Louie C.K.

Louie C.K.

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living… in a nondescript apartment in Manhattan, not the kind of place you’d imagine a celebrity living. Then again, not much about Louie makes him seem like a celebrity. He might appear on TV but he’s not quite famous, at least not yet, and certainly isn’t rich.

Profession… stand-up comedian. His job takes him to different cities—sometimes different countries—but he still regularly performs at his old New York haunts, the Comedy Cellar and Caroline’s. He is most in his element on stage, where he is truly “himself.” It’s the rest of the time, even while still in the club, that often seems awkward and difficult for him.

Interests… spending time with his two daughters – Lilly, 8, and 5-year-old Jane – who live with him a few days a week. On the weekends he often takes his daughters on outings. Nothing too fancy; the three of them seem most content having a slice of pie in a diner. Louie also likes to hang out with old friends, especially fellow comedians, with whom he sometimes plays poker.

Relationship Status… fairly recently divorced, so single once more. He and his ex-wife share joint custody of their daughters and seem to be on decent terms. Louie dates from time to time, but it rarely goes well. That’s basically what he’s come to expect: “It’s hard to really, like, look at somebody and go: ‘Hey, maybe something nice will happen.’ I know too much about life to have any optimism.”

Challenge… navigating the pitfalls of career, fatherhood, and romantic love post-marriage. On a more existential level, though, each of these is but a theatre in the war against loneliness. Even though his profession involves going on stage and (ideally) hearing laughter and applause, it can be very isolating. As Joan Rivers tells him in her Las Vegas hotel room, “I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it never gets better. You get better...what we do is not a job. What we do is a calling, my dear. We make people happy.”

Personality… funny, honest, straight-forward, self-effacing, and a bit morbid. His comedy is at times sad and dark, but above all it is honest. The subject matter of his humor both on- and off-stage is often bleak, but the total lack of hypocrisy with which he approaches that bleakness lends it meaning and hilarity. That’s the way he tries to approach life as well. Louie isn’t the friend to turn to if you just want someone to tell you everything is great. But if you can stand some brutal honesty along with your laughter, Louie is your guy.


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