Louie awhile to get there, but he eventually uttered the only thing you can say to someone who drops that bombshell on you: "I hope you don't kill yourself...I really do. But I gotta go home."

The show could have taken a break after the excellence of “Come On, God”, but C.K. followed it up with an equally brilliant episode. There aren't many writers who can come up with such consistently poignant plots, let alone the jokes to fill them, but C.K. does just that along with directing and editing the series. And with these latest episodes, he has yet to put out a dud this season. “Eddie” might not have been the funniest episode to date, but it still placed high in the ranking of Louie's best.



Meet the Author

User not found.

Follow Us