American Idol’s Lazzzzzzzaro Zzzzzzzzzzzz

What needs to happen next on “American Idol” Season 12: Someone needs to discover that Lazaro Arbos, currently a Top 7 finalist, is faking his stutter.

Gee, guess who Lazaro's idol is? Ugh.

Gee, guess who Lazaro’s idol is? Ugh.

Please, I mean no disrespect to people with legitimate stammers. I love and have great empathy for you. Some of my best friends are stutterers. I have been known to be at a loss for words.

I’m just so bored with this kid that I hope someone finds some real dirt on him — maybe sneakily recorded uploaded iPhone footage showing no trace of a stammer.

He’s cute, reminds people a smidge of Ricky Martin, or “Ricky Ricardo,” as Nicki Minaj calls him (racist!). But I’m just sick of his vibe. There’s a point where any “gripping back story” starts feeling freakish. I celebrate that he has overcome obstacles in his life and made it this far, shedding light on what most of us take for granted: glibness. But he has had more than his 15 minutes. Time to pull the plug.

I can speak, sorta, as I am also Hispanic. Seguro, Lazaro’s story was moving at first. His mom’s tears; that part always gets me. But … GET THIS BOY SOME HELP.

I’m simply no longer “in awe” that he can sing fluidly in spite of his challenges speaking. So over that. Everyone knows the benefits of singing, and how people with heavily accented English or speech impediments can lose any trace of their accents or issues when singing. My problem with this contestant is he has lost all integrity, ever since the dust-up with mentor Jimmy Iovine.

Lazaro lied. He lied during Beatles week when he butchered “In My Life,” saying he had switched his song “last night,” and then cried about it. Jimmy later confirmed that Lazaro had had the same amount of time to learn his song as everyone else, and that he had been working on “In My Life” five days earlier. And if there’s one Lennon-McCartney song any self-respecting Latino knows it’s “In My Life,” because it sounds like every other Spanish ballad ever written.

The kid is making excuses, and he never apologized to Jimmy for lying.

This past week, he ruined the Motown trio with Devin Velez and Burnell Taylor by forgetting his part again. And these weren’t difficult words: “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.” C’mon! Or, as Entertainment Weekly put it:  ” ‘Sugar Pie Honey Bunch’ … you know that I don’t know you…” — Lazaro

During the results show on March 28, it bugged me the way he was fixing his outfit as Aretha Franklin’s audio message to Kree Harrison played. He always seems to be checking himself on the monitor. Even in his Telemundo interview, he constantly adjusted himself — is this part of an act to display ongoing stress? They talk about him as if he’s not even there, with his audition playing on a painful loop in the background. And he barely attempts to speak in his native language, which I find odd. Shouldn’t Spanish prove less stressful?

SPOILER ALERT: His voice is just not that good. Close your eyes and listen. Too much vibrato and no sense of pitch. Devin was far superior in terms of representing Latino singers — he gave us bilingual anthems, at least. And young Devin had a modern, suavecito attitude, not some old-school smarmy style. Oh, how it irked me when Devin was “singing for his life” Thursday, trying to earn the judges’ once-a-season save, and Lazaro first adjusted his suspenders, then looked at his watch and THEN started singing along on the Spanish part. The nerve! He just doesn’t seem that likeable. It’s not his stutter that keeps him from having friends — I’m thinking it’s his personality, and his stutter only prevents people from getting to know him well enough to realize that.

American-Idol-Lazaro-Arbos_510x317Truth is, if you eliminate the sympathy vote, Lazaro’s got nothing. His tears on March 20, in hindsight, seemed a ploy to get more votes — or at the very least showed he doesn’t have what it takes for this kind of work.

Sin verguenza. Stop voting for him, mi gente. Put him out of our misery and let him go get the therapy he needs before attempting to launch any sort of international career in singing — or acting, as the case may be.

— Not a fan


Voicing an objection to ‘The Voice’ and other voyeuristic stuff

Daughter Miki and “The Voice” finalist Tony Lucca mesh on Feb. 21, 2007, at Jammin Java coffeehouse in Vienna, Va. On the show, he is unrecognizable. (Photo by Terry Byrne)

The feeding-frenzy popularity of The Hunger Games — in which young people fight to the death for scraps in a post-apocalyptic society — makes me squeamish, partly because it seems only one part fiction and three parts foreboding. And why not usher in a gladiator-esque fight-to-the-death era of entertainment? We are already there.

