Louis C.K.: biography
Louis C. K. is an American comedian, director, actor, and producer, famous mainly for his performances in a popular genre in the West, stand-up. In addition to being a renowned comedian, since 2017, Louis has been notorious for sexual harassment, which negatively affected the career of C.K.
Childhood and youth
Louis C.K. was born on September 12, 1967, in the capital of the United States, Washington. His parents Mary Louise Davis and Luis Székely met at Harvard University, where the mother of the future performer was completing her degree in a summer school program. There are four children in the family: Louis and his three sisters.
C.K. has mixed ancestry. Louis mother is an American with Irish ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Géza Székely Schweiger, was a Hungarian Jewish surgeon whose family moved to Mexico. There, Geza met his future Mexican wife, and Louis' family moved there when the boy was one year old, so the first language of the comedian was Spanish. C.K. only began to learn English when he was seven years old when the family returned to the United States.
When Louis was ten years old, his parents got divorced, and the children stayed with their mother. Even though the father did not break off the relations with them, they didn't see each other much. Later C.K.'s father married a second time and converted to Orthodox Judaism, the religion of his new wife, while the comedian and his sisters were raised according to Catholic traditions.
In 1985, Louis graduated from high school and got a job as an auto mechanic at a public access TV cable station in Boston. Besides, in his youth, C.K. had a brief experience of working as a cook and a shop-assistant in a video shop. However, it was the work on television that helped him to gain the necessary knowledge for building his career in this field.
The comedian first thought about working on television in his childhood: little Louis was upset by the fact that when his mother came home from work, she would watch "bad" shows because she just had no other option. The first creative work in the field of cinematography for Louis was his first short film Trash Day, which he shot at the age of 17. After that, the New York University Tisch School of the Arts showed an interest in him as a filmmaker, but he instead decided to try himself in stand-up comedy.
The first performance of the artist in this genre took place in 1985 in one of the comedy clubs in Boston, during that time there was a stand-up boom. The attempt was unsuccessful: the young artist was given five minutes, and the jokes he had were enough for only two minutes. This negative experience led to the fact that after the night of his failure, Louis did not have the courage to go up the stage for two years.
After recovering from his failure, the performer got back to the microphone and started paving the way to fame, as the genre began gaining momentum. From club stand-ups, he gradually moved to paid concerts, started warming up the crowd for famous comedians, then moved further to perform in comedy clubs.
By 1989, Louis moved to Manhattan, where he expanded his creative biography by performing on television. By 1995, he was also known as director-his short film Ice Cream, shot two years before, was shown at the Aspen Shortsfest.
Louis didn't manage to shine on Saturday Night Live, but in the early 90s, he worked on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Late Show with David Letterman. In 1996, C. K. received the position of head writer on the Dana Carvey Show, but it aired only seven episodes. Then, for two years, from 1997 to 1999, Louis was the author of the Chris Rock Show.
For C.K.'s career, the period from 1998 to 2004 was the time of television and film industry. In 1998, Louis created a full-length black and white film Tomorrow Night, which he directed and produced himself, and also wrote the script for it. In 2001, another movie of his, Pootie Tang- the adaptation of one of the sketches for the Chris Rock Show, came out. The fate of the film was unusual: the film received negative reviews from critics, but over the years it has become a cult classic.
Besides, the artist participated in the voice acting of the animated sitcom Home Movies, worked as a screenwriter for the series Cedric the Entertainer Presents and created a mock talent show The Filthy Stupid Talent Show.
In August 2005, Louis starred in a half-hour special episode of the stand-up show One Night Stand, and a year later he wrote and starred in the sitcom Lucky Louie. The sitcom about the life of a stupid auto mechanic, his wife, and little daughter received mixed reviews from critics, but was highly appreciated by the public: on the popular website, imdb.com Lucky Louie is still among high-rated sitcoms.
However, the sitcom lasted just one season, and then HBO closed the show for both economic and ethical reasons.
In autumn 2008, on Showtime channel the concert film of Louis C.K. Chewed Up was premiered, which was later nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy or Variety Special. The next similar work was a concert film Hilarious, shot in April of 2009 and released only in 2011, which the comedian shot independently, acting also as a director of the movie.
In addition, in the early 2010s, Louis appeared in the successful series Parks and Recreation, and also starred in the fantastic Comedy The Invention of Lying-a movie telling the story of a man who becomes the first and only one in the world who knows how to tell a lie, and that completely turns his life around.
Another successful project of this period was the series Louis, aired from 2010 to 2015 on the TV channel FX. Sitcom, the style of which tended to dark comedy was about the life of stand-up comedian Louis – an aging and unsuccessful man who tries to somehow deal with his life.
