The Surreal Short Films of Louis C.K., 1993-1999

To some fans of his not-exactly-a-sitcom Louie, Louis C.K. simply appeared a few years ago, fully formed and acclaimed by his peers as perhaps the most skilled, dedicated comedic craftsmen working today. But he does have a past, stretching back well beyond his voice role on the animated series Home Movies and his direction of the film Pootie Tang, and he has offered up entertaining fragments of it online. Above you’ll find his earliest known short film, Ice Cream. Begin watching this black-and-white meditation on the vagaries of disaffected twentysomething love in the nineties — one which opens in a convenient store, no less — and you’ll immediately think of Kevin Smith’s Clerks. But C.K. made Ice Cream in 1993, the year before Clerks came out, and it tilts in directions even Smith wouldn’t dare predict, ultimately arriving at a mariachi band-scored finale.

Just above, we have 1998′s Hello There. In four minutes, the film follows a catatonic-looking fellow (played by comedian Ron Lynch) wearing a poorly fitting suit and a cassette recorder around his neck as he makes his way through town. “Excuse me,” his machine says when he presses its play button, “do you have the correct time?” A bystander nervously answers. “Hello there,” his speaker blares to a bum dozing in a cardboard box, “is that a new hat? You are a good guy.” As the morning continues, we come to understand that this eccentric is not the only one of his kind. Below you can watch that same year’s Brunch, which throws the verbally NSFW comedian Rick Shapiro into a sharply observed mid-morning huddle of pontificating senior citizens. These all come from Louis C.K.s official Youtube channel, and indeed, C.K. presciently made them in a form neatly suited to the Youtube era, just as Louie has proven an ideal artistic, intellectual, and financial fit for the modern cable television landscape.

Louis C.K.’s short films: Ice Cream (1993), The Letter V (1998), The Legend of Willie Brown (1998), Ugly Revenge, Hijacker (1998), Hello There (1998), Brunch (1998), Persona Ne’ll Aqua (1999),Searching for Nixon

(via Metafilter)

Related Content:

Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Ricky Gervais Dissect the Craft of Comedy (NSFW)

How the Great George Carlin Showed Louis CK the Way to Success (NSFW)

David Lynch Teaches Louis C.K. How to Host The David Letterman Show

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on literature, film, cities, Asia, and aesthetics. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.



Make knowledge free & open. Share our posts with friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms:

by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

  • Jeremy Sklar

    You must, must MUST include on the list of Louis C.K. gems the Sundance Midnight Madness feature “Tomorrow Night.” I’m not sure why this piece of brilliance hasn’t been distributed, but I believe it is about to be sold on Louis’ website pretty soon. Here’s a trailer for it if anyone is interested. Full disclosure: I’m the star of the movie’s brother, but I’m telling you, I’m a brutally honest film geek, and this film is brilliant!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k_Dq-NoVbI

  • shortfilms

    I really liked this Hello There,Many Skills used as well. I Love it.

    You may find more shortfilms here Lets watch,Upload,Share.

    Welcome to shortfilmsin.com

    shortfilmsin.com allows people to discover, watch and share originally created short films, third party shared short film videos. We’re the only entertainment destination solely dedicated to showcasing the best short-film videos from the world of short films– programmed for today’s young creative film makers. We intend on continuously updating the site on a daily basis to bring you

    the best. – See more at: http://shortfilmsin.com

  • manwithdog

    The David Lynch influence is evident in Ice Cream. Some scenes, like dinner with girlfriend’s family, seem like Eraserhead parodies.

Quantcast