Interview: Louis CK

By MIKE MILIARD  |  March 12, 2009

And then you startedThe Chris Rock Show.
Totally different, Chris Rock! Because it was my friend who got his own TV show. He hired the all-star comedy writers, which we were, y'know? It was a great staff. And he was a huge success and at the top of his game — which he still is — but at the time, he was just exploding. And I had just come from the Conan O'Brien show's first two years, which were hard, tough years where he hadn't poked through yet. He did really well after I left. And then I went to Letterman, which was on the downgrade, it was starting to lose to Leno, there was a depressing feeling there. And then I went to the Dana Carvey show, which was a pure implosion of shit, and then I went to the Chris Rock show which was pure fun and success and shrimp at the parties, and it got nominated for an Emmy every year that I was there and won one. It doesn't get any better than that.

But having done movies and television writing and TV acting, stand-up is still your favorite?
TV writing I'm not gonna do again. Well, I can't say that, I might have a couple of bad years, but that's well in my past. I haven't written for someone else's TV show for like seven years. And movies I love — that's a huge chunk out of your life to get a movie, and they're also hard jobs to get. I'd love to direct movies. That's like a dream of mine, and when I've done it, I feel like it's something I'm good at. But it's a very hard job to get. You really have to live in California and spend an enormous amount of time talking to people about movies that will never get made. In order to just possibly, maybe get made.

Well, at leastPootie Tang got made. It's a modern classic.
[Laughs] Well, that was like a learning experience, and I never really got to apply that experience to a real movie. To compare that life — trying to get those jobs — to being on stage and every night developing an act in front of all these people...

With stand-up, you're in control.
Yeah, if you're a smart person, you can learn to control your material through these collaborative media like TV and movies. But it's getting the green light that's the hard part. I don't need a green light to do stand-up. I have a constant flow of offers to do great, ideal theater spaces, and I do all these shows, and then I do a special at the end of the year. It's a great, great life. I love it. I think I'll get back to production soon. But when I shoot this thing I'm shooting in April, I'm three specials in basically three and a half years, and I think I'll probably go do something on TV or movies after that. But I won't stop doing stand-up. I'll never stop.

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