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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.