Newt’s School for the Urban Youth

Hi, I’m Newt Gingrich, current Republican front runner and the man most deserving to be your next president. I’m the smart one. You remember the nineties, right? I totally nailed it. I should have been president ten minutes after Bill whipped his little Willy out, right? It’s like I always say “Keep searching until you find the kind of wife who’ll do what go to a mistresses for,”—that’s what keeps a marriage sacred. Life’s short and you should never wait. Right, Marianne, er, Callista?


Anyway,  I crap more ideas than Einstein’s diarrhetic. I’ve written books. True to life tales about how Abraham Lincoln was the original Republican segregationist.  The original American. How Lincoln could with just a few letter swaps, be the undeniable reincarnation of Jesus ‘No Taxes’ Christ.  Read “The True Lincoln and How Obamacare Rapes Children” by me, Lord Newton Q Gingricher to find out more.  Every word is 110 percent true. Although you might wanna take it slow, there’s a lot of three-syllable words. 

Some of my opponents, I won’t name names, believe in some foreign, weird Gods. Unamerican Gods.  Joesph Smith, that’s just some crazy made-up stuff, right? I mean, how can you trust a man in purple itchy underwear? Real Americans wear silk and like Rambo, go commando. Always.
Oh yea, ideas, that’s what Newton is all about. Giant electric border fence—mine. Amnesty for Republican foreigners—mine. New wars against Iran, Syria and North Korea—that’s me, baby.  These are the kind of ideas that’ll keep the economy humming like a blond Fox anchor after happy hour. Hey, what’s that on the ground? Oh, it’s just an idea I had. Look here, I just solved (blank). I could tell you what blank is, but you’re just going to have to vote for me to find out the rest of this Madlib. It’s really good. I mean, Einstein crappingly good.
Recently,  the liberal media went after me after some comments I made in Des Moines. I said—very factually—that poor, inner city youth don’t know how to work because their lazy welfare-sucking parents are too busy draining the economy to show up to a job. Of course, the liberal media (cough) pussies (cough) took the actual tape and played it in it’s entirety totally missing ANY context. Latte swilling, small headed idiots.
I didn’t want to release my idea yet—everything should be done on The Matrix’s schedule, you know—but my comments were really a pretext for my plan to save education. I know what you’re saying, “Dammit, Mr. President, another do nothing Washington plan that’ll cost kajillions! No way!”
Well, first, kajillions isn’t a real number. You’d know that if you were as smart as me. Not possible. And second, this idea is 110 percent free to my tax-paying base supporters.
I present to you—Newt’s School for the Urban Youth…(wait for applause)…It’s an all encompassing plan fully paid for by America’s true heroes—those hard scrabble idealists at Walmart, Nike,  Peabody Electric,  The US and Chinese Army, British Petroleum and The Bank of America. After I’m appointed President, on day two, all inner city schools and schools in rural or democratic areas will be demolished, the refuge hauled away by our sponsors for environmental reallocation.
Then the education begins. As my daddy’s chauffeur, who is colored, once said, “You’re never too young to learn the value of work, boy, now pick up that soiled diaper and have the maid get you a new one.” Inspiring words and that’s just what I want every underprivileged boy over the age of six months to do— pick up that dirty diaper of laziness and get to work.
Their first year of school will be dedicated to rebuilding their own schools. Think of the pride they’ll have in building their own schools, finding the lumber from the nearby landfill. Repurposing the previously used materials they find for everything from chairs to food. A hard day’s work with the payment of learning a trade. These are dividends that keep on giving. But school isn’t just about learning how to use a lathe without losing the important fingers, it’s about education. Every student will learn the five hundred-plus phrases they’ll need to succeed in life, be it in fast food OR landscaping. Phrases like, “Right away, sir” and “It’s on the house” and more complex phrases like “I’ll do it when you leave, so you don’t have to see me work.” Plus, the students will know what the phrases actually mean.
And isn’t a cash register nothing but math come to life? The more industrious students may graduate into a white collar lifestyle, learning how to deal with real Americans on the phone and helping them with their customer’s needs. A truly gifted program that doesn’t waste the true tax-payer’s dollars. 
What about all the teachers of these formerly failing schools, you ask. Of course, I have the answer. No stone is left unturned, not only a personal motto, but also the motto of my prototype school, Detroit’s PS199, The John Galt School for the Unexceptional.
All teachers will be rehired by our sponsors. This is as mandatory as Parent/Worker night. (I’m thinking Saturday night to help cut down on shenanigans.) The rehired teachers will work alongside empl–students, as middle management, if you will. Good thing about middle management, no communist unions and only 39 hour weeks to avoid the hassle of full-time benefits. They won’t have as much lesson plans to plan or class room teaching to do, as the students should view them in a supervisory manner. And since this IS America, all teachers’s compensation is based on meeting the various quotas or “Daily Student Goals.” 
They say that you learn everything you need to know by age six. That’s certainly true for me, but I want to give the kids more. At Newt’s School for the Urban Youth,  every student will be ready to enter the workplace by age ten, fully able to actively contribute to disciplines as varied as maid or car wash attendant or bartender or even kill floor supervisor. 
That’s over nine years of full-time, year-round education. Free, fully paid for and vetted under the watchful gaze of our beneficent sponsors. 
 It’s like what my dad–the third smartest person I know–once said, “Old enough for object permanence, old enough to get me a drink.”
Of course, if I told you all the details of this exciting new opportunity, your eyes would glaze over and you’d probably drool all over your blouse shirt, just trying to comprehend the genius. Trust me, daddy knows what he’s doing. 
However, you can read about some of my, frankly, super-genius ideas in my new book,  just out on Neo-Con Press, called, “Free at Last: Lincoln Solves the Unemployment Crisis, Education Kerfuffle and Finally Gets Laid.” It’s got pictures so everyone can understand it. And a dog.
I hope this talk clears up any misunderstandings you have had about me. And don’t forget to ‘vote’ this, uh, November. Have a good evening and keep working hard for a better, richer America.
(Off mic) Carmelito, this drinkee-poo needs a topper….


