Louis C.K. is the king of comedy. The forty-nine year old Mexican-American has been in the comedy scene for over thirty years, writing, directing, and starring in numerous critically acclaimed stand up specials, shows, and movies. Louis has won two Golden Globes and multiple Emmys, and became the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden four times in the same month. How has this man managed to make the world laugh and at the same time earn the utmost honor? Honesty. That’s how.
Louis once told his audience, “I was at a bar the other night. It doesn’t matter where, because I’m lying.”
No line better exemplifies Louis’ refreshingly honest approach to comedy. Coming up in the comedy scene, Louis wrote for shows such as Saturday Night Live, Late Show with David Letterman, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. When Louis was ready to take the next step in his career and step out from behind the curtain, he developed an honest approach that was refreshing in modern comedy. And audiences around the world embraced him for it.
“When he stands in front of a microphone, in jeans and a T-shirt or maybe a sweater, he becomes something like an avatar for ordinary experiences and frustrations,” writes David Haglund. “If we look to standup as an honestly populist art form, who better to practice it than a man who embodies the ‘basic and average.’”
Along with his honest relatable look, Louis’s comedy often focuses on the dark side of society. He often takes normal but uncomfortable and unfortunate parts of life and twists them into words and stories that induce multitudes of laughter. Take, for example, when he takes to talk shows to denounce Trump or jokes that “divorce just gets stronger like a piece of oak.” By being brutally honest about relatable life events, Louis manages to make audiences think and laugh, ultimately gaining their utmost respect.
Additionally, Louis uses nontraditional platforms to express his comedic genius. In terms of his relationship with his audience, Louis releases most of his new content on his website for a low price, cutting out the middleman in order to share his content the way he wants to share it. Louis’s TV show Louis also uses an nontraditional formula to express his honest comedy. The show is unlike most sitcoms in that it is “built largely on vignette, not formula, where issues often are left unresolved,” kind of like real life. The platforms and formulas Louis uses to express his comedy are different, and they add to his persona as an honest comedian.
2017 marks another big year of Louis C.K.’s illustrious career. Louis already dropped a hilarious Netflix special titled Louis 2017. Louis is debuting his new movie I Love You, Daddy at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. And on top of all that, on September 12 Louis will (finally) turn fifty years old.
What does the comedy king have up his sleeve as a fifty year old? We’ll have to wait and see. But one thing is for certain: like always, it will be brutally honest comedic genius.
Author Bio: Oren Weisfeld