Louis CK in American Hustle

Louis C.K. doesn’t have a ton to do in David O. Russell‘s American Hustle — he’s not one of the main characters — but his character is at the center of one of the big mysteries left unresolved by the end of the movie. Namely, just what in the hell happened with his brother’s premature attempt at ice fishing?

It’s a running gag throughout the movie that his character Stoddard wants to impart some wisdom to Bradley Cooper‘s Richie DiMaso by way of a personal anecdote, only to be interrupted before completion each time tries to tell it. However, C.K. confirmed in an interview with Jay Leno that there is indeed an ending to the story. Watch him explain what it is after the jump.

Clearly, some minor American Hustle spoilers follow.

The ice fishing yarn, which comes up early in the film, starts with Stoddard’s younger brother trying to go ice fishing early in the season, against the advice of their father. It’s Stoddard’s attempt to warn the hotheaded Richie about the dangers of jumping in too early, or something, but since he never gets to finish it we never find out what the intended moral of the story was.

During his appearance on The Tonight Show, C.K. revealed the gag was Russell’s idea. Though he made it up as he went along, he did come up with an ending that unfortunately failed to make it into the final cut of the film.

Leno’s response is, “I can honestly say I’m sorry I asked.” While I wouldn’t go that far, I will say that that story did not go where I thought it would.

In any case, it probably doesn’t matter that Stoddard never got to complete his thoughts. While that ending would’ve been good for a laugh or two from the audience, it’s tough to imagine a homespun yarn about a frozen turd actually discouraging Richie from pulling off the Abscam sting. Nor, really, would we have wanted it to — there’d be no movie if Stoddard had been successful.

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