OSS 117- Lost in Rio (2009)

Finding a new movie on Netflix Streaming with the Roku box can be a strange process. First, I hunt through my 300-plus list in my queue. I’m almost never in the mood to see any of the movies I’ve put there and that’s why there’s 300 movies there. Also, much of it is for the rest of the family. Then, I go through what’s recently released. Netflix has a strange idea of what constitutes ‘recently’ as some of that stuff’s been in there for months. (Fortunately, the website and iPhone app Instant Watcher is a Godsend for seeing what is absolutely brand new at Netflix streaming). After that, Netflix has a bunch of lists like ‘gritty crime dramas’ and ‘comedies with a strong female lead’ to suggest movies to watch. Honestly, this is where I usually settle on to find something to watch. Also, if I’m feeling antsy, I’ll start two or three movies, watch the first ten minutes and stop before I settle on something I’ll watch all the way through. Most nights, finding a movie takes about 15-30 minutes if there’s nothing new I’m excited about. Sometimes after all that searching, I’ll decide I’m not even in the mood to watch a movie or will only watch the first half.

Yea, it’s a real first world problem. To me, it highlights the new entertainment problem for this generation. It isn’t that we can’t afford new entertainment—the poorest of the poor still seem to have broadband—but that it’s all about maximizing our time with entertainment. Even with the trend toward narrowcasting, the narrow niches are still overcrowded with content. I mean, I just saw someone tweet how excited they were that all of the He-Man cartoons were now on Hulu. Even little kids don’t have the time or patience for ALL the He-Man cartoons. So, now we just know that they are there and that’s like a form of media consumption. Netflix should have a good idea of what I like, I’ve been using the service for over ten (?) years and rating stuff, but still it’s filled with recommendations I’ve seen or have zero interest in.

So, for these reviews, I’ve been trying to go off the mainstream grid more, watching strange old horror movies or foreign films. Just picking shit at random until I stumble upon something good.

I picked OSS117-Lost in Rio after turning down a Bolivian miner documentary (still feeling good about the Chilean miners) and yet another 10 people trapped in a sadistic house torture porn flick.
OSS117-Rio is a French comedy and sequel (hadn’t seen, didn’t know) to another OSS117 movie. It parodies the low hanging fruit of ’60’s spy films like Matt Helm and James Bond. Yea, it’s been done before with the insufferable Austin Powers and half a lifetime of MST3k and Beastie Boys videos.
That said, OSS-117-Rio is pretty agreeable because it’s so aggressively French. They have the clean, campy, split-screen style of the 60’s spy flick down cold. The look is fantastic–plenty of hot bikini-clad girls, bright colors and great locations. The fight scene on top of the giant Jesus that overlooks Rio is genius.
As in parodies of it’s ilk, OSS117’s leading spy is an idiot. On top of that, he’s a misogynist, racist, self-absorbed, vain and over-confident. So, in short, pretty funny. The actor plays it with such wide smile glee that the horrible things he says works in the long stretches of awkward silence. My only complaint besides a few obvious jokes, almost a guarantee in a movie this broad, is that the movie overplays the awkward silence angle too much.
OSS117’s (I spaced learning names) partner is a more stoic female Israeli spy, mirroring Beyonce in those Austin Power movies. The plot concerns OSS117 paying off a Nazi to get a microfiche list of French sympathizers in WW2, so pretty French approach to plot. There’s an American spy whose only English is swearing, a buxom Nazi and an ongoing plot as Chinese assassins try unsuccessfully to kill OSS117 (like the old Pink Panther movies).
There’s not much in the movie that’s ground breaking comedy-wise, but the film is put together in such an agreeable way and played out with such energy, it doesn’t matter much. For example, I’m a sucker for a film that has ten guys shooting at our hero (killing off all the innocent bystanders around him) from five feet away and completely missing him as he picks them off one by one. What’s Up Tiger Lilly did that joke 40 years ago, but it’s still funny.

I’ll probably watch the first OSS117 movie some Saturday afternoon, but I do recommend OSS117-Lost in Rio as a nice diversion for the blues.

Oh, if you’re looking for a great parody, check out Black Dynamite on Netflix Streaming. It’s easily the best 70’s Blacksploitation parody since I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. I laughed my ass off at that one.

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Barry Munday (2010)

I’m back from vacation. So, back to reviewing stuff. The Internet ate this review last week, so the second half will be written from memory.

Barry Munday exists somewhere between Knocked Up and Office Space. This new indie comedy which isn’t in theaters yet, but played for one night on HDTV Movies last Wednesday, probably won’t have a big theatrical run, but should do okay on cable.
Patrick Wilson (Night Owl from Watchmen) plays Barry Munday, a clueless office drone who’s idea of female interaction is staring at their chest and pretending to be an architect to get them in the sack. Look at the picture below, it’s the kind of comedy where the facial hair says a lot about the character. His best friend has a porn mustache, big sideburns and enters air guitar contests. That sums him up.
In the first ten minutes, Barry literally loses his balls. At the wrong end of trumpet in a movie theater. As in almost all ball mangling incidents, Barry begins to re-examines his life. Shortly after, he gets a letter from a lawyer demanding child support from newly pregnant Ginger Farley (The always good Judy Greer) after a one night stand Barry doesn’t even remember.

Since Barry’s boys no longer swim, this is his last shot at immortality. He decides to go for it and take responsibility. So, yea, Knocked Up. The problem is Ginger. Ginger is a classic Judy Greer character, the barely hidden angry and overlooked sister. It’s nice to see Greer promoted from what is generally a secondary character in other movies to the lead role. Barry would also be a secondary character in other movies, because he’s too much of a loser for most films. He’s the guy even the uncool, regular characters in an Apatow movie bag on for being such a clueless douche. And to the film’s credit, the film goes out of it’s way to not only show Barry as not only flawed and kind of dumb, but then to show him trying hard to grow up. Most dumb guys try real hard. He has a classic, generic arc.

