Five times Louis C.K. got really philosophical on late-night talk shows


Louis C.K. as Louie. CR: (K.C. Bailey/FX)

Lots of people like Louis C.K. for his stand-up comedy or TV show — but thanks to some of his brilliant rants on late-night talk shows, he’s also become something of a viral video sensation. Even people who have never heard of his FX show, “Louie” (which returns after a nearly two-year hiatus on Monday night) have likely seen about a million links to his “Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy” YouTube video.

[Related: TV review: FX's "Louie" and the blundering wisdom that comes with age]

Somehow, C.K. is able to take a pretty standard bit of stand-up humor and turn it into a perfect life philosophy. Here are five of the best times he’s done it:

“Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.”

The best-known of his talk show appearances, C.K. appeared on “Conan” to vent about how the everyone is spoiled because they have all this technology and don’t appreciate it. (On people frustrated when their phones freeze: “Give it a second! It’s going to space! Can you give it a second to get back from space!??) But instead of being curmudgeonly about it, he was just hilarious. Particularly about complaining on planes. “Did you partake in the miracle of human flight, you non-contributing zero?! You got to fly! It’s amazing! Everybody on every plane should just constantly be going ‘Oh my God! Wow!’ You’re flying! You’re sitting in a chair, in the sky!”

“Just be sad. Just let the sadness…hit you like a truck.”

Conan O’Brien brings out the philosophical side of C.K., who also took a rant on why smartphones are the worst, and turned it into a now-famous bit about not being afraid to let yourself feel devastated. People automatically look for an instant distraction when they feel emotions rising up, C.K. said — and that’s a terrible way to live. If you keep pushing away sad feelings, “You never feel completely sad or completely happy,” he said. “You just feel kind of satisfied with your products. And then you die.”

“Lying is amazing, it’s like magic. It fixes everything, forever.”

A single father of two, C.K. dishes a lot of parenting advice. Some is good. Some is not so good. (David Letterman did not seem to agree with his thoughts on how lying is amazing.) But C.K. argued that teaching kids to lie would be a valuable skill.

 “There’s no legitimate reason to honk your horn. It’s just selfish.”

“If you own a car, and you ever honked your horn once, you’re a piece of (expletive),” C.K. told George Lopez. Car horns do nothing but warn someone you’re about to hit them, and by then it’s usually too late. Thus, a selfish act.

“Everything that’s available to do isn’t a good idea.”

Again on Conan’s show, C.K. rants about Twitter — but turns it into a bigger picture idea about how people all clamor do to the hot new thing that is usually the worst. (Also, he really hates Twitter.)

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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