Louis C.K.’s Annotated Wisdom

There is a brilliant set of Louis C. K. excerpts at Splitsider. Here is a small tasting:



You have to be really tenacious.  You have to keep at it.  There are many roads to get there.  If you can get yourself into Harvard, that’s a good way to go, because every Harvard graduating class, the agencies come trolling around and they’ll look for you.  So if you go to Harvard, you’ll get found there. [Act Four Screenplays, 2010]

There’s nothing that beats proving you’re funny by making a funny thing, and right now there are huge outlets for that, with You Tube and all the other stuff online. [Act Four Screenplays, 2010]

The only road to good shows is bad ones. Just go start having a bad time, and if you don’t give up, you will get better. [Reddit, 2012]

Being NiceLife’s too short to be an asshole, as an employer or as an employee. [Paley Center, 2010]


There’s nowhere I won’t go. As long as it’s horribly, horribly true and/or wrong. [Time Out London, 2008]

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. [Time Out London, 2008]


I just don’t trust any of it. Every time I read something about how there’s been another ridiculous climb of the Dow Jones, there’s a part of me that goes, “This can’t be good.” None of this is real money. You know what I mean? It’s not like there’s actually more of anything. It’s just ideas. When people are getting richer and richer but they’re not actually producing anything, it can’t end well. [Vanity Fair, 2009]

Even after 9/11, during the darkest moment of our recent history, the President told us, “Go shopping.” That’s how we were told to uphold American values; go out and fucking buy more shit. So what were we supposed to do? [Vanity Fair, 2009]


To me the goal of comedy is to just laugh, which is a really high hearted thing, visceral connection and reaction. And any time I take laughs away on the show I have to replace it with something at least that high; it has to be that height. It can’t just be interesting. It has to be holy shit one way or the other; holy shit, that’s funny or holy shit that kind of scared me. I’ve been interested in scaring people too because it’s sort of, it runs by some of the same rules as laughing. Or oh my God, that’s so, I really feel that. Or what the fuck is this? I don’t understand this. These are all heightened responses and I have to be getting one of those. If it’s not funny it has to be super compelling in another way. [Time, 2011]

I can feel how an audience is reacting when I’m on a stage, but when you are on stage, your perception is distorted. That’s something you just have to know. It’s like pilots that fly at high Gs and they lose, sometimes, consciousness and hand/eye coordination and they just have to know that that’s going to happen. They have to be trained to not try to do too much while they are doing that. So when you are on stage, you have to be aware that you are wrong about how it feels a lot of times. [AICN, 2010]

Watching Malcolm X speeches — a guy who’s saying to these people, “Nobody’s saying what you want to hear. I’m saying it ‘cause I’m one of you. And I’m one of the worst of you.” That’s just huge. That’s what it is I think to be a comedian. [AST, 2006]

I think of boxing a lot with standup. I even train with boxing trainers [AICN, 2010]

I find that when people laugh really hard, it’s usually because they’re connecting and identifying in a way that they hadn’t considered. That’s my payoff. [Pitchfork, 2010]

Everything that’s difficult you should be able to laugh about. [Vulture, 2010]

It’s just a big excuse to say awful things. [Pitchfork, 2010]

DeathOut of the people that ever were, almost all of them are dead. There are way more dead people, and you’re all gonna die and then you’re gonna be dead for way longer than you’re alive. Like that’s mostly what you’re ever gonna be. You’re just dead people that didn’t die yet.  [Louis C.K.: Hilarious, 2011]


Now we live in an amazing, amazing world and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots. [Conan, 2009]

Twitter and Facebook and MySpace; all that stuff makes you warped. We’ve all basically given ourselves data entry jobs. I’ve actually heard people say things like, “Aw shit, I have to update my Twitter.” Really? You have to? That’s a big priority for you? [Vanity Fair, 2009]

People say ‘my phone sucks.’ No it doesn’t! The shittiest cellphone in the world is a miracle. Your life sucks. Around the phone.” [Louis C.K.: Hilarious, 2011]


Go read the entire piece and watch the accompanying videos.



The Annotated Wisdom of Louis C.K.
Bradford Evans
Splitsider, February 26th, 2013  

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