In the process of creating the show, C.K. partially used his own life and professional experience, but the project was not autobiographical.
In 2016, C.K. played an unexpected role: he released the web series Horace and Pete, in which the comedy was mixed with truly tragic and dark drama. The history of the bar, which existed for a century, Louis presented together with Steve Buscemi, who played the second main character.
The series, warmly received by critics, was awarded the Peabody Award in 2016. Also in the same year, the performer participated in the creation of a children's story – he voiced the main character of the cartoon The Secret Life of Pets.
Louis did not leave stand-up – in 2017, the streaming service Netflix released his stand-up special in Washington, D.C. The next serious work of the comedian was the film I Love You, Daddy, shot on black and white film.
In the film with a complex, sad story about a father, trying to save his young daughter from making mistakes, besides C.K. starred legendary actors: Chloё Moretz and John Malkovich. However, the fate of the movie after the screening at The Toronto International Film Festival was uncertain because of the scandal around C.K. being accused of numerous sexual assaults.
With his first wife, artist Alix Bailey, the performer met at the age of 18 at a new year's party in Boston. Louis was drunk and proposed to the girl after five minutes of knowing her. The next time they met only 15 years later, and in 1995 they got married legitimately. In this marriage, Louis had two daughters. After the divorce in 2008, the couple issued joint custody of the children, and C.K. continues to be an essential part of the girls’ lives.
In 2017, five women appeared on the pages of the New York Times, accusing the comedian of sexual harassment that occurred between 1990 and 2005. It should be noted that the rumors about Louis's behavior were around even before that - the information about C.K. forcing his female colleagues to watch him masturbate regularly appeared in the comedian field.
The actor was initially denied accusations but later admitted his guilt and repented of his behavior. Louis said that he thought he did nothing wrong because he had never done such actions without asking the woman's consent. But, according to C.K., he did not realize that for a female comedian it was difficult to say "no" to such a question from a man with his weight in the artistic environment because she wouldn't want to threaten her career.
All of this resulted not only in public outcry but also in problems with the promotion of the movie I Love You, Daddy. The Orchard company refused to distribute the picture, and the stars of the film, Moretz and Charlie Day decided not to take part in its promotion.
Besides, FX Networks, Netflix, and HBO stopped working with the comedian, and Illumination Entertainment denied C.K.'s right to participate in the voicing the sequel of Secret Life of Pets - he was replaced by Patton Oswalt. Besides, the Disney Channel removed the voice of C.K. from reruns of Gravity Falls animated series.
Louis C. K. now
In the autumn of 2018, Louis, after a six-month silence, returned to the stage, speaking at the Manhattan club and even joked about the sex scandal. Many colleagues of the performer were shocked by such a rapid return of C.K. to the stage, but now the comedian continues to have problems with finding venues for performances. For example, in January 2019, the owner of the Denver club "Comedy Works" denied Louis the right to perform on his stage.
In November 2018, C.K. announced new information about his personal life, admitting that he is in a relationship with the French comedian Blanche Gardin.
The performer runs an account on Twitter, where he regularly writes new posts, mostly in the format of short jokes. Louis doesn't have an account on Instagram, so most of the photos of C.K. which can be found on the Internet were made during his speeches or interviews with reporters.
Despite the scandalous reputation of the author, Louis's jokes remain popular, and he is still considered one of the prominent figures of the American stand-up. Quotes from the most striking performances of C.K. can be easily found on the Internet.
The performer never hesitated to speak even on the most uncomfortable and acute social topics - from political events to racial and social inequality. For example, the situation with the status of blacks in the United States, he aptly described by mentioning the time machine:
"Here's how great it is to be white: I can get in a time machine and go to any time, and it would be fucking awesome when I get there! That is exclusively a white privilege. Black people can't fuck with time machines! A black guy in a time machine's like, "Hey, anything before 1980, no thank you. I don't want to go."
- 1993 - Ice Cream
- 1998 - Tomorrow Night
- 2004 - Saint Louie
- 2006 - Lucky Louie
- 2006 - Searching for Nixon
- 2008 - Diminished Capacity
- 2008 - Role Models
- 2009 - Parks and Recreation
- 2013 - Blue Jasmine
- 2015 - Happyish
- 2015 - Trumbo
- 2016 - Horace and Pete
- 2017 - I Love You, Daddy
- 1994 - Late Night with Conan O'Brien
- 1995 - Late Show with David Letterman
- 1996 - The Dana Carvey Show
- 1996 - HBO Comedy Half-Hour
- 1997 - The Chris Rock Show
- 1997 - Saturday Night Live
- 2001 - Comedy Central Presents
- 2008 - Chewed Up
- 2010 - Louie
- 2013 - Oh My God
- 2015 - Live at the Comedy Store