Over the years, Louis C.K. has made his mark on the comedy scene. He stands out as the first performer to directly sell tickets to his shows. Louis promoted his album Live in Houston through his website, offering free downloads of his concert videos. He has also won many awards for writing The Chris Rock Show and his own stand-up specials, Oh My God and Rolling Stone.
Louis Alfred Székely was born on September 12, 1967, in Washington, D.C. His mother was American, and his father was Mexican-Hungarian. His family moved to Mexico when he was a baby, and his first language was Spanish. Later, the family moved back to the US when C.K was seven and so he had to learn English. His parents divorced when he was ten, and his mother raised him alongside his sisters in Massachusetts.
As a young man, C.K always wanted to become a writer and comedian. His love for comedy was influenced by George Carlin, Bill Cosby, and Richard Pryor. He worked at a public TV cable station in Boston and learned to make short films and TV shows. C.K. has a curious mind and confesses that he loves learning. He made his first short comedy film at 17, which inspired him to pursue his dream of becoming a comedian.
His first stint in stand-up comedy was in 1985 when he performed at a comedy club in Boston. He was allowed five minutes on the mic but could only come up with content for two minutes. This experience was so depressing for him that he avoided comedy for two years. However, C.K. bounced back later and started performing alongside other comedians like Dennis Leary and Lenny Clarke. He then moved on to paid gigs, hosting comedy clubs and opening for Jerry Seinfeld.
C.K. moved to Manhattan, New York, in 1981, where he started performing on TV programs like Evening at the Improv and Star Search. His first writing job was for Conan O’Brien’s show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien. He said that O’Brien kept him in comedy because he had planned to quit comedy the night before being hired. Later, he became head writer for The Dana Carvey Show, working with writers Stephen Colbert, Charlie Kaufman, Steve Carell, and Robert Smigel. C.K. described his writing approach as “a ‘deconstruction’ that is both painful and fighting”.
Louis made his first mark in the film industry when he wrote and directed the films Tomorrow Night, which he self-released, and several short films for Howie Mandel’s sketch comedy show, Sunny Skies. C.K. is credited as the writer and director of Pootie Tang (2001), but the film received negative feedback.
He later starred in the sitcom, Lucky Louie (2006), which he also created and wrote for. The auto-biographical comedy series won an Emmy award and became the first to be videotaped on HBO in front of a studio audience. C.K. also appeared in the movies Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins; Diminished Capacity; and Role Models in 2008. On his website, Louis created and released his special, Sincerely, Louis CK, which won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy.