Louis C.K. did a question-and-answer session over at Reddit today to promote his new stand-up special, Louis C.K.: Oh My God, which premieres on HBO this Saturday, April 13th, at 10pm. Given how difficult Reddit AMAs are to digest sometimes, we’ve gathered up all the best answers from C.K.’s session today and posted them below. Enjoy:
After your special airs Saturday, how long does it take until you start performing new material in order to formulate a new special?
I was doing a few new jokes in the last few shows I did on this tour. i probably won’t go on stage again for a while but when I do it’ll be shorter sets with new, bad stuff.
What’s the shittiest, least funny joke you’ve ever told during a stand up routine?
“I saw Walter Mondale said on the news ‘I am ready to be president of the United States.’ Well. Phew. Finally he’s ready.” I did that “joke” my first time on stage in 1984. Nightmare.
How did your very first stand-up performance go?
Total disaster. I bombed HARD for 2 minutes.
If you didnt go into comedy but were still as funny as you are, what other profession would you choose to exploit your talent?
I wanted to be a lawyer and argue cases of civil rights before the supreme court. Or a car mechanic. I would have sucked at both.
Who is your favorite female comedian?
Don’t know. Maria Bamford is great. Tig Notaro. Laura Kightlinger. Kathy Griffin. Sarah Silverman. Jessica Kirson KILLS. Marina Franklin can be inspired in moments. She’s not a comedian but Melissa McCarthy is hilarious. I know I’m leaving some out. Going back Joan Rivers. Carol Burnett. Phyllis Diller Lily Tomlin. Margaret Smith had great jokes. Roseanne had some great stuff. Moms Mabley. I used to open for Paula Poundstone who is a phenomenal performer. Joy Behar, used to work with her in clubs in New York. She was GREAT in the clubs. Um… There’s a woman named Laura House who I don’t think does standup anymore. Susie Essman. Lots of great women comedians. Lots of shitty ones. More shitty men comedians.
Louie, what is pissing you off more than anything else this week? I hope it isn’t this question.
Hope away, bitch. You just ruined my fucking month.
What comedians today make you laugh?
Hannibal Buress. Zach Galifanakiciksiswiwiwiww88899is
Many comedians, including yourself, sometimes joke or fool around about certain subjects that many people think are over the line inappropriate. Is there anything that you personally think goes over the line and you would never joke about or make fun of?
Nope. I like joking about everything. This will sound too lofty because it is. This is going to an extreme to make a point: Saying a subject is too awful or painful to joke about is like saying a disease is too awful to be treated. Please do not take that out of context, the context being that I realize this is a crazy statement and I’m going to an extreme to make a point.
So Louis, how does it feel to be on hiatus from the show? It’s gotta be nice to be able to sit back, relax, and truly appreciate what you’ve accomplished so far without any sort of pressure to the network, right?
I’m thinking about the show all the time. It’s about having more time to think about it and get the next season right.
What are some of your favorite contemporary bands?
I wish I could say. I know nothing about who anyone is in music. I like kazoos.
Chris Rock recently said on The Champs podcast that he likely would not release a special on his own like you did because network replays mean that people who didn’t intend to see his special would still be exposed. They HAVE to watch him, even if they thought they didn’t like him. Do you feel like you’re still widening your base, or is that best done by doing a big HBO special like “Oh My God?”
That’s all true what he says and I’m sure some of that benefit will come from being on HBO. He’s a smart fellow.
Which late night host do you enjoy getting interviewed by most?
It’s hard to say. Letterman is always a thrill. Jay is fun because I know him well and he doesn’t want to know everything ahead of time. He likes to be surprised. Conan and I are old friends so it always feels nice. Jimmy Kimmel has a great sense of how to keep it funny and his crowds are tremendous. Jimmy Fallon is all goodwill and fun too. Sorry I don’t have anything bad to say. Maybe Jon Stewart is my favorite.
In your show and in some of your stand up you come across as patriotic, which seems out of character for you. Do you truly have pride and or respect for your country?
I have mixed feelings about everything including America which i think is normal and healthy. I tell you what really makes me sick is the phrase “american exceptionalism” the idea that we just start with the premise that we are better and so anything we do that benefits us is okay. I mean there’s nothing more insane or inhuman than that. I am a huge fan of people. Most of them. And there are character traits that combine americans that I have enormous affection and love for. And there are things about Americans and America that I don’t like. I don’t think it’s a healthy attitude toward any group place or person to just love unconditionally to the exclusion of others without examining and trying to fix faults. Okay that’s enough of this shit. Jesus. I’m a comedian. Who cares.
If offered the opportunity, would you go on Whose Line Is It Anyway?
No I would not.
Who is your favorite author or what is favorite book?
I loved the Great Gatsby. I can’t believe they did it in 3D. What the fuck?
Dharma Bums. these are just random. My Travels with Charlie. Grapes of Wrath. Crime and Punishment. Slaughterhouse 5. All Vonnegut when i was a youngster. Catcher in the Rye. 9 Stories. Something by Thomas Mann I can’t remember. Heart of Darkness. I Claudius. The Golden Ass. Hercules My Shipmate. Fire from Heaven. Persian Boy. The Chronicles of Narnia when I was a kid and now my daughters. TR biography. Lots others.
Jealousy in comedy, how do you deal with it?
When i see someone else’s great work, I feel a burning that is sometimes like jealousy. I wish I had done that. I want to be that good. That’s all positive. Jealousy for someone else’s success or opportunities: There is no greater waste of time.