LouieTV Series | Louis C.K. By Mark Rifkin
Louis C.K. takes a solid second swing at a sitcom.
A paunchy, balding redhead who enjoys laughing at his own jokes, Louis C.K. does a slyly entertaining job of playing a fictionalized version of himself on his FX show, Louie. Onscreen, he's a relatively unhappy comedian who lacks poise and confidence, continually getting entangled in uncomfortable situations that make fine fodder for his stand-up routines. Offscreen, Louis C.K. is a successful performer with one critically acclaimed TV show (Lucky Louie) already under his belt, but he turned down offers from bigger networks to ensure he had complete control as creator, executive producer, writer, director, star, and even editor of this semiautobiographical series. He portrays a divorced dad with two young daughters in Manhattan, but the New York he lives in is a far cry from the city of Seinfeld, instead grittier and more realistic. Nothing is off limits on the show, whether Louie is speaking out at a PTA meeting, sharing a huge bong with his next-door neighbor, or getting bullied at his favorite local donut shop and making politically incorrect jokes about sex, race, and fatherhood. Louis rarely goes for an easy laugh, opting instead for subtle, slow-building humor, although things do get wilder when he brings along such fellow comedians as Nick DiPaolo and Ricky Gervais.