As part of my job, I interview a lot of comedians. Speak to one long enough and, inevitably, Louis C.K. and his insane work ethic will come up.
His ambition is something I took note of the lone time I talked to C.K., back in 2008, when I was in college. “I’m always prepping for a special,” C.K. said. “My goal is to do one every year.”
I was fascinated by the idea that once C.K. filmed a comedy special, he’d retire that material. It’s become more impressive over time, considering he’s mostly stuck to his goal. That’s in addition to writing 39 episodes of “Louie.”
Not that anyone attending one of his Kennedy Center shows this Friday should fear he’s burning out. I saw him do his newest material in Baltimore last month, and it may have been C.K.’s sharpest hour to date.
He has a way of making the personal universal, like when he talked about how divorce made him a better dad because he gets to say goodbye to his kids every week, or how life gets better for schlumpy guys as they age. I wouldn’t have had these ideas on my own, yet he made them seem so obvious.
After you see C.K., you’ll leave with a new, clearer view of life — and an appreciation of just how hard he worked to get you there.