programming note

Louis C.K.’s New FX Series Will Try to Make You Laugh at ‘Faggot’


I am ecstatic for tonight’s series premiere of Louie on FX (11pm EST!), and not just because its star Louis C.K is hilarious. Or because the show is semi-autobiographical. Or because I laughed, out loud, at each of the show’s promo spots that have been running during the commercial blocks most people fast-forward through. I’m most ecstatic because Louie and his straight friends are going to discuss the word “faggot” with their gay friend, and it’s going to provide me with enough fodder to do a follow-up post!

For the unaware, comedian Louis Szekely, a former late night writer, has been in the stand-up scene for a couple of decades. He’s a regular Chris Rock collaborator, but his own attempts at television have been … short lived; HBO’s Lucky Louie lasted only a season. But here comes his series on FX, which isn’t afraid to use naughty words, which is good because Louis C.K. uses a lot of them.

The fortune teller TV critic at the Washington Post reveals:

One particularly moving scene, in the second episode, comes at Louie’s regular poker game with his comedian buddies. Here is a group of men each afflicted with that slouchy nastiness that seems standard issue to their ilk, having gross-out conversations that are deplorable and yet oddly poetic at the same time. And, being male comedians, the conversation easily turns to slurs about gay sex. The difference here is that one of them, Rick, played by Rick Crom, is gay.

“You guys ask me [about this] every time I’m here,” Rick says. “I talk about gay sex more with you guys than I do with any of my gay friends. You’re obsessed.” This leads to something I’ve never seen on television — a brief etymological discussion of how “faggot” went from meaning a bundle of kindling wood to a word that “Every gay man has had shouted at them while they’re being beaten up. . . . So, when you say it, it sort of brings it all back,” Rick says.

“So should I be using that word onstage?” asks Louie, who uses it all the time.

“By all means say it, get your laughs,” Rick says. “But now you know what it means.”

Surely they consulted with the fine folks at GLAAD, yes?