behind the scenes

The Story Behind That Hilarious Poop Scene on Louie

LOUIE: Season 5, Episode 2
“It’s poo poo.” Photo: KC Bailey/FX

The cold open on Louie Thursday night was surely one of the funniest scenes on the show to-date. Louie is shopping with his daughters and realizes he has to poop. But like, really bad. The kind of bad where you’re willing to drop everything — even groceries you paid for — to find the nearest bathroom as soon as humanly possible. Louie’s daughters join him on an epic journey to find a bathroom, any bathroom, before it’s too late.

Vulture spoke with the scene’s leading instigator, Pamela Adlon, who plays “Pamela” on the show and is also one of Louis C.K.’s only writer-producers. She gave us the inside scoop on the cold open she’s been waiting for for years.

What’s up, Pamela? 
You want me to tell you about the pooping?

That’s exactly what I want. I want you to talk hard about this pooping scene.
Hard. Was it a hard poop or a soft poop? Is that your first question?

I was told this was going to be a poop-based interview, and I’m good with that, because that poop scene was genuinely one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on the show.
Yes! [screams] Four fuckin’ years! Four fuckin’ years I’ve been saying to Louie, “Please. Please do this scene where you have to shit, and you’ve got the kids, and you’ve got to go to the public restroom, and you’ve got to put [your daughter] on your shoulder because you don’t trust her alone in there.” I mean, we talked about so many scenarios. Because how does a dad, a single dad, take a shit in a public restroom with his daughters? It took years of talking about this. Years.

You’re so excited because this is an inside scoop. I’m giving you an inside scoop.

Literally! Literally inside Louie’s colon. We literally called this scene the “Shit Race 2000” because it’s like, oh my God, there’s so much happening. You have to throw these groceries away! You have to throw them in the garbage can! Because who cares about the groceries? That’s how bad you have to go. And I’m so proud of the scene. I feel like the proud mother of a giant turd.

Why did it take so long for Louie to put this scene in the show?
Because things happen. Sometimes he writes six-part fuckin’ episodes with a Hungarian woman in an elevator.

That’s true. He definitely did that.
But the fantasy was that this would be a great cold open.

Had something like this happened to you or him in the same way, or was it simply an imagined scenario you had always dreamed of?
This was an imagined scenario I always dreamed of. I mean, Louie’s had to shit before. Very badly sometimes in his life. And I know some stories, and he’s had to do it when I’m with him, in the past. I’ll say that. But this was a blown-out thing, and it came out better than anything we could have hoped for. And you know that sign on the wall in the scene? That “No Dumping” sign was actually on that wall! We did not put that sign on the wall, I swear to God. It was kismet.

Yes. Kismet or shitsmet. Or whatever you want to call it.

The kids are amazing in the scene, too, because they played it so intensely.
Yes, and this was crucial. Louie had to get into Ursula [Parker’s] face [who plays his daughter] and say, “This is an emergency. And it’s like you’re a refugee and you’ve got to get your father help. This is serious.” And she went, “I get it. I get it.”

Are there any other specific scenes or situations you’ve been wanting to get on the show that we haven’t seen yet?
I’m not going to tell you, Lucas! You’ve extracted enough marrow from me! That’s it! Wasn’t this fun, though? I gave you such an exclusive scoop.

It was so inside. 
So inside! [Laughs.]

It went so deep. 
And there was no resistance. Everything worked out. And I can’t wait for the world to see it.

The Funniest Poop Scene of the TV Season