Louie, Ep. 3.06: “Barney/Never” the show’s most straight-up comic outing in ages
Louie, Season 3, Episode 6: “Barney/Never”
Written by Louis C.K.
Directed by Louis C.K.
Airs hursdays at 10:30pm ET
After a few especially sober, dry outings, Louie dips back into ouright comedic territory with “Berney/Never,” a bipartite episode with a pretty clear theme: shitty people, and the people who love and hate them unconditionally.
In the first part, Robin Williams guests as Robin (no relation), the only other mourner besides Louie at the burial of Barney, a shared acquaintance. After exchanging a few pleasantries, they’re relieved to discover they both absolutely hated the guy, a funny-voiced thief and cad who seemingly never did a good turn for anyone. Their morbid curiosity leads them to a strip club he frequented, and when they arrive there to announce Barney’s passing, the strippers and the rest of the staff break down in a mass orgy of tears set to Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian.” I imagine this segment to have been reverse-engineered from that concept. I want to see a roomful of strippers crying to “Sister Christian.” Regardless, it’s a very funny visual, and Williams is notably low-key throughout, given that he’s probably the most famous guest star the show’s had yet. (He made a similarly muss-free appearance on Wilfred in its second-season premiere.)
A little more of the episode is taken up with Louie’s adventures with Never (Jeremy Shinder), an overindulged little twerp who delights in causing panic and discord wherever possible, and whose mother forbids him to eat anything containing “carbon,” seemingly unaware that carbon is a basic building block for most of the world’s matter. (Shades of the “Level 5 vegan” on The Simpsons who won’t eat anything that casts a shadow.) Never is as good a conduit as any for CK to dive back into the topic of parenting, which hasn’t been nearly as present this season, having taken a backseat to the troubles of adult dating. Inasmuch as “Never” has a thesis, it seems to be that assholes like Barney can only crop up when their parents are too busy scheduling vagina-removal procedures to properly discipline the little demons that they’ve set loose on the world.