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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

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

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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