It has been a week since a crowd of thousands near Hartford heckled Dave Chappelle with shouts of appreciation and misbegotten requests, derailing his planned stand-up comedy set, and with it, the end of that night’s Oddball Festival.
But oddballs one and all, come with me back a few years, to July 27, 2010.
It’s Throwback Thursday (#tbt), so humor me, would you, please?
That’s when Episode 106 of Louis C.K.’s Louie aired on FX, depicting his own fictional case of a heckler story from within the confines of The Comedy Cellar in New York City. An enjoyable, if necessarily cringe-worthy vignette in which a woman sitting next to the stage interrupts Louis repeatedly, prompting him to go off on her with a string of offensive insults. Rape jokes? They’re in here! AIDS? The C-word? That plus the word cunt itself is bandied about (the one thing bleeped in the clip). It’s all so interesting to watch again now, whether you’re thinking about what happened in Hartford, or the debates about appropriate language and topics for comedians that have occurred over the past couple of years. All of this since Episode 106 of Louie originally aired.
I’d just as soon skip ahead to the scene atop the stairs outside the Cellar, though. There you get just as much enjoyment and education as the other comedians — Todd Barry, Kurt Metzger, Hannibal Buress and Myq Kaplan — offer advice and counsel to Louis from the stoop. And then you see the heckler once more. And it’s the actress Megan Hilty. And then you realize that in a bizarre form of karmic payback, she’d have to endure so much heckling from the media just a couple of years later as they hate-watched her in NBC’s Smash.
You really should watch all the way to the end, too. Because Barry’s last piece of advice shows just warped the comedian’s mind can be in processing a situation like this.
Roll the clip!
Louie returns to FX for season four in 2014.