Reality TV trains us to sit on the sidelines while we watch young people claw their way to fame or disaster — from such gong shows as American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance and Project Runway to those that gauge survival skills a la Survivor and The Next Great Chef (OK, I don’t really have to know how to julienne carrots or reduce stock to consommé to survive).

There seems no end to the vicious voyeurism in our TV diets: We have competitions in the workplace (The Apprentice), in love (The Bachelor), in travel (The Amazing Race) … it’s no wonder Americans have an obesity problem (The Biggest Loser).

Miki and Tony Lucca in his dressing room after his set on June 14, 2006. He was never a nobody to us. (Photo by Terry Byrne)

Rather than experience triumph and defeat firsthand, they’ll (we’ll) sit with preferred joy-stick device, whether smartphone to text in votes or an ADHD-enabling remote control, the modern equivalent of the king shouting “off with their heads!” when a jester fails to please.

Only in America do we turn every aspect of living into a Super Bowl. Makes me want to gag order.

While waiting last night for my husband to join me at the altar of the mammoth flat-screen where we’d summon DVR’d episodes of our nostalgia-laced intoxicant Mad Men, I stumbled across a penultimate episode of The Voice.

Miki and Tony, back when they met on June 15, 2003. Will he remember the little people who supported him on his meandering climb? “Little people” = not a height reference, sorry, Miki. (Photo by Terry Byrne)

Sucking me in: One of the four finalists was a folksy-bluesy singer-songwriter whose career my daughter had followed the past decade, as he played small coffeehouses and clubs from suburban D.C. to L.A.,  New York to New Orleans. Tony Lucca, by now famous for being one of the few Mickey Mouse Club alums (alongside Justin Timberlake, J.C. Chasez, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera) to not scale the pop charts, he instead rambled the rocky road of hard knocks. His gritty, grinding, gutsy musicianship reflected that hunger.

Yet another shot of Miki and Tony, hanging out at the Jammin' Java bar during one of his visits. (Photo by Terry Byrne_

Yet another shot of Miki and Tony, hanging out at the Jammin’ Java bar during one of his visits. (Photo by Terry Byrne)

Last night, under the tutelage of Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine (as contemporaries, they are three years apart in age, and Tony is older, at 36), I hardly recognized him. Simply unreal to see him there. He seemed ice-cream-man creepy recast in his boyish Mickey Mouse Club persona, clean-shaven with a wannabe hat, as the camera panned for reaction from his proud “old lady” and androgynous progeny. Still, I had to watch and get his digits, to give him whatever small boost I could.

Tony Lucca, repackaged. Does he clean up too well?

I know he won’t win tonight. Mostly because pop-packaging doesn’t suit him. Tony Lucca is a cool dude, not a puppet, and as much as I wish him success and an eternal meal ticket to go with it, he shines best as a starving artist — not so starving as to sell out to the star-making machine. Part of me is thrilled he finally found this stage of mass consumption, but I don’t think I can sit and watch tonight as more life-long dreams get decimated. America’s appetite for this kind of thing seems insatiable.

Pipe in captive Billy Pilgrim’s command to a captive audience of Tralfamadorians, who greedily watched him mate with an Earthling porn star in his space-dome prison in Slaughter-House Five: “Now we would like the night canopy.”

Same here. Privacy, please. I don’t want my Reality TV. I can no longer stomach it. Give me true fictional drama, or give me death! (a la The Hunger Games. See? You knew it’d come back up.)

Tony Lucca, remade in his image. WHAT IS IT WITH THE VESTS?

Tony Lucca, back in the day (in the back). Today, he is forced to suck up crumbs of praise (dissing) from childhood crony crooner Christina Aguilera, a voice coach on “The Voice.”

Dick’s jolliest holiday

The Dick Van Dyke Show

Most eligible bachelor ever no longer behind Door No. 1. (Image via Wikipedia)

Who among us has not fantasized about hooking up with Rob Petrie, aka Dick Van Dyke, at some point in our lives? Raise hands. I see no hands … no one else? As I thought.

Read in the paper this morning — and for those under 12, that is not some kind of oracle but actual folded pieces of paper with words inked on them that sail to your doorstep every morning; I know, magic! — that 86-year-old Dick Van Dyke has wed makeup artist Arlene Silver, who is more than half his age. Forty-six years younger to be exact, even younger than she is old. That’s like my stepdaughter marrying my father.

