Comedians say what we’re all thinking, right? “Ball point pens are everywhere except when you need it! It’s so true.” But Louie CK has outdone himself, calling out Trump as Hitler this week in a newsletter to fans. Connecting the dots on Trump’s fascist fans is everywhere this week including a spot-on SNL spoof of a Trump ad.
John Oliver last week as far as saying there’s no difference between pretending to be a racist and actually being one. CK’s rant while off-the-cuff still had plenty of cathartic goodness for everyone who fears the coming Biff Tannen administration.
But the biggest thing that’s being overlooked in all this is that the newsletter where CK’s rant appeared was promoting his new show Horace and Pete, which is the most groundbreaking film/mini series/TV show/web series going.
To describe it as a TV show is to do it a disservice. It’s more like a play. The acting and writing beats anything coming out of HBO or Netflix, but it’s exclusive only to CK’s website. On the surface, the show has standard enough set up: A 100 year-old bar in Brooklyn is now in jeopardy because the owner, CK’s character’s father, has passed away. It’s looks to be a dynastic tale of aging and family. The execution, however, is anything but conventional. Locating the action in one setting, using the same actors (all brilliantly cast, by the way) keeps the budget low and fractured characters and their fractured, sometimes nihilistic version of America as the focus. There’s no sit-com quick three acts here. Some week’s episodes run almost 60 minutes, others much shorter. This allows the scenes to breath and we get more insight into the interiors of the characters. It comes close to capturing the rush of live theater. The actors aren’t afraid of silences. There’s very little music (other than the theme composed by less than Paul Simon) and plenty of awkwardness lengthy monologues. It’s a microcosm of American life in the strange 21st century. CK allows his characters to talk about their political frustrations and ideas as we do in real life. Something we’d never see on network TV. And it’s not all liberal finger-wagging either. In the above clip could be something close to CK’s own philosophy: we have a lot more to learn from each other if we could just stop shouting. Or if we turned off our respective back-patting media outlet echo chambers and engaged in old style barroom debate.
This might sound like a TV executive’s nightmare but it is compulsively watchable and could be a total gamechanger if it continues on its trajectory.
But if calling out Trump and creating groundbreaking TV on the Internet wasn’t enough, CK is also producing Baskets on FX. Co-created and starring Zach Galifianakis. Hear more about how that all came together here.
For years Louis has been in the running for hardest working man in show business and 2016 is proving to be no exception. Here’s hoping it sinks in before it’s too late.