Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
It’s weird to me that a comedian from Boston has become one of the most inspiring creators working today. Chalk that up to the wonders of the world — if such things were predictable they wouldn’t be so wonderful to realize.
The standup routines Louis C.K. performs have become more and more honest over the past few years, and his show on FX, Louie, has refined that honesty into the sort of television that comes around once a generation. Louis C.K. writes, directs, produces and edits the show, with a degree of freedom that is almost unheard-of in television. He says things that no one else seems to be saying, but it isn’t just the saying — it’s that he questions his own approach to comedy, and to life, through every show. By letting us in on that process of self-evaluation, the guy who made a wild joke about duck vaginas has become the guy whose plain language suggets a way to live a better life: Don’t be selfish. Keep your mind open. Learn, always.
Even better than Louis C.K.’s show has been the occasional interview where he talks, often with genuine wonder and joy, about the process of creating his material and the show. He just released a new stand-up special via his own website; you pay $5 and can download or stream the show. As part of the promotional push for the special he took to Reddit to answer questions from fans. His answers are hilarious and enlightening. And, for those who might have wondered, he does want to make a film in the future.
So this is really a post to say “holy shit, Louis C.K. has become great in a way that just boggles my mind, but also gives me a glowing hope for the future that I almost can’t even bear.” But there is some movie-related content, too, and you can read that after the break.
During the ‘ask me anything’ session on Reddit, Louis C.K. was asked about the experience of making Pootie Tang. (A film he wrote and directed, and with which he doesn’t seem too pleased as a final product.) Part of his response was concerned with making another movie in the future:
I have a dream, though. You want to hear it? Yeah? Well, okay.
I thought about what if I make another special like this one and i put it up for 5 bucks again and it goes gangbusters. It makes, say, 8 million bucks. I don’t know that that is even possible. I’m trying to find out what the potential is with this one. But so if I make 8 million, which all goes through paypal right into Pig Newton, my company that makes my show and made the special. Well I would leave the money in there and make a fucking movie.
This special, if it explosed, cause really it’s only been up for 2 days, more like a pre-sale. If it really tears an asshole into the money monster who then shits dollars into my mouth (oh my god what’s wrong with me) then I will use that money to buy a home and get some security which i NEVER have had in my life and have certainly not gotten from my low budget show.
So it would have to be special number 2 that would keep the money in the company and make a movie. I have always put cash back into the work. The profit I made on last years season of louie went to buying a new RED EPIC camera which now sits here next to me and a modest but impressive collection of lenses from germany and england, which now belong to Pig Newton and will be used to shoot said 8 million dollar movie.
I wrote way too much here that I should keep to myself but fuck it i’m pressing send.
So, yeah. Buy his special for five bucks. Right here.
And I’ll leave you with this reply to a question about learning new aspects of filmmaking, and of life. It’s so simple, but also the sort of thing I dearly wish people with influence would say more often:
I do love to learn. It’s all I feel like I’m ever doing. It’s really the best you can do in life, is learn. You can’t really do anything right. You can just learn. Right now, I am learning to be a dad. I am learning how to take better care of myself and my kids. I”m learning how to communicate with people in my life.