Ginger berates him for ninety percent of the film and he takes it until she sort of wears out and gives in. Greer’s great at taking very unlikable stock female characters and giving them some empathy and depth. She’s the highlight of the film. (Why isn’t she a bigger star?)
The secondary characters all fill their roles aptly with some against-type casting of Malcolm McDowell and Billy Dee Williams. Jean Smart and Cybil Shepard play the main characters’ moms with Smart standing out as Barry’s over protective hippie mom. She’s making a nice secondary career of playing flakes. And while Chloe Sevigny certainly is sexy (especially compared to recent roles) as Ginger’s beloved and sexy sister, they really don’t resolve her plot or give her much to do. I bet some giant chunks were left on the cutting room floor. The secondary characters are not drawn particularly deep, but serve as stock foils to bring Barry and Ginger together. It’s all very standard stuff in the broad strokes. Wilson and Greer’s characters are given enough small touches to smooth over the more predictable sub-plots. And by the end of the film, they’re really the only two you’re suppose to care about.

The movie does have two complete dud sub-plots—Barry’s crazy ex-girlfriend (can there be a comedy where the ex isn’t crazy?) and Barry’s intervention visit to a genital mutilation group, maybe it sounded funny on paper, but was completely out of place in the movie, not only coming at the wrong time, but stopping the narrative dead.

I did like how the film went further than what would be the natural stopping point than most similar rom coms (The birth of the baby). The happy ever after took some more time coming and undercuts the popular notion that a baby solves everything and instantly makes weak people strong.
Overall, the movie seems to say that we may not choose our own fate, but we certainly can grow to love and appreciate what fate offers. We make the best of what we’re dealt. That’s a nice sentiment over other rom-coms that loudly declare that love is a pre-ordained destiny.

Barry Munday isn’t a great movie—it’s time-worn plot is nothing new, but there’s plenty of small touches to make the soft comedy a pleasant enough diversion.

Fold some laundry and enjoy.

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The Kingdom Series 2 (1997)

Kinda lazy today. I recently finished the Swedish TV miniseries The Kingdom which I talked about the beginning here.
In that review, I compared the emerging plot lines to a really strange paper Role Playing Game. After seeing all that Lars Von Triers had filmed on The Kingdom, the strangeness is ratcheted up ten fold.

There was to be a series 3, but a few key actors had died. Triers sent the season 3 scripts to Stephen King for the American version of The Kingdom, but ABC canceled season one in 2004 after just a few episodes. Too weird for the states even with King’s name attached. I did see it was on DVD, so I may seek it out.

I don’t have much more to say about the series after what I wrote before, but I did watch all 11 hours of sepia-toned Swedes and their (here it comes) shenanigans.

So, just some highlight to clue you in on how odd the whole thing was.

—A doctor wants the world’s largest diseased liver to research. The family wouldn’t sign the death consent form, so he has the organ donated to himself (as the organ donor card was signed), so he could own the liver. The surgery goes bad, he’s stuck with the liver. (in The Twilight Zone)

—A woman has sex with a man she didn’t know was a ghost, possibly The Devil. She gives birth to a baby who has a grown man’s head (Udo Kier) and can talk. The baby grows at a rate so astounding, his arms and legs are 10 feet long after just a few days, very brittle. The baby begs to die. The mom, after much agonizing, releases the baby from the large rigging holding him up and kills him when all the bones snap. Pretty cool.

Um, wow, that was probably the weirdest plot line. But every one of the twenty or so characters had strange stuff going on and to the shows credit, it all kind of worked because the production was pretty low-key and all the smaller moments were kept real.

If those two story lines interested you, check out The Kingdom on Netflix streaming. I can’t possibly see how the giant man-baby plot line would work in America (although, strangely enough, I saw Lake Bell give birth to Nick Kroll on Children’s Hospital the same week.)

