The 25 Best TV Episodes I Saw This Year (#19)

Louie - "Oh Louie, Tickets"

I didn’t watch nearly as much of this season of “Louie” as I should have, as it’s been generally agreed that this was the year that the show really found itself. During the first season, I’d tended to watch the stand-up bits and fast-forward through the rest of the show. The times I tuned in this year, though, I found the dramatic bits much stronger than they had been before.

This story in particular stands out, since everything that happens in this scene is absolutely true. A few years ago, the internet created a small kerfuffle over the rumor that Dane Cook had stolen jokes from Louis C.K., a rumor that proved understandably damaging to Cook’s reputation. In the stand-up world, from what I’ve seen, joke-stealing is held in the same sort of regard as bestiality, or the murder of a close family member. Look up anything on Carlos Mencia if you don’t believe me.

Partway through this episode, Louie and Cook sit down and dramatize the situation. Both sides state their case, no one concedes anything, and the scene finishes. It is possibly the most honest fictional scene in the history of television, since nothing other than the loose story it rides on (Louie needs Lady Gaga tickets) is invented. You spend most of the time watching the scene thinking, “how did this happen?” “How did Louie get Dane Cook to come and do this scene?” ”Do you think these guys really hate each other this much? How are they in the same room then?” 

I’ve watched this scene half a dozen times and gotten no closer to finding the answer to these questions. See for yourself.