Comedian, writer and TV star Louis CK talks about why he’s feeling lucky.
Louis C.K. believes he’s luckier with his new A&E vehicle, Louis, than he was with his ill-fated HBO sitcom Lucky Louis, which was cancelled after one season in 2006.
The animated comic-actor’s latest show debuted in June. When not focusing on the show, C.K is on a stand-up tour, which stops Saturday, April 23, at the Borgata Event Center for two shows, 8pm and 11pm.
“It will be interesting to see what happens this time,” C.K. tells Atlantic City Weekly by phone from New York. “Things are going really well. I don’t think the timing was right for Lucky Louis. I think the timing is right for this show. There are some similarities and there are some differences.”
The politically incorrect comic-actor once again plays a character who mirrors himself. He was a married, sex-starved father during the Lucky Louis run. This time around it’s all the same except the recently divorced C.K. plays a libidinous dad, who sheds the ball-and-chain hoping to get, well, lucky.
C.K. portrays a divorced, balding guy who is looking for some action. Some of his real-life pals, such as comic Nick DiPaolo, play themselves. Sound a lot like Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm?
“There’s a big difference between this show and Curb, which is improvised,” C.K. says. “This show is completely scripted. This show is meant to look more like a movie than a TV show. And my comedy is very different than Larry David’s comedy. We have different sensibilities.”
C.K. is the epitome of the beleaguered parent. The barbed-tongue humorist is adept at taking the mundane and the ridiculous from child rearing and turning it into something hilarious.
Part of what makes C.K.’s humor work is that it’s based in honesty.
“I think that’s an essential element in comedy, at least for me,” C.K. says. “Raising children is hard. Marriage is hard. It’s two different people getting together. What are the odds that those two people are going to get together like yin and yang? It just doesn’t happen that way.”
C.K. knows from experience and the same goes for his television character.
“I think men and women can get along but they can’t be happy and nice together all the time, like they are on so many sitcoms,” he says. “Getting along to me means fighting and trying to understand one-and-a-half percent more after the fight ends. Marriage is two steps forward and four back. It’s tough making the right decisions.”
C.K. admits that he hasn’t made all the right decisions. Early in his career he turned down pal Chris Rock, who offered him the producer-head writer gig for his HBO show. “He told me that he was going to have a show and that I could run it,” C.K. recalls. “I told him that I was going to be on a show on ABC. I said, ‘I’ll be making real money. I’ll be working with Dana Carvey’ I told him, ‘You’re just Chris Rock.’ He said, ‘But it’s HBO. You’ll be able to do whatever you want.’ I turned him down and told him I’m on to better things. Anyway, the network didn’t like us and we lasted seven weeks. My reputation wasn’t’ very good since The Dana Carvey Show was such a debacle. What I learned from that experience is that failure is a great teacher. You also never know what’s going to happen. You just have to keep on trying.”
Fortunately, C.K. continues to try because he is a clever, uncompromising performer. While having coffee with him in Manhattan in 2006, while working on Lucky Louis, C.K. was focusing on every little detail. “I want a set design that’s as sparse as The Honeymooners was,” he said. “That’s what I have to have.”
His wheels were always moving, which is what you can say about C.K. when it comes to his stand-up. C.K. gets so wound up onstage. He also gets worked up during interviews. Pick any subject, particularly an amusing controversial topic, such as the Janet Jackson 2004 Super Bowl debacle when Justin Timberlake exposed her breast.
I’ve been talking about racist dolphins. We were out in Hawaii and we were swimming with the dolphins, but they were only swimming with white people. What’s that about?"
The moment Mike Epps realized his comedy tour would bring him to hurricane-battered Atlantic City, he promptly decided to donate a portion of his ticket sales to the storm relief effort. Then he did the next logical thing: He began working on some Sandy-esque material.
During the spring of 2006, three months before Lucky Louie premiered on HBO, it was obvious that Louis C.K. was on his way to becoming the hardest working man in show business.
"Yeah, we all get along super well and whatever, but there are no stories like ‘Oh, and then Nick Offerman slashed everyone’s tires.’ Ya know? Like, this is not a thing. It’s just not like everyone’s pulling pranks and doing goofy stuff all the time."
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