It’s vacation time.

Going into low power for the next week and a half. Hopefully some game reviews to come.

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the 40 Year Old Boy Podcast (2008-Present)

Like the Kennedy assassination or when you first heard about the concept of a Sam’s Club or Costco, it’s impossible to forget where you were when Former Third Baseman Mike Schmidt and 7th funniest human on the planet Mike Schmidt was no longer on Never Not Funny.
I was taking my late night walk. The air was crisp and I had inklings something might happen, so I was glad it was misting as to hide my tears as a somber Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap danced around, well, something as Mike was gone, unable to defend himself.
Later, Shells and I talked about the possible reasons why Mike was gone like Mike Schmidt was family. What did Mike do? It had to be something horrible, right? I mean, right?
Yea, we kept listening to NNF and eventually coughed up dough as they went pay and big-time. The guests were always funny and Pat Francis was substituted as Jimmy’s longtime friend, but we missed Mike.
So when I ran across a review for Mike’s new show, The 40 Year Old Boy, on Jesse Thorn’s Sound of Young America site, it was like a new Sam’s Club or Cold Stone Creamery opened up next door. I’m hungry.

I know for most of you, the above paragraphs are a big mess of ‘Whaaat?’

So let’s slow down. Mike Schmidt is a funny comedian. Why he’s not fully employed and successful in the comedy game is a mystery. Mike autopsies that mystery most weeks on his show. He has a weekly podcast-The 40 Year Old Boy-where he vents, rambles, endears, infuriates, and shares stories about his past and present. He’s a professional talker, the kind you’d find in a Mamet play or maybe just before 20 bucks goes missing. If Mike ever decided to ply his skills to sales, he’d never have to go home with the steak knives.
He recently had a well received one man play and a run-in with Quentin Tarantino. There have been a few opportunities, but as Mike would readily admit, he’s a bit of a self-saboteur. He’s like a Democrat in a sure thing election year, just how will he fuck this up? There’s good intentions and then there’s also that moment where you see yourself like a ghost outside your own body doing something you just can’t imagine yourself doing. Happens to Mike a lot.
I can relate. My girlfriend, Shells, also wanted me to write that she also can relate to Mike and his stories. It’s strange, we talk about Mike and his producer, Burlesque performer Lili Von Stupp, like they’re friends living in another city. I sound like the crazy stalker people from that Tiffany documentary, but that’s the immediacy of podcasts. It’s just Mike talking and Lili laughing. Like any friend, I can tune out or tune in. It’s funny, I’ll hear a song, some Van Halen anthem and turn to Shells and say, “Yea, I bet Mike likes this…” Coo-coo.
But why Mike and not-so-much Jimmy Pardo who’s also very engaging, extremely funny and relatable. Well, Mike shares more. He says there’s stuff he can’t talk about sometimes and that frightens me. Because Mike talks about every awful (and good) aspect of his life. Boy, thank god his wife doesn’t listen.
Also, he’s a story you don’t hear much in the mainstream media. The scrappy qualified underdog who hasn’t made it (Yet, Mike, Yet). There’s more of these guys than there are full-on successes. Success takes not only talent but luck and hard work. And more luck. And the successes get the microphone.

Years ago, I had dreams of broadcasting success. Stupid broadcasting degree and years of working in radio. Yea, I now work in TV, but it’s like saying I’m Frank Lloyd Wright ’cause I drew a picture of a house in first grade. I work in my own graveyardville. Once I had a child, I focused less on my dreams and more on just being happy and doing what I want. I write these reviews every day and that gives my misguided brain something to do. I finally understand the impetus to create and creating as it’s own reward.
That sounds like quitter-talk, but hey, better than giving up. Hey, back to the review…

If you’ve never heard the podcast, first, listen to it. It’s great and funny and you will enjoy it. Fact. And second, ease in to the listening process. Mike likes to talk until he finds gold. Does he know some of what he’s going to say, of course, but the comedy gold is often found after much mining. How do you know when there’s gold? Well, you laugh stupid, but my favorite part is when Mike goes “Ba-HAA!” Love it. It takes a few episodes to get Mike’s rhythms and to follow his logic. It also takes a few episodes to get through Lili’s fake laughing and realize her sizable contributions to the show as producer and sounding board. So, don’t bail after the first episode. Remember, how you felt about Mad Men’s first episode, didn’t like it, but now it’s your favorite show. That’s right I compared 40 Year Old Boy to Mad Men, mother fuckers. (sorry, slipped into Mike-speak.)

