Louis C.K.

Cheers to Louie for taking flight with a beautiful episode, "Duckling."

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I haven't counted myself among the cadre of TV critics who worship Louis C.K.'s FX comedy — I find it wildly uneven and often not all that funny (call me crazy, but I like sitcoms that make me laugh out loud). But this week's hourlong installment, inspired by an idea from the stand-up's own six-year-old daughter, was simply remarkable.

Louie traveled to Afghanistan for a USO tour (which the comic has done in real life), and his daughter smuggled one of her class' ducklings into his luggage to "protect" him. It's a potentially cloying premise, but the unsentimental result was reminiscent of M*A*S*H — the Robert Altman movie more than the TV series — or a Hal Ashby film from the '70s. Produce more out-of-the-box episodes like this one, and I might learn to love Louie.

Did Louie's "Duckling" quack you up? (Sorry.)

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