Louie, Season 3

Straight Men Have Issues
Talking television.
July 13 2012 4:22 PM

Louie, Season 3

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Straight men have issues.   

Louis C. K. in "Louie."
Louis C.K. has said he would have sex with Ewan McGregor

Courtesy FX Network.

You guys—and Willa Paskin over at Salon, too—have me almost convinced. Perhaps Louie was in some in-between place: He liked hanging out with Ramon, but at least part of that was because he found Ramon attractive. In the comments, Kumi points to another Louis C.K. bit that informs this episode: “I’m 41,” he said on stage a few years back, “maybe I’ll do the second half gay. I don’t know. It remains an option. There’s gotta be something to it. Those folks are having a good time.”

And, of course, C.K. has also said he would totally have sex with Ewan McGregor. McGregor is a very handsome man, but Miguel Gomez is right up there with him.

So … maybe. Though another commenter, Sigurdticaca, points to a different C.K. routine that feels equally applicable:

I have a new friend. Which is weird. I’m 43. I’m a father and I’m divorced, and I have a new friend. And it makes me a little sick to my stomach. Young people make new friends easy because you’re young, and everything’s fabulous. But I’m 43, and when I’m starting to make a friend, its creepy.

Louie might actually just get creeped out about making a new friend, even if he seems far too mature and enlightened to have such a reaction. It happens, at least to guys. I’m sure, Allison, that men have “man-crushes,” as women have “girl-crushes.” But many straight men—and I’m not entirely excluding myself here—have been made to feel so uncomfortable about physical intimacy with other men that it is nearly impossible to acknowledge, even to oneself, any sexual component to such a “crush.”

Either way, Jonah, I will totally accept your beach invitation. And I think we’re on the same page regarding the Daniel Tosh to-do. Since we’re discussing it in the context of Louie, I do want to bring up a scene from a Season 1 episode, one of my favorites, called “Heckler/Cop Movie.”

About three minutes in, the heckler in this scene says, “You’re making jokes about rape, and that’s offensive.” “You don’t like rape?” Louie asks. When she says no, Louie replies, “That’s really weird, because you know that you wouldn’t even exist if your mom hadn’t raped that homeless Chinese guy.”

Now, that’s not the same thing as saying that it would be funny if she were raped right then and there, as Tosh supposedly did. But both the episode and the incident bring up two indisputable facts: Many comics address ugly, difficult, horrible subjects, and, when heckled, they often get very mean. Just listen to George Carlin, one of C.K.’s heroes, go off on a heckler that he can’t even see out in the dark of a crowd. (The audio at that link is utterly and completely NSFW, in case you were wondering.) Over at Brow Beat, Jeremy Stahl considers the widely made comparison between Tosh and Michael Richards. That comparison, fair or not, reminded me of Dave Chappelle saying that the Richards thing taught him that he’s only 20 percent black, and 80 percent comedian.

Last week, Patton said that comedians often refer to non-comedians as “civilians.” Perhaps that will seem self-aggrandizing to some, but it’s one of the first things I thought of after C.K. tweeted his support to Tosh. Perhaps he was expressing not only his blanket support for the freedom of comics to say whatever they want to say, but also trying to buck up a comrade?

See you at the beach,

David