Dick, that’s just wrong.

Now, I’m no prude. I myself at age 4 refused to go to afternoon kindergarten until I’d had my fill of “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” appreciating even then our May-December conundrum — talk about “Rob-ing” the cradle. But he was only in his late 30s, with fewer than 30 years between us. His Leap Day blind leap into marriage  rules out his ever carrying her over the threshold, and forget the “Honey, I’m home”  signature pratfall … life-threatening!

These are penguins, not newts.

Perhaps it’s because she’s a makeup artist and can make him appear younger?For those out there judging me or who maybe think that any sort of sexually “alternative” lifestyles are unnatural, let’s look at same-sex attraction, shall we? More than 460 species on the planet engage in what humans call gay relationships — a perfectly natural occurrence. Some of my best friends and offspring are gay; I see nothing wrong with it and would never suggest there be a law against it. (Side note: So why is it that, in order for it to be legal, we have to go to the trouble of making laws FOR it?)

But a 46-year age difference. Need I remind you that 46 used to be the average human life span. Verging on necrophilia, here, Mr. Van Dyke. Where does such a gap happen in nature without the extenuating circumstances of a major inheritance and terminal illness? That would be like a Galapagos tortoise humping a tadpole, or newt, or whatever a turtle larvae is called.

I Googled the world record for the largest age difference between spouses and it seems there isn’t one. Revealing. I did find that, in 2010, a 108-year-old woman from Kuala Berang, Terengganu (is that even a country? oh — Malaysia), was reunited with her husband of five years, Mohd Noor Che Musa, 38, after he was released from a rehab center after 18 months’ treatment for his drug addiction. Three words: kama sutra, and drugs.

Whoa, a 70-year age difference!? That’ll never last.

What it’s really like to audition for ‘American Idol’

(A nostalgic look back at daughter Miki’s experience auditioning for Season 4 of “American Idol,” in Washington, D.C., August 2004)

Aspirants and antiperspirants

My daughter is THE next American Idol. (Photo by Terry Byrne, Copyright 2004_

Could my daughter be THE next American Idol? (Photo by Terry Byrne, Copyright 2004)

They come like immigrants, an estimated 21,000 dolled-up American Idol aspirants and their doleful escorts, to the cavernous Washington Convention Center, huddled masses yearning to breathe the same hot air as Simon Cowell. My 16-year-old daughter and I are two of them.

The air doesn’t smell so fresh after a 36-plus-hour, carnival-atmosphere slumber party, where b.o. and morning mouth mix with spoiled, spilled concessions and the vomit of those whose nerves get the best of them. Sensory relief is found in the unlikeliest place: the john, where hair product vapor hangs in the air like spa mist.

Tony Meadors, 24, is a solitary pilgrim from White Marsh, Md., “by way of Chicago,” who slipped away from his Bayou Cafe job to chase stardom. Equipped with only a backpack, bottled water and Bible — “all I need” — he’s directed to fill in as the horizontal grout between two rows of Eddie Bauer-outfitted campers. He sizes up this small plot of concrete as his last address before moving to Hollywood, and slips a staff worker $5 to rent an oval-backed, velour-upholstered dining chair from the storage closet, which he lies on its back to reserve more room, then trots to the Smithsonian for a carefree afternoon. Upon his return hours later, new vagrants have scrunched into his space, so he balls himself up on the floor, props his head on the chair seat, and attempts sleep.

Clockwise from left: My daughter Miki, Mark Hwang, Maria Dunckhorst andTony Meadors, all "Idol" hopefuls. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

Clockwise from left: My daughter Miki, Mark Hwang, Maria Dunckhorst and Tony Meadors, all “Idol” hopefuls. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

Lullabies aren’t cutting it

But sleep doesn’t come easily in this busy hive of bright lights and gospel peals. A jumbotron projects non-stop Fox broadcasts, and one wonders whether a stateside Abu Ghraib, where sleep deprivation followed by hours of standing, has been erected to weed out those who wouldn’t endure the stress of superstardom.

A true cattle call. Courtesy of

Workers use bike-rack barricades and yellow police tape to extend the snaking line of sleeping bags, where sleep, like fame, is but another distant dream. They hawk “Idol” products — souvenir T-shirts, compact mirrors,  key chains and cardboard church-style fans advertising shows. They invite all to visit the karaoke station; no invitation necessary. Warehouse load lifters appear occasionally, atop which camera operators and producers rally the crowd, rock-concert style, to scream “I am the next American idol!” … “Again! I can’t hear you!” Perhaps it’s just another ploy to handicap the weaker voices.

