Louis C.K. Talked Season Four Of ‘Louie’ and Movies That Never Got Made at the Paley Center

As part of the Paley Center’s “Made In NY” PaleyFest, Louis C.K. and Louie executive producer Blair Breard sat down to talk about the show with Time’s television critic James Poniewozik. Before the panel, two of the New Yorkiest episodes of season 3 – “Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 2” and “Barney/Never” – were screened to a packed house that overflowed into screenings rooms. The event was also live-streamed, and will surely be available for viewing at the Paley Center soon. Below are a few of the best quotes from the C.K., including his reasons for taking a year off between seasons, his perspective on doing television versus standup and movies, and a little about the Jesus as Frankenstein film he never made:

On season four, which just began filming in New York:

“There’s some episodes that are just like, let’s really get some basic laughs with some of these. It was fun to go back to that. And then there’s other stories that, it’s just gonna piss you off.”

On the elastic nature of the show, which allows him to tell stories that last three minutes or ones that last three episodes:

“I think a lot of shows suffer because it has to be – I mean, if every story you told, you have to take 21 minutes to tell it. If the story if just, ‘I walked into a room and there was a guy sitting there and he was naked and I screamed. [Looks at watch] And it was a real bummer…and he looked surprised…’”

On the yearlong break between seasons:

“It was for the good of the show. I didn’t want to start making the show with diminishing returns, and I wanted more time to make it. I turned in some edits of the show that I knew weren’t good enough yet, but we had to get it out. The year off was to kind of hit the reset button, take a couple months off to have a bit of a life and a reason to tell stories again.”

On network TV:

“The thing is, they pay a lot of money. So, you know, they look after it. It’s not just corporate greed; it’s also artists’ greed, at times. In other words, if you demand $10 million to make your show, it’s gonna come with a bunch of guys looking after those $10 million. That’s natural. We take very little money from these people, and nobody gives a shit about what we’re doing. If you do a show on NBC at 8:30, it’s gonna be sponsored by Nike and Microsoft and all these companies that are gonna want to know what they’re advertising on. Naturally, they’re paying millions of dollars. Our advertisers are like, Red Stripe Beer. They don’t give a fuck.”

On whether his show has influenced networks:

“I don’t think a show like mine belongs on a big network. I don’t think a big network should be influenced by what I do, or by any of us in the cable networks. Because, 20 million people don’t want to see this shit. This is for a few people. A few of us to get together and enjoy a tub of diarrhea. It’s a perfectly placed TV show.”

On TV versus standup and films:

“It is a good happy meeting ground. Standup is instant, but it also evaporates as soon as you’re done doing it. So it’s nice to have things that you piece together that you got to take a little longer to craft. And movies are really hard. When you commit to doing a movie, it’s like three years of your life as a director. It’s just brutally difficult. And it’s a great thing if you can make a movie, I’d like to do it someday, but there’s kind of a great energy to television. A movie is like, you get to make it and then it takes forever to make it, and then maybe people will see it. To slave over a movie for a year or two and then they just go, ‘We’re not gonna put it out,’ that’s devastating. And at 46, I’m not going through that, cause I’ve only got so many cycles left. But with TV, you have a conversation. They’re like, ‘Yeah okay. 10:30 on Tuesdays for a year.’ And you go, ‘Okay.’ And you start making shit and putting it on at 10:30 on Tuesdays. So within that, you try to be really careful and make well-crafted beautiful things, but it is nice to get the stuff out.”

On movies that never got made:

“This year, there’s one story I’m telling that’s two parts, that I’ve thought about for like five years. It was gonna be a movie. And there’s a few episodes of the show that were gonna be movies that I just never could pull together. So I squeezed them down. The Ducklings one, I thought about doing a movie of that. And the God episode, although the Jesus was going to come to life and start choking people. That was gonna be a thing where this Jesus becomes kind of a Frankenstein, starts choking everybody. And everybody’s like, who is that guy? And it’s the same argument they had when he was around the first time. ‘Jesus?’ ‘No it’s a fake.’ And then all the Jesus icons in the world would come to life and become monsters, and the little ones would get in your blood stream. It was crazy. I didn’t write it.”
Louis C.K. Talked Season Four Of ‘Louie’ and Movies […]