Louis C.K. might be the best stand-up comedian in the business, but his first foray into sitcom territory, "Lucky Louie," was canceled by HBO after only one season.

Louis C.K. might be the best stand-up comedian in the business, but his first foray into sitcom territory, "Lucky Louie," was canceled by HBO after only one season.

Well, I'm pleased to announce Mr. C.K. returned Tuesday on FX with a much-improved second outing. And this time around, he's in complete control - starring, writing and directing.

While "Lucky Louie" was a throwback to "The Honeymooners," filmed in front of a live audience on a minimal set, "Louie" is a wholly original, slightly odd concept.

Louis C.K.'s stand-up (wisely) makes up a good portion of each episode, and it's broken up by intersecting vignettes about his ordeals - recently getting divorced, raising his daughters and getting back into the dating scene.

Honestly it'd be boring if it weren't for the comic's sharp-witted writing and acerbic personality.

What's particularly impressive is the balance between the stand-up and the scripted scenes. Both have laugh-out-loud moments, and the vignettes offer some thoughtful reflection on society and middle-aged life.

Particularly insightful, and amusing, is a poker game in next week's episode where the comedian and his buddies weigh the comedic viability of homophobic jokes against their harmful impact.

I highly recommend this peculiar comedy for its humor, heart and no-holds-barred attitude. And the late timeslot means "Louie" can take full advantage of foul language and naughty themes - just like Louis' stand-up.