Plenty of ‘Idol’ time

Clever Mark Hwang, 18, of Fairfax, Va., only mouths the words. Four years ago, when his name was Kun-Yeon, he moved here from Korea, not knowing a word of English. He still isn’t sure of all the lyrics to Lionel Richie’s Truly. But this detour on his way to college as a Virginia Tech freshman is just more education — sampling the American dream, as repackaged by Brits.

Co-executive producer Nigel Lythgoe grabs the mike to reassure show hopefuls: “All you have to do is be you. But be your best you. We don’t want you leaving here with any regrets.” And “What we’re looking for is someone who can sing like Pavarotti and dance like a gazelle.” I survey the bodies and, though I see many with the heft of Pavarotti (this cross-section of America mirrors the 30% of Americans who are obese), the only prancers are those mimicking Clay Aiken, post-makeover.

From “People” magazine, Aug. 18, 2004

We meet people from the Deep South, New England and as far away as Minnesota, but most seem to be “representin'” B’more and the nation’s capital. One local boasts he’s 30 but secured a fake ID to meet the 16- to 28-year-old criteria. A man with a yellow wristband — signifying he’s a cheerleader for a red-banded contestant — hauls two small mattresses, still dressed with bedding, off the freight elevator, which he has dragged from his apartment to make things cushy for his woman, who herds him from in front. He makes it only five steps at a time before resting.

Penned-in superstars draw a lot of media attention. (Photo by Terry Byrne, Copyright 2004)

Penned-in superstar wannabes draw a lot of media attention. (Photo by Terry Byrne, Copyright 2004)

A singer in sunglasses with a red-tipped cane feels his way to the bathroom. Two dwarfs vocalize. A red-headed wrestler shows off his medals and hoists a staff member onto his shoulders and spins for the cameras. Mary Katherine, in curlers and party hat, is celebrating her 21st birthday and lets everyone know with a hand-made sign.

Army enlistee A.J., whose deck of cards and blanket are “borrowed” by a neighboring pack, sleeps in his car with his girlfriend where at least it’s dark and not as cold as inside the hall. He doesn’t know what his audition song is called nor who it’s by, but “he sings it all the time,” complains his girlfriend. He guesses it’s Luther Vandross. I identify it as Ruben Studdard’s cover of Superstar, Season 2.

Egypt’s customized belt — the one she’s wearing, not her vocal technique — spells “Egypt” in rhinestones, offsetting her stiletto boots. She checks on her 2-year-old son, Jatawn, by cellphone between choruses of such oldies as Seasons Change by Exposé — which, I point out, was No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 the week my daughter was born. “Gosh, she’s just a baby!” she squawks. She’s my baby.

Survival instincts kick in

We break bread (a $2.50 giant cookie, using the last dough we have) and exchange Balance bars, Rice Krispie Treats and fruit rolls with strangers. We teach Mark to play Yahtzee and War. We loan Tony a sleeping bag and the pillow my sister crocheted, and I resolve to sleep in the folding chair. I borrow a pen from Jessica’s mom, Marva, from Suffolk, Va., to write this.

Miki and Mark try to catch some Zzzzzzzz's, but it is next to impossible here. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

Miki and Mark hope to catch some Zzzzzzzz’s, but it is next to impossible here. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

And we lose track of time. We’re told “quiet time” (but not lights out) starts at 10 p.m., when boomboxes and singers must be silenced. Yet babysitters have no authority here, and the white noise produced by 10,000 hyped vocal cords and even more rollover cellphone minutes is unlikely to ever be reproduced as one of Sharper Image’s soothing nature sounds.

The impossibly high-pitched refrain of Minnie Ripperton’s Lovin’ You is rehearsed to death. “Who’s from Massachusetts?” a man screams down every row. “I’m looking for anyone from Massachusetts!”

I adjust the blanket half-covering my daughter, who was only pretending to sleep, and she coos: “Thanks for coming, Mom. Thanks for doing this. My audition is dedicated to you.”

Miki, after just a few winks of skeep, ready for her big shot at the big time. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

Miki, after just a few winks of sleep, is ready for her big shot at the big time. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

At 3:48 a.m. on the big day, the P.A. system crackles awake and announces our wakeup call. A moot point, but thousands who have restlessly vocalized and moved out of sync for two days suddenly have a single-minded mission: to use the bathroom. Lines are hours long, and two girls in PJs decide to brush their teeth in the water fountains. As they walk away, an unsuspecting young man fills up his water bottle in their spittoon.

