Louis C.K. talks about working on FX’s “Louie”

Louis C. K. is a stand-up comedian turned Emmy Award-winning TV star.  He writes, produces, acts in FX’s hit comedy series “Louie”. The show just completed it’s third season on September 27th.  Louis C.K is now touring doing stand-up and taking an extended hitatus before returning to Louis for season four.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Louis about working on the show and with FX.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your experience working with FX?
Louis C.K.: I love working at FX. I have never in my life enjoyed working at anyplace so much including going back to Kentucky Fried Chicken when I was 15. A great place to work. I recommend it to every creative person that wants to make television. You bring your best ideas there and FX makes them better. That’s the way I feel about it for real. The last three seasons have been just fun and work and stories, and it’s been great to share all this stuff, but I want to keep going and I want the show to keep getting better. That’s my goal and I don’t want it to be making the donuts. I want it to keep being something that comes from somewhere fun and important and I want it to make money. So, it’s a luxury that I ask for which is more time to take to create Season 4, which is already my job right now. But I’m going to take a whole lot of time to turn it in, so that’s why I wanted this time, wanted this break, and I’m excited about what we can do in the future.

MG: What were you most excited that was revealed and did it play out the way you wanted or as you had hoped?
LCK: Well, to me the “Late Show” trilogy was like the center piece of that. That was the thing that there were so many time relief bombs and it was like, those Dominos all set up and then there’s fireworks and a little balloon goes up. I was amazed that I was able to set it up without any of the Dominos falling over and that nobody opened the big doors until we were ready to go.  I was really grateful to FX for that because we were so loaded with guest stars, and they didn’t give away any of them. They let me hide a lot of stuff which is not easy for them to do. It’s asking them to forego a huge ability to promote stuff. But I think for the people that watched the episodes it was really fun to watch those go on the air and unfold, those especially.

MG: Have you and/or FX ever thought about doing, a “Louie” one hour, like doing a “Louie” movie?
LCK: Well, the stories that I did this year, the two stories that went over a few episodes through with the “Daddy’s Girlfriend” and then the “Late Show” trilogy were so interesting to tell stories in that way, and we’re talking about all kinds of ways to be a little more elastic with how the shows are aired. And that’s a work in progress for the next season, but I think that’s going to be part of how the show will be presented differently. The three-part thing was a unique watching experience I think for people because they had to wait so long between parts and it’s only 22 minutes, so it was like watching a movie in three parts rather than like something like “Shogun” or something. That’s how old I am that that’s a mini series. The thing is even within each episode it’s always been totally loose as far as how long it takes to tell a story. I mean, it started being elastic from the beginning, but I was able to tell 5-minute stories, 10-minute stories, anything up to 22 minutes. When I wrote this last season, I really wrote it as one cohesive season. It wasn’t so broken up. Like everything that happened last season had something to do with every episode, it felt like anyway, so I just let it all bore in. I took so many pages to write “Late Show” that I had to break it up. That’s the way I looked at it. I didn’t intend for it to be a trilogy. I took so many pages writing “Daddy’s Girlfriend” that it ended up being really one-and-a-half episodes. “Daddy’s Girlfriend” begins to be about something totally different. But so I think we’ll continue that, yeah, and get even more focused with how long a clip is. Who knows? Maybe there will be a six-episode story or maybe there won’t be. I still have to get it all out, but there is potential for that, yes.

MG: What are your plans for season four of “Louie”? Is it going to pick from when the season 3 ender with you going to China?
LCK: I want Season 4 to go somewhere new even if it’s only a small degree of shift. I’m looking back to when I did the first season and the time I took to approach the show and decide which direction to go in, which directions to go in, and I want that back again. I want a little breathing room, so probably for the first quarter of the year I’ll be doing some writing. It definitely hasn’t been decided yet, but I don’t go as far as China means I would have to go back to China, and while I had a pretty amazing time there it’s like, you write these things, and then at some point you realize, “Oh my God, I have to actually take my body to these places”. I had an amazing time in China, but I think if I go far away again that far from America I want to go somewhere else. Part of what I’m so excited about is trying to not think about it before I think about it because I know that’s where the best stuff comes from. If I was going back on the air this June I would be writing heavily right now and I would be back in production in just a few months.

MG: Any plans for another stand-up special?
LCK: I’m on tour right now all over the country doing stand-up, so whether I turn it into a stand-up special I haven’t decide yet. It’s probably likely though because when I’m done with this hour of stand-up I’m going to want to regurgitate it.  So I’ll probably make a special, yeah! I’m always doing stand-up, and a lot of the show’s material comes from the stage, so that’s where everything starts.

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