5 Brilliantly Funny Louis CK Stand-Up Clips Every Human Should See


The Man, the Myth, the Masturbator…

It’s Louis CK’s birthday so we thought we’d celebrate with some of the best LCK clips. Now, Sarah Silverman called him a game-changer, he’s opened SNL, and the New Yorker said of Louie, his TV show on FX, “[it’s] a tribute to truth.” Probably, I don’t need to explain to you how great Louis CK is.

Now, some of these clips are ubiquitous, some are obscure, but all of them are a must-watch for every human, at least any human who wants to laugh and think a bit. There’s a reason Louis has blown up recently and suffered none of the backlash other colossal comedians have (ahem, Dane Cook): he’s a comic’s comic, an everyman’s comic, and probably a genius. While HuffPo author and notoriously struggling comedian, J-L Cauvin, hilariously mocked Louis CK worshippers in this video, we’re here to say: hey you should really watch these Louis videos if you haven’t, Louis CK is beyond great.

Spoiler Alert

Read the description after you watch the videos. We’d hate for you to catch punchline before Louis delivers it.

5. Why?

Philosophically Making Fun of a Child

VideoVideo related to 5 brilliantly funny louis ck stand-up clips every human should see2013-09-12T18:33:51-04:00
Why You Need to See It:
This is a Louis CK classic because it deals with a behavior we all have encountered and engaged in at some point — and that’s repeatedly asking our parents “why?” While repeating a word over and over again isn’t terribly deep, it does end up feeling a lot like the first mover or first cause argument and hence, this bit truly does evoke some really obscure and deep philosophical notions– or at least lead us to the delightful and bizarre punchline of (spoiler alert) “you can’t have nothing isn’t.” It’s profound, fun, and a bit anyone can relate to and understand. Classic.

4. Of Course, But Maybe…

Louis’ View on Survival of the Fittest, Military Involvement, and First World Guilt — Hilarious Yet Enlightening

VideoVideo related to 5 brilliantly funny louis ck stand-up clips every human should see2013-09-12T18:33:51-04:00
Why You Need to See It:
Louis CK is so wonderfully funny it’s easy to miss how much the text of what he’s saying is preaching. Of course, LCK also gets away with a good bit of preaching because he often says what he believes, even knows, to be the right things, and the funny part is just how much his real-world behavior deviates from those beliefs, or as he calls them “believies.” The bit in question explores some relatively new territory for Louis CK with regard to survival of the fittest (letting kids with nut allergies die), but his pessimistic angle on military involvement has been clear before. He says in Beacon how he feels he should give up his first class seat to a member of the military aboard a plane and opines on why saying “he’s giving his life for the country, he thinks– but that’s good enough! That’s good enough! The fact that he thinks it.”

While the Beacon bit in question deals more with intention-based morality, this routine from Oh My God is more of a zoomed out lens into the bigger picture of human ethics, and Louis doesn’t seem to be grasping at straws when he concludes that human misery seems to the root cause of so much human greatness. While I wouldn’t say Louis is didactic here, I think he’s ultimately forcing people into some sort of conscious consumerism, even if it is only consciousness, rather than action.

3. Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy

The Insanely Popular Bit Made Everyone’s Favorite Bald Ginger Famous

"Everything is amazing and nobody is happy" by Meowbay
Why You Need to See It:
This bit has been AROUND. Preachers played it at their churchs, and Louis makes reference to having to address some of his other material in light of all of the attention this bit got him. Apparently, people were upset he talked about masturbation and other “dirty” things so much, given the simple humble, “clean” brilliance of this piece. It’s a classic and a defining bit for Louis’ Objectivist leanings, at least that’s how I see it. I’m not saying LCK is a Randian, but for sure, he can see and is willing to point out the awesomeness of technology and therefore capitalism, which is definitely alluded to in “Of Course, but Maybe.” And look, aside from all that far reaching academic stuff — everything is amazing. And nobody is happy. So there.

Chair it. Cher it. Share it.

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2. Stand Up Set at Cinema Classics (Very Explicit)

Louis’ YouTube Description: “very f**ked up jokes that I mostly never told again. Just a strange set I did in Eugene Mirman’s room in the East Village”

Louis CK standup clip at "Cinema Classics in NYC 8/3/04http://www.louisck.com very fucked up jokes that I mostly never told again. Just a strange set I did in Eugene Mirman's room in the East Village2006-12-13T06:58:40.000Z
Why You Need to See It:
There’s so much rich Louis here. For one, his opener “I f**ked all your mothers” is so obnoxious and brash, it evokes one aspect of Louis’ comedy which is his tendency to be just as crass and stupid as possible, for instance when he riffs about how kids can always come up with insults for other kids’ names. It’s an important subset of Louis’ jokes because they’re unabashedly some of the funniest ones, but in my estimate, they only work in the broader context of Louis as a smart dude, otherwise he’d just be a hokey dope. Double edged sword is a very satisfying bit if only because it’s a fun analysis of the cliche, but really, it’s brought home by the fact that Louis describes his style as stumbling-through Seinfeld, which is pretty insightful, and definitely bodes on a larger trend in comedy.

Anyway, the real reason to watch this is because you really start to grasp a consistent LCK philosophy when he talks about vegetarianism. As he says:

“I totally think it’s terrible [to eat animals], but that’s not important to me that it’s terrible. So what if it’s wrong? It tastes good and I like the way it feels when I eat it, but I’m not going to pretend it’s ok because it doesn’t think or something.”

This is the exact mode of thinking behind believies and I think one of the reasons Louis is a smart guy who also happens to be very funny. It’s just crystal clear self-awareness, and I don’t think you see that in very many people or in the media.

1. Being Broke

The American Problem Put Simply and Hilariously

Louis CK – being brokeLouis CK2012-07-21T16:27:22.000Z
Why You Need to See It:
In today’s American economy, all signs pointed toward difficulties for the lower and even middle classes. It’s the proverbial “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.” The wonderful part of this bit is that it truly distills inequalities between the rich and poor into a funny and simple situation anyone can understand. The amazing thing is that some people will truly be learning from this bit since many don’t grasp that it is very hard to be poor in America, and not only that, it’s very expensive to be poor. While Louis is accurately explaining how minimum account balances work, he is really talking about a much greater problem when he says “they charged me $15, that’s how much it costs to only have $20.”

As he progresses into talking about what it’s like to be rich, the real insight and contrast comes through. “F*ck this guy, take his $15,” he says referring to how the bank gives rich people interest on their vast savings. While the joke isn’t factually true, it doesn’t quite work like that obviously, Louis is talking about the greater truth of how the wealthy get it easier and easier, while the poor have it harder and harder. It’s a bit that speaks to the times perfectly and beyond being an insightful look into class differences, it’s screamingly funny. The perfect CK combination, and while some can pull off extremely funny or brilliantly insightful, it’s seldom to see both at once, and that’s why Louis CK stands above the crowd in such a special way.

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