CliqueClack TV

Louie – The strip club loved the guy

'Louie' has a two-parter again, but this time it's about terrible old men and awful kids. Sort of.

- Season 3, Episode 6 - "Barney; Never"

Sometimes I wonder if every choice in Louie is connected to its themes. Take this episode, for example, with its highly evocative and stylized black and white graveyard beginning, without the normal Louie opening. Sure, it’s in a graveyard, and sure, there’s no talking in the scene. But it basically leads right to the next one, which was in color. Robin Williams had the sudden cameo in the first segment (“Barney”), where he played the odd connective agent between Louie and random awful deceased club manager. This played into what the entire episode was about: the different ways we see people. Louie and Robin hated Barney, but the strip club “Sweet Charity” (too obvious?) he apparently heavily frequented loved the guy. Even posthumously honored him with a rendition of “Sister Christian.” And I loved that bit at the end where they agreed to attend each other’s funerals.

There were many great little bits in the segment, but I particularly liked the dueling impressions of Barney, sounding sort of like Kermit the Frog with a cold. And Robin Williams was subdued and great, which is no surprise, because so far all guest comedians have been. And did you catch JB Smoove as a gravedigger cameo at the very end?

As for the second segment (“Never”), it was also about the same theme, the different ways we view people. The kid with the truly terrible name “Never” (played by relative newcomer Jeremy Shinder) is clearly a problematic child, considering he pushed a baby stroller into oncoming traffic (did you catch it? And Artie Lange with a brief cameo as a cowardly driver?). Louie didn’t even notice, otherwise I’d imagine he’d have said something. Never’s mother is a caricature and awful, having some sort of genital removal surgery, forbidding “carbon” foods, and never saying no to her child. Obvious warning sign at that point. She sees him totally differently from everyone else, and Louie points this out to him.

It’s hard to have decent child actors, but I thought Jeremy Shinder was quite good, and I’m only partially biased because I have the same first name. But then we had that little radio interview subplot, with the return of Louie’s child agent Doug (a hysterical Edward Gelbinovich) and a very intriguing bit of false theater. The over-the-top cliched DJs were played by people Louis CK knows, Opie & Anthony from their radio show, Jim Norton and Amy Schumer — they, along with Louie, frequently appear on the show. Was it intentional that much of what the DJs said was total gibberish? Of course it was. And Louie’s joke about hating Kansas City was a classic bit of his routine, sarcastic truth, although in this case he totally misread the situation.

“Your mom is wrong.” Really, that’s a brave thing to tell a kid. You just better hope you’re right.

Photo Credit: FX

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