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Oh, honey. If you wanna see real gay people on television. Go watch Bert and Ernie.

—Louis knows real gay people in television with Maureen

Louis Chilson, portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris, is a supporting character in the fifth and final season of F is for Family. He is the older brother of Sue Murphy, the only son of Stan and Marilyn Chilson, the brother-in-law of Frank Murphy, and the maternal uncle of Kevin, Bill, Maureen, and Megan Murphy.

History[]

Born in the mid to late 1930s, Louis was the first child and only son of Stanley and Marilyn Chilson. In 1938, Louis was given a little sister named Susan. Growing up, the two Chilson siblings were very close; at some point in their youth, Louis taught Sue how to "fake cry". Louis was also close to his father, the two having been known to perform the Charlie Chaplin walk together. Eventually in his adolescence, Louis realized he was gay, and told Sue, who was initially willing to keep it a secret.

In 1958, Sue got married to her boyfriend, Frank, due to becoming pregnant. Her initial plan was to reveal her pregnancy to Stan and Marilyn after returning from her honeymoon, but Stan found out upon stepping outside and overhearing Sue speaking to Gert. Enraged, Stan told Sue she was no longer apart of the family and she was cutting her off, causing Sue to sob hysterically. Louis walked out to tell Sue they were about to cut the wedding cake, and asked what was going on. Stan explained the situation, and Louis attempted to comfort her. Stan said he couldn't imagine having a greater disappointment in his life, causing Sue to yell, "Oh, yeah? Well, Louis is a fruitcake!", and storm off. Louis was left speechless and Stan stared at him in confusion and anger.

Putting two and two together, Stan instead cut Louis off from the family. Over the course of the next 15 years, Louis was estranged from his father due to his ignorance and his sister for her betrayal. However, Kevin has mentioned he thinks his uncle wears "cool shirts", so it's possible Louis has made an effort to connect with his nephews and niece. The only semi-connection he had left was his mother, who would call him every few years to check up on him. Marilyn mentioned that Louis and Stan hadn't spoken since 1967. Louis eventually relocated to Miami, Florida, where he obtained an apartment with a roomate named Jeremy, although it's been hinted that they were lovers. At some point, Louis was arrested by an undercover police officer after performing sexual favors in a bus station bathroom, with his parents having to bail him out. By 1973, Louis moved back to Rustvale without Sue's knowledge, and opened a karate school.

1974[]

In Blind Alley, Louis is hitting on another man in a local gay bar, Star Funk Lounge. When Sue makes an appearance, the man assumes that Sue is Louis’ wife and throws a drink in his face before leaving, which causes Louis to sarcastically remark that Sue continues to ruin his life.

As they continue their conversation, Sue comments that she wants an apology from Louis for not telling her that he moved back into town and opened a karate studio ten minutes from her house. Louis states that he didn’t believe that she would care, and wondered if he should’ve blurted out at a wedding that he moved back into town. Sue expresses regret for outing Louis to their father all those years ago and begins to cry which Louis dismisses  because he taught her the “fake crying bit”. Sue sincerely apologies to Louis, who forgives her, and accepts her Thanksgiving invitation. However, he quickly becomes angry and leaves the bar after Sue tells him that their father is going to be there. Sue tries to reason with Louis, but he rejects her pleas until Sue tells him that their father is dying of a brain tumor which causes Louis to agree to go to the Thanksgiving dinner.

On Thanksgiving, Louis arrives and greets his father with a hug and tells him that he loves him and forgives him, but also commenting that he’s brave for fighting the illness that Louis thinks he has. Before they have a chance to continue the conversation, Sue distracts them by turning up the volume to a deodorant commercial.

After Frank gets home, Sue instigates an argument between her husband, brother and father, by saying that Frank was glad that Nixon got a full pardon. The three men proceed to argue about it all through dinner, but things cool down by the time the neighbors arrive for dessert. While people are waiting to eat dessert, Stan and Louis entertain the guests by dressing up as Charlie Chaplin and dancing for the group.

Just as Stan and Marilyn are about to leave, Louis and his father are about to part ways on good terms, until Louis accidentally lets it slip that he believes his father is dying.

That eventually reignites an argument between the father-son duo about Louis‘ sexuality. Sue’s attempts to stop the arguing were unsuccessful, and when Frank steps in, Louis and Stan turn their attention to insulting Frank, with Louis stating that he and Stan got along just fine until Sue married Frank, referring to Frank as “a balding piece of shit”.

Louis and Stan remain silent as Frank chastises them for their ungrateful behavior, saying that Louis should be grateful that his father is still alive before telling both men to go fuck themselves. Eventually Louis and Stan leave.

A little less than a month later, in A Very Merry F***ing Christmas, Louis receives a visit from Sue at his karate dojo much to his chagrin. After Louis dismisses his class, he actively ignores Sue’s attempts to apologize for lying to him. Louis tells Sue that she really hurt him and accepts Sue’s subsequent apology, and also apologizes to Sue for calling Frank a balding piece of shit, and he agrees to go to her Christmas party.

As Vic enters the dojo for Louis’ next class, Louis is amazed that Sue and Vic know each other. Louis comments that Vic described her as “the hot piece of ass that raises the shit out of her kids“, and when Vic suggests that she can turn her skills into a business, Louis offers Sue the usage of his dojo.

At the Christmas party on Christmas Eve, Louis talks to Ginny who’s advances he repeatedly rejects. Louis later partakes in the singing of Christmas songs with the rest of the group.

Louis later watches, along with the rest of the guests, as Frank argues about his father with his mother. After Frank storms out, Louis says he was glad he came.

In the series finale, Bye-Bye Frankie, Louis joins the rest of his family at an event at the airport to watch a daredevil jump over a plane.

Trivia[]

  • Despite being established as Sue’s older brother, his voice actor, Neil Patrick Harris, is actually 6 years younger than Susan’s voice actor, Laura Dern.
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