Try this, Hollywood. A middle-class American man, a husband, a father—you know, that guy—is addicted to Internet pornography. Night after night, while the house sleeps, he’s out there, browsing the cyber-fleshpots, trolling the tides of electronic lust. His vice deepens; his kinks get connoisseurial. Until one night he has an Experience. An Epiphany. He sees it all so clearly: the loss, the deadness, the degradation, the entire tragic panorama of porn. He must give it up—and more than that, he must seek absolution. He must quit his job (insurance? sales?), travel like a post-porn pilgrim to the San Fernando Valley, find the women in whose debasement he has most assiduously, if remotely, participated, get down on his knees, and beg for their forgiveness. And then, from there … I dunno. Could be a sort of weirdo rom-com, as our hero falls for a scornful porn queen. Or maybe one of the girls is caught up in a gangster subplot and he rescues her, Liam Neeson–style. I leave this to the writers. The leading man, however, is nonnegotiable: he has to be Louis C.K.
Louis—I’ll call him Louis, because I can’t keep typing C.K.—is America’s current masturbator in chief and our most topsy-turvy moralist. “You can figure out how bad a person you are by how soon after September 11 you masturbated,” he riffs. “For me, it was between the two buildings’ going down.” Louis used to be a comic’s comic—hip, the toast of his more successful peers—but now he belongs to the nation. His comedy special Hilarious was nominated for two Emmys last year, and the resulting album won a Grammy. His subsequent special, Live at the Beacon Theater, which he financed, directed, and then distributed online, cleared sales of $1 million within 10 days of its December release. Louis used to write for Dana Carvey, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock; now he is writer/director/star of his own fever-dream semiautobiographical sitcom, Louie, also nominated for two Emmys last year and soon to begin its third season on FX.