Animated Louis CK Shows Demonstrates How “Animation Lets You Do Anything”

Father­hood is a fer­tile sub­ject for come­di­an Louis C.K.

Kids do say the darnedest things, but Louis’ obser­va­tions reveal the depth of his invest­ment.

He lit out after stan­dard­ized test­ing and the Com­mon Core on Twit­ter.

He made a pas­sion­ate case against giv­ing kids smart­phones to Conan O’Brien.

Is it any won­der that the “dumb­er, fun­nier” ver­sion of him­self he cre­at­ed for his TV show is pre­oc­cu­pied and often thwart­ed by his respon­si­bil­i­ties as the sin­gle dad of two young daugh­ters?

(Real life may pro­vide inspi­ra­tion, but the writer and star dis­plays appro­pri­ate bound­aries when he says that his actu­al daugh­ters are marked­ly dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters than their TV coun­ter­parts.)

But the knife of father­hood cuts both ways. Louis’ trou­bled rela­tion­ship with his own dad gets less atten­tion than the father-daugh­ter bond, but it’s there in his work. The prospect of spend­ing time with his estranged father caus­es the fic­tion­al Louis to vom­it at the din­ner table in sea­son three.

The ani­mat­ed approach seen above, gives Louis more con­trol over the sit­u­a­tion. Ani­ma­tion, like read­ing, makes pos­si­ble flights of fan­cy where­in children—including grown ones like Louis—can do “absolute­ly any­thing.” Fly­ing and using a rain­bow as a slide are among the fan­tas­ti­cal activ­i­ties the 2‑D Louis sam­ples. Mean­while, the qual­i­ty of his nar­ra­tion con­veys an under­ly­ing dis­taste for the sort of canned “imag­i­na­tive” sug­ges­tions foist­ed on chil­dren by well-mean­ing edu­ca­tion­al pro­gram­mers.

Left to their own devices, most kids will come up with sce­nar­ios and pow­ers far weird­er than any­thing ped­dled to them by an adult. Why “swim through the ocean like a fish” when you can anthro­po­mor­phize your elder­ly father as a malev­o­lent spi­der, lodged in your chest, poop­ing out reg­u­lar lit­tle “infes­ta­tions of hate”?

Ani­ma­tion lets you go all the way, and C.K. cer­tain­ly does, lop­ping off heads, and (SPOILER!) inad­ver­tent­ly Bon­nie and Clyd­ing him­self from with­in.

Someone’s made a lot of progress since the 90’s, when he used his time on Dr. Katz’s ani­mat­ed couch to dis­cuss K‑Mart and Chips Ahoy.

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

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

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

20-Year-Old Louis CK Per­forms Stand Up (1987)

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, home­school­er, and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.