Louis C.K.

Active - 1998 - 2022  |   Born - Sep 12, 1967 in Washington, District of Columbia, United States  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

Born in 1967, Louis C.K. got his start in comedy after moving to New York City in 1989 and appearing on as many of the numerous televised comedy programs being shot in the city as possible. Soon making short films and touring the country on the comedy circuit, C.K. got his start in television as one of the original writers for the wildly irreverent Conan O'Brien Show when it premiered in 1993. Masterminding such long-running skits as the Staring Contest and Actual Items (some of which continued to appear regularly, years after his departure), C.K. continued to make short films as he later worked for The Late Show With David Letterman and The Dana Carvey Show, all the while gaining popularity as a talented comedian.

1996 proved to be a somewhat pivotal year for him. After taping his own comedy special for HBO, he was hired as a producer for what would become one of his most fruitful opportunities, The Chris Rock Show. After a brief departure, during which he shot his first feature film, Tomorrow Night, he returned to The Chris Rock Show and earned an Emmy for his contributions in 1998. Serving as host to the PBS short film showcase Short Cuts the following year, C.K. next wrote and directed his first major studio film Pootie Tang (2001), based on the mush-mouthed character he had created for The Chris Rock Show, in addition to serving as co-writer on Rock's Down to Earth.

He created the made-for-HBO series Lucky Louie, an old-fashioned Honeymooners-esque sitcom in 2006, and the show had a brief run. He continued to hone his stand-up act, becoming one of the most respected comedians of his generation and releasing a long string of successful specials.

In 2007 he helped write Chris Rock's romantic comedy I Think I Love My Wife, but he found great success on the small screen in 2010 when he launched the FX show Louie. He was given a very small budget for each show by the network, and in return was given a level of artistic freedom rarely afforded to an television producer. The show earned rave reviews.

Louis made a splash at the end of 2011 when he self-distributed his most recent comedy special and proceeded to bring in more than enough money, causing some comics to consider trying their hand at the practice.

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  • Family moved to Mexico shortly after his birth and didn't return to the U.S. for six years; his first language was Spanish.
  • Started going by "C.K." due to his dismay with people's failure to correctly pronounce his last name, Szekely (pronounced SAY-KAY).
  • Having narrowly completed high school, jumped straight into the comedy business and drove a cab to support himself.
  • Was placed on 10 Comics to Watch lists by both Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.
  • Has written for The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Dana Carvey Show and The Chris Rock Show.
  • In December 2011, independently released his fourth special, Live at the Beacon Theater. It was made available for digital download on his website only.
  • Received a record number seven nominations at the 2012 Emmy Awards, the most for any individual in a single year.