Tuned In

The Morning After: A Louis CK Encore on Conan

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I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance to write up last night’s Louie this morning, but after it aired, former Late Night with Conan O’Brien writer Louis CK also showed up on TBS’s Conan to chat with his old boss. (It was also, you’ll recall, as a guest of Conan’s on NBC that Louis CK gave the rendition of his “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy” that went massively viral on YouTube.)

This time, the comic talked about the success of his FX show (which has scored two Emmy nominations and been picked up for a third season) and his dark worldview. Or, as he puts it, his optimism, because as he sees it, he’s surprised that the world is not even more dark and brutal than it is: “When I see a crowd of people, like at Disneyland, I’m like, ‘How are they not killing each other all the time?’ Why are there not, like, 50 murders a day at Disneyland?” Plus, he saved his dog’s life, and the dog did not appreciate it (above).

But before Louis CK came on, there was another homage to Conan’s former writer, intentional or not. Louis CK was the creator of one of my all-time favorite Late Night bits, Bad Fruit Theatre, in which moldy oranges and putrid bananas re-created scenes from the likes of Apocalypse Now and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. (When I interviewed him for a piece on Louis CK, Conan rightly pointed to it as a prime example of both his surreal sense of humor and his director’s eye.)

Well, lately Conan has introduced a new feature that harks back to those old days, Peanut Theater, in which shell-on legumes re-enact recent news events. Herewith, Peanut Theater brings us the story of Gerard Depardieu urinating on a plane:

Earlier this week, by the way, there was a Wall Street Journal piece on the mediocre ratings that Conan has been generating lately, which seems to be partly a function of TBS not developing a lineup of original comedy to precede it and partly, perhaps, that Comedy Central’s fake-news shows are simply more pointed and novel than what is, at the end of it, one more funny, competent, but basic late-night talk show.

Any thoughts on Conan on TBS lately? What did you think of last night’s Louie? Do you like peanuts?