I give up on the bathrooms and hunt for breakfast, but the line is twice as long — plus they’ve run out of muffins and yogurt, and the fruit is past ripe. Our tight-knit group, now a dozen strong, must stretch three remaining Balance bars.

A fight breaks out among divas

It”s a diva smackdown!

As I walk down the back aisle searching for my new homies, I hear ugly words exchanged to my left. One young woman has insulted another, calling her ugly, fat and talentless. I hear, “Where is that bitch? Let me at that bitch!” A makeup case flies through the air and hits the aggressor in the head. Return fire: sleeping bag. I dodge a fold-up chair. In seconds, the entire back of the room thunders to the scene, cameras aloft, many murmuring, “This I gotta see!” I try to escape, but instead turn back and see the big girl getting pummeled by both women and men, red wristbands flailing.

I’m ashamed to be American.

The troublemakers are ejected, red wristbands snipped, and they’re barred from auditioning. An hour later, when Ryan Seacrest, surrounded by bodyguards, laps the hall, the crowd stampedes with equal enthusiasm. Mark snoozes, no longer so interested in American icons, only interested in sleep. Tony leaps like a gazelle across idle bodies to get within six degrees of Seacrest’s hair. “I just wanted to see what all the hype was about, if it’s for real,” he says.

At last … the moment of unreal

Mark heads off for his audition, after a sleepless night. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

Mark takes in the cavernous convention center. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

Not much is for real on Audition Day. The building goes into lockdown mode as producers spend hours staging outdoor scenes with Seacrest and hand-picked contestants. Then the grinding, winding hike toward the audition chambers begins.

We pick up our gear and trudge, some for 10 hours, through the debris of others, automotrons in a macabre Disney World line, many on empty stomachs, most on a few minutes’ sleep, inching toward daylight and freedom. Organizers warn people not to cut in line or face wristband-snipping.

Many grow snippy. Some threaten that even if they make it past this round, they won’t come back for Round Two. But my daughter’s droopy eyes still sparkle, and she squeezes my hand as we get close to the moment of separation, when contestants go one way and faithful fans another.

“The sweetest of all sounds is praise,” her T-shirt had read. I attempt to give her all the praise she deserves, easily all of it, secretly hoping her pursuit of the American dream won’t prove a nightmare.

Finally facing the panel, she sings three lines of a pop-ified The Nearness of You, and the British judge tells her “lovely.” It isn’t Simon, and she isn’t picked.

But neither of us leaves with regrets. There’s always Season 5.

Mark Hwang, Tony Meadors and Miki Byrne gave it their all. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

Mark Hwang, Tony Meadors and Miki Byrne gave it their all. (Photo by Terry Byrne Copyright 2004)

Why we laugh at losers: Dissecting Louis C.K.

Louie (TV series)

Image via Wikipedia

I’m a die-hard fan of Louis C.K. and Louie (Thursdays, 10:30 p.m. ET on FX Network, at the time of this posting). But C.K.’s seriocomedy isn’t offering much in the way of comic relief these days. The plot lines seem increasingly horrific. Maybe they’ve always been, and I’m just now noticing because I had to catch up on several episodes in one night.

Tickling with feathers

Let’s see: “Duckling” — an idea conceived by C.K.’s real-life 6-year-old daughter, Mary Louise Szekely — plopped the comic into the heart of the Afghanistan War, with all of its grim baggage. Still, it conquers with “heart” as his screen daughter, worried for her dad’s welfare, sneaks the classroom mascot into his duffel as an amulet. Scary war, with a warm-fuzzy touch.

The “Niece” episode explores child neglect and mental illness. “Eddie” is about suicide, while refreshingly non-judgmental. “Country Drive” riffs on racism and stars a corpse. (No disrespect to nonagenarian Eunice Anderson’s acting.)

Hats off to the comedian for gingerly handling sobering topics that have become his bread-and-butter: depression, divorce, meaninglessness, while always managing a twinkle in his eye, a glimmer of hope, like Tinker-Bell among marauding villains.

Revolutionary evolutionary comedy

Has modern comedy gotten too serious? Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s satirical news shows prompt side-splitting laughter, yet they’re merely telling it like it is. It’s actually hard to find any good escapist comedy these days. Louis C.K.’s genius offerings are so real and honest, they often make me wanna cry. Can’t remember the last time I LOL’ed watching it. My emotions puddle inside.

