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Season 6, Episode 7: Family Emergency

Rare Louis Gems

10 Hilarious Louis C.K. Videos You May Have Never Seen

Louis C.K. comes to Portlandia this Thursday at 10P on IFC.

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Louis C.K. is a funny dude. He didn’t become the voice of American comedy, a modern day Mark Twain of the masturbation joke, by accident. But here’s the thing: he was a funny dude long before a lot of us caught on. To prove it, we dug back into his career, and found he’s been making hilarious contributions to the world of comedy for decades. You may not have known who he was in 1993, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t watching him. Here are some of his lesser known videos you may have never seen. If you like what you see, be sure to catch Louis this Thursday at 10P on a brand new Portlandia.


10. The short film ‘Ice Cream’

Louis’ 2009 standup special Hilarious was the first of its kind to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. But what most people don’t know is that it wasn’t Louis’ first time at the fest. In 1992, he was still just a struggling stand-up when his short film Ice Cream was surprisingly accepted. He later said, “I got really lucky. It was like the biggest deal of my life when I got that.” It was actually his burgeoning auteur talents, along with his stand-up comedy, that caught the eye of Robert Smigel, head writer of the soon to debut Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien.


9. Playing a dog expert on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’

Louis got his first big break when Conan O’Brien took over Late Night, and brought him on board as a writer. A struggling stand-up, he would put his performing chops to good use, occasionally popping up in bits like the one above where he appears with Robert Smigel as a pair of fake dog experts. Eventually, Louis decided he wanted to move on, and focus on his standup, but was afraid to quit. Instead, he asked for an insanely high salary, hoping to get fired. Not knowing this, Conan fought with the network to get his man paid, only to have Louis walk anyway. Conan joked years later that he should have just fired him.


8. Being pranked by Steve Carell and Dana Carvey

Louis soon found himself writing for The Dana Carvey Show, an ABC sketch show that would flame out in glorious fashion. The short-lived show’s troubles began when it debuted after family friendly sitcom Home Improvement with a sketch about Bill Clinton suckling puppies on his teats. This middle finger to taste was conceived by one of the most legendary writers’ rooms in television history. Comedy heavyweights like Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Charlie Kaufman, Robert Smigel and Dino Stamatopoulos were all part of the staff, but it was Louis who served as the head writer. Despite its failure, the show has gained a cult following over the years. Louis popped up in a few sketches, such as the hilarious one above where Carvey and Carell played the world’s dumbest pranksters.


7. Playing an artist named David Cross on MTV

Louis soon started branching out, making short films for MTV. Here he stars as “David Cross,” stealing his good friend’s name to portray a toilet photographer who takes “pictures of crap and tells you it’s art.” An obscure clip from the days when MTV actually gave comedians early breaks, it was projects like this that helped Louis hone his voice as he took the long way to success.


6. Opening up to Dr. Katz

Dr. Katz doesn’t get talked about a lot anymore, but back in the ’90s there was nothing like it on TV. With a premise that basically just turned comedians loose, and then animated their routines, the Comedy Central show helped introduce the public to everyone from Todd Barry to Marc Maron to Patton Oswalt. Louis guest starred on four episodes, giving us an early peek into what makes him tick. Hint: it involves eating a lot and sex.


5. Playing a park ranger on ‘The Chris Rock Show’

After the impressive debacle that was The Dana Carvey Show, Louis took a job writing for close friend Chris Rock. He would win his first Emmy for his work on the HBO series, and occasionally pop up as a sketch player. Here, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo, Louis plays a park ranger who lies about his park’s preponderance of killer bears. After five seasons, Rock convinced Louis to stop writing for others, and strike out on his own.


4. His first feature film ‘Tomorrow Night’

Tomorrow Night is a feature length film that Louis scrimped and saved to shoot back in 1998. After a number of mistakes, like having to reshoot the first three days of footage, his $20,000 budget quickly proved too little, and he was forced to make a plea for money while doing a guest spot on Late Night. Sure, he was probably joking, but comedian friends like Jon Stewart, Dennis Leary and Chris Rock took him at his word, and helped him finish the now $180,000 production. Long unreleased, Louis is now offering the film on his site as a digital download. Check it out to see comedy greats like Amy Poehler, Steve Carell, J.B Smoove and many more in early roles.


3. Louis gets animated

Louis teamed up with Augenblick Studios (Ugly Americans) for this animated short which shows how animation can take you to amazing places and resolve your unsettled parental issues.


2. The NSFW Short Film ‘Brunch’

Louis first showed off his filmmaking chops in a series of short films, many of which can be found on his YouTube page. In “Brunch,” comedian Rick Shapiro, who plays Bernie on IFC’s Maron, chats with some nice elderly ladies. The jazzy score and slice-of-life tone that veers into raunchy absurdity hint at Louis’ future FX series.


1. Louis Learns About the Catholic Church (NSFW) 

If Horace and Pete, Louis’ recent, self-funded and self-released Web series has taught us anything, it’s that he’s always looking for a new way to do things. When YouTube launched in 2005, Louis was unsurprisingly an early adopter, making a number of videos for the site. Here Louis decides to investigate the Catholic Church, and uncovers some very disturbing — and graphic — facts. This video is not for the easily offended. Then again, if you can’t take a joke, you’re probably not a Louis fan to begin with.

Get a sneak peek of Louis’ visit to this week’s Portlandia below. Watch full episodes of Portlandia right now on IFC.com and any time on the IFC app

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.