Louis CK: interview

No topic is too shocking for American comic Louis CK’s stand-up repertoire, but he doesn’t do gossip

  • Louis CK: interview

    Smile for the birdy: bewildered US stand-up Louis CK's passport photo

  • For people who haven’t seen you before, how would you describe your act?

    ‘A big, fat, red-headed bald idiot moving around on the stage saying things that are not generally okay to say to people.’

    You’re in the new Ricky Gervais movie, ‘This Side of Truth’. What part are you playing? Is there any juicy insider gossip you can share?

    ‘I play Greg, who is the best friend of Ricky’s main character. The only insider gossip I can offer you is that I’m gay. Not really, but go ahead and tell people if you enjoy it.’

    There’s a video on Gervais’s website of the two of you in a private jet during some extreme turbulence. Genuinely, how scared were you?

    ‘In my mind I knew we were not in danger. But my stomach and my balls thought I was going to die to the sound of Ricky’s sadistic cackling laughter.’

    When you were really panicking you asked Ricky to ‘fuck his mum using a frog on his cock for a condom’. Any other last requests you’d like to put on record?

    ‘I wasn’t really asking Ricky to do that. I assumed he’d die with me. That was for posterity. A last message for anyone who saw the video after my death. I don’t need to make any other request. That one was perfect.’

    You’ve done a lot of writing for late-night talk shows including ‘Letterman’. Is it hard writing comedy on demand every night?

    ‘Yes. It stinks. And it’s not funny or genuine, and usually not unique. The thing I hated most was that you had to know everything about every celebrity, and you had to think of lame jokes every night about their shitty lives.’

    A lot of your gags are very dark. What’s the nastiest gag you’ve ever told? Where won’t you go?

    ‘I used to do a joke where I said: “Rape is not okay. Unless you have a reason. Like you want to fuck someone and they won’t let you. Then what other recourse do you have if you want to have an orgasm inside their body? What are you going to do? Not fuck them?” That was pretty wrong and awful. There’s nowhere I won’t go. As long as it’s horribly, horribly true and/or wrong.’

    What stuff do you find really pushes an audience to the limit of what it finds acceptable?

    ‘I don’t feel those limits when I’m on stage. For some reason, audiences let me get away with things. Remember, it’s all comedy. Words. Thoughts. All thoughts are safe and worth exploring.’

    What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened during one of your gigs?

    ‘I was on stage in Baltimore. A very drunk woman came on stage and started punching the air next to me, thinking I was there. Then her very fat boyfriend came on stage and tackled her.’

    What kind of comedy do you like watching yourself?

    ‘I love “The Office”, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Bill Cosby, George Carlin and Richard Pryor are my favourite stand-ups. I also love Derek and Clive and everything Dudley Moore and Peter Cook did together.’

    What question would you ask Louis CK if you were interviewing him?

    ‘I would ask: “Why don’t you just cut the shit, you great big, fat, stupid cunt?” ’Louis CK’s fantastically shocking show ‘Chewed Up’ is at Soho Theatre, July 30-Aug 23.

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