Interview: Louis CK

By MIKE MILIARD  |  March 12, 2009

It's got an amazing cast: Tina Fey, John Hodgman, Jason Bateman, Jonah Hill, Christopher Guest . . .
Yeah, Tina was there at a different time, I didn't shoot with her, but different people like Jennifer Garner, Jennifer is super cool, she's a great lady and a very smart, focused actress. And Ricky was amazing to work with. And Rob Lowe told great stories, between takes, he just chomps on a cigar and is very generous with his past. So that was really fun.

I hear that Ricky found out about you from your YouTube page.
Yeah, Ricky and the guy who wrote and directed it with him, Matt Robinson, he and Ricky had both seen me on YouTube, and agreed to put me in a movie. And then I was in a movie! [Laughs] It was that easy, I didn't really have to audition.

You've had an interesting career, in a way. You've always done your own thing, but along the way you've also worked with a lot of great comedy minds: Conan, Letterman, Chris Rock, Dana Carvey, Ricky Gervais. Have you picked up a little bit from all of them? Or do you just plough your own course?
Yeah, it's a great privilege to watch great comics put their thing together and watch them face challenges and stuff. I've learned a lot from working with Chris, like having a work ethic as a standup, which is something a lot of comedians don't think they need — like, really thinking of it as an Olympic athlete, "How great can I be?" And I watched Conan go through a crucible: coming out of nowhere and becoming an established part of the media, and watching, in close quarters, him doing that. Just watching the look on someone's faces on tough days and getting a sense for how they survive stuff. I think for most people it isn't like finding an easy road to get somewhere, it's learning how to do really hard things, and surviving them and pushing forward.

Louis CK performs March 14 at the Orpheum Theater, One Hamilton Place, Boston

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