Welcome back, ‘Louie’!


Plenty of attention is understandably being paid to Monday’s return of Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and “24” (8 p.m., KVVU-TV, Channel 5) after a four-year layoff.

But “Louie” (10 p.m., FX) also comes back Monday, after a shorter but no less painful 19-month absence.

Oddly, “Chuck’s” Yvonne Strahovski is a part of both.

You know how the final episode of “St. Elsewhere” revealed that the entire series took place in the mind of an autistic boy?

Sorry, was that too soon for a spoiler? Hopefully you haven’t been sitting with that VHS cassette for 26 years just waiting until the perfect time to watch it.

Anyway, that’s kind of where I think “Louie” is going. That viewers ultimately will see Louis C.K. either in some sort of a home vacantly staring out a window or straitjacketed in a padded room. That’s just a theory based on some of the more surreal, dreamlike moments in the landmark comedy that quite literally should win every Emmy out there.

One of my favorite bits in Monday’s back-to-back episodes is so small, you could almost miss it: A restaurant customer, wearing earbuds and engrossed in his phone, bumps into Louie and gets stuck there, unable to move forward, until Louie redirects him. It’s a tiny, absurd, but brilliant moment.

The show also isn’t afraid to go broad, as evidenced by the spontaneous, filthy hilarity in the poker scene with fellow comics, including Sarah Silverman, Jim Norton and Nick DiPaolo.

In Monday’s second episode, Jerry Seinfeld stops by long enough to embarrass Louie with his withering disapproval of Louie’s act: “Can you not say, ‘Dirty sex poop dogs having sex with vagina dirt?’ ”

Welcome back, “Louie.” Dirty sex poop and all. You were gone too long.