‘Louie: Eddie’ Review

The second episode in FX’s hour block of Louie was truly a masterpiece within half-hour television. That being said, I will never watch this episode of Louie again. Eddie was not a funny episode, but it did some amazing things. The title refers to an old friend and mentor of Louie from back when he was just starting out as a comedian. Eddie, played wonderfully by Doug Stanhope, comes to Louie’s comedy club and watches him perform.

The only funny parts of this episode are the stand-up sequences, and in this episode we get a number of comics besides Louis C.K. that perform. Otherwise this episode is all about Eddie and his effect on Louie. Something is off with Eddie from the beginning as he says he is “cashing in”.

He and Louie tour the city stopping only for liquor and one comedy club in Brooklyn. None of the comics there are funny, but then Eddie gets up and manages to make a few people laugh, including Louie who watched from the back. Throughout the episode we are given black and white flashbacks of a younger Louie and Eddie as they were just starting. We get to see how they became who they are in the comedy world, and how their friendship fell apart.

Eddie eventually tells Louie that he plans to kill himself and that he wanted someone to say goodbye to. Louie does the best he can to convince him otherwise and even gets angry wondering out loud “why are you laying this on me?”. Never at one point during this did I feel like I was watching a TV show. I felt as if I was looking on from nearby witnessing these old friends discuss the importance of living. It will strike a chord with anyone who has considered suicide at any point in their life no matter how brief or significant. Louie’s understanding of his role in Eddie’s life is as real as it gets. In the end we don’t know if Eddie went through with it or not, which is appropriate and in line with the tone of the episode.

One of the best things about Louie is how it is able to do episodes that say something profound about life without focusing on comedy. This episode took that aspect of the show to a whole new level. (10/10)

photo credit: http://thecomicscomic.com/2011/08/10/teaser-doug-stanhope-and-his-porn-collection-guest-on-louie/


~ by mattsmoviethoughts on August 12, 2011.

5 Responses to “‘Louie: Eddie’ Review”

  1. Well put. Great episode…definitely disturbing, but so well constructed on every level. Amazing depth of character from Doug Stanhope.

  2. This episode is very relevant to our modern day. People don’t realize that comics are often some of the most depressed people in the world. They use comedy cathartically to deal with stress and depression. It works for many comics but others have committed suicide (Richard Jeni, Mitch Hedberg…). I love how Louie throws away convention every show and just shows a slice of life, not neatly fixed or resolved….just life. He reacted to his friend like many of us would. I actually work in suicide prevention and know that most people don’t know what to do. The answer is keep them alive and get them help! Respecting one’s wishes is one thing, but most people don’t know how to ask for help, even if they want it. It is the unfortunate stigma surrounding suicide. Kudos to Louie for approaching these taboo subjects with honesty and humanity. Most critics of this approach to filmmaking like clean, harmless entertainment devoid of real value and substance. His renegade style will preserve his work for years to come and hopefully set the bar higher for artists hoping to break traditional norms in storytelling. Bravo Louie!

  3. Why wouldn’t you want to watch this episode again. Alright, maybe what you meant by that comment is that you found the show too profound to provide the comic relief you so desire, but I still think that saying you wouldn’t watch the episode again is completely misguided. Look I could go into the whole thing about why, but I can tell from the rest of the review that you already know why the episode is great, so all I ask is that you delete that sentence and then this comment.

    • My reason for not watching it again is simply because of how depressing and real it was. It was a brilliant episode and didn’t need any comic relief but it was simply too sad for me to want to watch again. I gave the episode a perfect 10. There was nothing I disliked about it. The show presents its characters and events as if they aren’t fiction. That is why I can’t watch this episode again. So the sentence will stay because it’s true. Your comment will stay too because it is a fair criticism of my work and I may wish to refer back to it.

  4. Mitch Hedberg didn’t commit suicide.

    Anyway, GREAT review.

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