For a guy who always looks like he might punch you out, Louis C.K. has evolved into a likable Every-pissed-off-man.
He's riding high on the success of his critically lauded sitcom Louis, returning for its second season next year. The show's a bit like the poor slob's Curb Your Enthusiasm, but with more ice cream and profanity. Mr. C.K. (nee Szekely) has been around for what seems like forever, and though he seems like he's pretty much given up on everything -- being attractive, finding love -- his comedy is full of healthy doses of sound advice. "I finally have the body that I want. It's a hard thing to achieve -- and I did. And I'm going to tell you have exactly the body you want. You just have to want a shitty body. That's all it is. You have to want your own shitty, disgusting body."
Is it true you throw out your material after you've performed it for a year? Yes, or until I've committed it to a special or, in the case of last year, a season of my show Louie.
You're quoted as saying, "The more upsetting the subject matter, the likelier there is something funny there." What tough topics are left for you to tackle?
Well, there's the whole planet Earth. People are afraid of a lot of things.
If you could call a moratorium on one overused standup premise, what would it be?
A lot of comedians in L.A., even comics that consider themselves liberal or "alternative," still make jokes about the guy in the restaurant kitchen or the leaf blower man being Mexican. Most people doing those jobs are from Central America. The Mexicans own those businesses. And shitting on someone simply for their station in life, as if that guy is also a Northwestern grad from New Jersey who chose to come to L.A. to blow leaves instead of doing cool things with his mom's money like do comedy, is just not that compelling. It's not even that it's offensive. I don't get offended. But it's so boring and outdated and, coming from a liberal alternative horn-rimmed glasses fuckpotato, it's hypocritical.
What do you do all day when you're on the road? Is there anywhere that you are treated like royalty?
There's a great restaurant in Washington, D.C., where they greet me like I'm the president. I like going there. Because I am the president.
What's the funniest thing about L.A.?
All these crazy Mexican fuckers in the kitchen with their leaf blowers. What is up with that???
How frequently do you write new material? Does it get easier?
I don't sit down and write material. I just collect it. Like putting out a big leaf to catch rainwater and then I lick it off later and get bugs on my tongue. No, it never gets easier.
What do you tell people who've never seen live standup to convince them to give it a try?
Come on, you piece of shit. Go to a standup show. What's your fucking problem?? You standup-less cunt.
What do you do when the crowd doesn't warm up to you? Is there anything you can do to save the show?
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It's all up to the person on stage. They can tell the future and they control every single thing that happens, even the things they don't control. If you lose the crowd, you stink. Also try talking louder and being sillier and funnier.
Do your kids think you're funny?
All my girls and I do is laugh. They make me laugh probably more than I do them. But yeah they think I'm funny.
Thu., Dec. 2, 8:15 p.m., 2010