Licensed by CreativeCommons. “You’re rubber, I’m glue, whatever I say, bounces off of you and sticks on me?” Jim Carrey in Spain.

Laughing through tears is “soitenly” nothing new. As cutting-edge as Louis C.K. seems, his is a tried-and-true formula: stand-up from the down and downtrodden, laughing at the tears of a clown. From the woebegone Charlie Chaplin and Jack Benny, to Rodney “Don’t Get No Respect” Dangerfield and the nerdy slapshtick of Jerry Lewis … Jim Carrey’s “loo-HOO-seh-HER” springs to mind, an attack launched at others but landing on him … even the repressed/oppressed Woody Allen, “Hungarican” Freddie Prinze and countless other “subjugated” minority and female comedians — much of it stems from Schadenfreude, mirth at the misfortune of others. We’re glad we’re not that guy. Or maybe we are that guy, and that’s why we get the gag. Feeling ticklish, after all, is but the realization that an assault that could hurt us doesn’t — the momentary fear of an attack that proves non-life-threatening, so we laugh in relief and acceptance and trust-bonding, so they say. Here’s how the hilarious “Avenue Q” explains taking pleasure at another’s pain:

When at war, DUCK!! Or make “Duck Soup.” Licensed by CreativeCommons

Does that mean comedy is mean-spirited at its core? I don’t think so, but more and more it’s the absurdist view that sells, while the madcap-screwball variety seems passé. That must be a reflection of society, but someone smarter than I am can analyze it.

In terms of comic art, Louis C.K. is that rare practitioner who packs a lot of punch into his non-punch lines and running-on-emptiness perspective. The material he draws upon, his real-life fatherhood, is also what seems to inject the dark show with its bright spots. These innocents, his own duckling kids, ultimately make life worthwhile in spite of himself. The show is inconceivable without the drama of those little girls, just as it seems C.K. hit his stride only after their real-world arrival added charm and stark contrast to his act.

Kinda glad Louis C.K. didn’t dedicate all of his life to masturbation and squeezed in some procreation there.

As much as I enjoyed the heralded “Duckling” episode (based on C.K.’s own USO tour in 2008 to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan), it seemed a bit predictable for Louie. For me, the Louie episode dubbed “Halloween/Ellie” — touching on random violence yet somehow skirting Halloween horrors — may prove C.K.’s most telling of the season. For all of the “loserdom” the show glorifies, the Louie character acts almost heroically  — granted, only after taking a cue from 5-year-old Jane.

The episode also seems to sum up C.K.’s approach to his art, when his character gets a golden chance to be golden boy to a Paramount Pictures exec, who sees promise in him and could help turn his life around. Of course, he blows it, with this movie pitch:

“You know how movies … there’s always a guy and, like, his life is always OK, and then something happens, there’s a conflict, and he gets to resolve it and then his life gets better? Well, I always wanted to make a movie where a guy’s life is really bad and then something happens and it makes it worse, but instead of resolving it, he just makes bad choices and then it goes from worse to really bad, and things just keep happening to him and he keeps doing dumb things, so his life just gets worse and worse and, like, darker and … he lives in a one-room apartment, he’s not a very good-looking guy, has no friends and he works in, like, a factory … a sewage disposal plant! and then he gets fired, so now he doesn’t even have his job at the shit factory anymore, and he’s going broke, and he takes a trip and it rains … just stuff, shit keeps .. horrible .. and then he meets a girl and she’s beautiful and he falls in love, so you think that’s gonna be the thing, the happy thing! but then she turns out to be a crook and she robs him, she takes his wallet and now he’s, like, stuck in the middle of nowhere and he’s got no wallet, no credit cards. Like, what do you do? how do you even get home …?”

I like to imagine that was close to the pitch C.K. made to get his Louie pilot off the ground two seasons ago. Don’t miss the season finale, “Airport / New Jersey,” this Thursday, Sept. 8, at 10:30 p.m. on FX.

Louie, Louie, Louie, Loo-whee!!

And here is, not a clip from “Duckling,” but part of his bit on “duck vaginas,” which he recasts in the Louie stand-up segment. Warning: This is not “Duck Soup.” Also, it’s striking how peppy Louis C.K. is compared with his dour doppelganger on Louie.