The Ten Best Guest Stars on ‘Louie’

There are really only four recurring characters on FX’s “Louie”: Louie, his two adorable daughters, and Pamela, played by Pamela Adlon. The rest of the cast is made up of guest stars, some playing hyperbolized versions of themselves and others playing virgins, hobos, casino comedy bookers, and the like. On the next few pages are the ten I believe have been the show’s best so far, knowing full well that tonight’s episode “Duckling” — in which Louie has an adventure in Afghanistan — might make the numbering obsolete. But humor me, folks — I need the page views like Louie needs pictures of the cast of “M*A*S*H” to masturbate.

#10. Will Janowitz, “Halloween/Eddie”

Will Janowitz’s appearance on “Louie” is so brief —all of a minute of screen time— that it doesn’t even appear on his IMDb page. So why does he matter? Well, he was Finn from “The Sopranos,” the only character I could relate to on the show, because he was just as intimidated by the bottle-smashing ways of the mobsters as I would be. (Plus, wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable if Vito started hitting on you?) For what it’s worth, Janowitz also played a comedian who believes Don and Lane are gay in the “Mad Men” episode “The Good News.”

#9. Todd Barry, “Moving”

“Can I pitch an idea to you? It’s a project. This is great. We start with your mom, we kind of lower her into a bathtub. But the bathtub’s not full of water; it’s filled with diarrhea from homeless people. And then we put…a cinder block on her head, to hold her down….”

#8. Ricky Gervais, “Dr.Ben/Nick”

As Dr. Ben, Ricky Gervais was able to do what David Brent always wanted but never could: say exactly what was on his mind, at any time, with no fear of repercussions. He’s the one in a power position, so to speak, because he’s a well-respected, successful doctor, which is why he’s able to tell Louie that tits are meant to be on women, not men; that he looks like diarrhea; and that he has AIDS and/or a tumor. Oh, and that Louie’s penis is the worst thing he’s ever seen, worse than the time he saw his dad hanging himself while masturbating.

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