The real reason to invest in the show, Mike has stories to tell. Besides a sketchy past, strange stuff happens to him almost every week. And Mike is a master of telling a story well. Part of me kind of hope he’s lying about some of the stories or over-exaggerating the details. Because Mike’s a bit like a soap opera character–A lot of shit happens to him and because of him. If all that shit happened to me, I’d never leave the house. But Mike is made of tougher stuff.

Bottom line–He’s funny. So,

Click this link, visit his awesome site and subscribe to the podcast. Do it.

(Okay, I know this review kind of rambled and the writing sucked. It happens.)

And Dear Mike, if I’m dumb enough to tweet this link to you (and I am) and you read this, I’m sorry. Anything that is perceived as a slam or negative totally IS NOT. I’m a big fan and want the world to know the genius that is Mike Schmidt.
The anti-depressants ran out and my mind is jumbly, i’m gonna go ahead and blame that. Done.

I am to you as you are to Rock Sugar.

God, I’m kind of a dick. And arrogant much?


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Louie, God (2010)

A few years ago, while working on my own beliefs, I became fascinated with conversion stories and de-conversion stories. The religion didn’t matter because the stories were generally pretty similar. I’m not talking about people brought up one way and therefore never have to convert, but people who do a 180 in their lives after years of being a believer or non-believer.
The conversion stories were generally fraught with great emotion, the person generally went through some serious trauma or saw something unexplainable. Many said they could hear God’s voice, telling them to do something they didn’t want to do, but something they felt the should do. The nature of the act could be either unethical or ethical, in the Bible or forbidden in the Bible, didn’t matter. The key moment was some kind of other worldly epiphany. Very quick and very emotional. Fireworks and a flash of light.
The de-conversion stories could not be more dissimilar. The de-conversion stories took a long, long time. They were based in tiny steps of reason and not giant leaps of emotion. There were usually slip-ups and false paths and bargaining inherent with coming to accept the new beliefs. See Julia Sweeney’s Letting Go of God for a good example of a de-conversion story.
As always, these are some generalities based on the stories I’ve read and everyone’s different. I know my de-conversion was a slow process, while I remember my conversion as happening quickly, even though I’d been exposed to Christianity for most of my life.
Why people change their minds and beliefs is a fascinating concept to me, as most are far too fragile to even consider the other side or make such a giant change. Saying a large part of your life was wrong is a big ego crush.

Looking back over my previous entries on this blog, most of the reviews are of darker material, of thrillers and gore. That’s funny because I mostly watch comedies. I watch two or three MST3K’s a week (I’m watching them in order and up to the mid part of season 3), Shells and I have a whole bunch of shows on Comedy Central, Adult Swim and the comedy nights on each of the three networks and pay cable that we plow through weekly. All but a few of the podcasts I listen to are comedy related. The only blind spot is movies, it seems like the last truly funny movie I saw was Raising Arizona (Disclaimer: probably a lie).
FX’s Louie isn’t the laugh out loud funniest comedy on TV, but it may be my favorite. It’s my favorite because Louie CK isn’t squandering his latest opportunity at a show. He’s treating his comedy as art; it may not be high art, but his intentions are examination through comedy. One measure of true art is if the art is exploring the world or trying to make a kind of sense of the world. Through his comedy, Louie certainly seems like he’s just trying to figure shit out.
Louie also got what can only be described as an artist’s dream deal, FX gives him 250-thousand dollars an episode (for the whole production, it’s not much for a show, so if it fails FX doesn’t hurt much) and complete artistic control. This never happens. He also seems at an age to not crumble under such pressure, but flourish and use his comedy ideas to make a different kind of show. He usually has a bit of stand-up that launches into a short movie. Most episodes have two full bits.
A lot of the early reviews compared the show to Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm. And while he does traffic in the uncomfortable, anxiety based humor of a CYE, his targets aren’t the outside targets of CYE, like our social constructs and behavior, but more about Louie himself. He wants to care, but it’s kind of hard. He has trouble fitting in with a newly divorced life and the trappings of freedom. He’s obsessed with sex, gay and straight, and how it’s all sort of passed him by. He has strange, outrageous ideas, but to me they feel like the sorts of stuff you think about, but tend not to say out loud (in that way, it’s like CYE).
But he’ll take a small joke and spin it into a larger commentary. That’s why the show is valuable and has me writing about it.
The God episode is my favorite of the now finished season. (New episodes aired last night. I’m really a day late in writing this review. Get the DVD’s. I suck at promotion.)
God starts with the most offensive and most apt analogy on the nature of faith I’ve seen on TV. Louie is in a dumpy gas station rest room. A well-dressed, older man comes in and notices a glory hole in the wall with the word ‘Heaven’ written above it. The man starts unzipping his pants to put his penis in the hole.
Louie, “Hey, why are you doing that? Have you done this before? Something bad could happen.”
“No, I’ve never been here before. It says Heaven. Heaven…”
“But you could get you dick ripped off.”
“Then I guess you have to have faith.”

Maybe that sequence is an old joke, I don’t know, but it was played perfectly. Louie CK’s become a great actor, vulnerable and low-key. He wasn’t this good on his last show, Lucky Louie (and I was one of the few that liked that show because real people kind of talk that way). He also surrounds himself with other good lesser known comedians and actors who get the style and tone of the show.

The stand-out in God is Tom Noonan who usually plays quiet creepy authoritative types. He’s great in everything he’s in; go rent House of the Devil, an excellent 80’s satanic panic movie throwback from last year.

The longer second part of the show doesn’t even have Louie in it, but his 12 year old self, a bit gutsy and to me another indication that Louie CK is more interested in the idea than himself. Young Louie’s mom sends him to Catholic school because ‘every kid should be exposed to religion.’ After the nun catches his friend and him goofing off during a lecture, the nun brings in a doctor (Noonan) to do an autopsy on Jesus to show the kids how Jesus suffered for their sins. Noonan has Louie’s trouble making friend be Jesus and has Louie be Pontus Pilate. The doctor describes in inappropriate, Passion of the Christ detail, the horrific death of Jesus. Very graphic detail. He then has Louie ‘kill’ his friend to show how every time Louie commits even the smallest sin, he is driving the nails into Jesus’ wrist. Louie is always killing Jesus, every day. A completely innocent man who died because of and for his sins. (An extra bonus, the church gets to decide what sin is, helloooo masturbation and nails into Jesus.)
The whole autopsy sequence is hard to watch and seems like it should never happen to children. But if you’ve ever spent any time in Sunday School or ever listened close to the hymns sung, you know it does. Every atheist I know became one AFTER reading the bible. It happened to me.
So, later, wracked with guilt, Louie breaks into the church and pries the nails from the massive, blood soaked center piece Jesus statue. He wants to help and free Jesus. Of course, he gets into huge trouble, the nun can’t see why Louie would do such a horrible thing, defacing Jesus.
Fortunately for Louie, his mom takes him out of this parochial school after seeing how screwed up Louie and the school had become. This episode strikes me because it’s the only time I’ve ever seen a de-conversion story on TV. Most of the time, people on TV just replace one faith for another, if faith is ever even mentioned.
Oh, the last shot—A disinterested handyman, cigarette dangling from mouth, haphazardly hammers new nails into Jesus’ wrists.

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