Unanswerable Questions #4: Louis C.K.

Here's to hoping Louie has the answers.
Unanswerable Questions--an ongoing segment here at PostConsumer Reports where I ask questions to people of interest who will most likely never answer them, simply because I do not know them and probably never will. Still, the questions come and I have got to ask them somewhere. I have so many questions. So so many...

Up today is comedian Louis C.K. who has season 5 of his FX show Louie debuting now. He's basically my favorite. If you have Amazon Prime you can watch the first episode of season 5 for free as well as all the previous seasons (it's also on Netflix). 

On Standup:
PostConsumerReports: You have this bit you did on SNL (it's also embedded into one of the season 4 episodes of Louie) that has become somewhat famous where you mock the ridiculousness of a kind of self-assured atheism, as if anyone could ever know that they know that they KNOW that God doesn't exist. By no means do you ever say you're certain God exists or that you think you know what God is like, you're instead kind of offering a "Come on!" to what some people label as fundamentalist atheism, the opposite of fundamentalist religion, who differ greatly from each other in their particular beliefs but are very similar in how they treat those who disagree with them. I'm curious, was this bit inspired at by Ricky Gervais, who makes atheist themes an anchor to a lot of his work? Ricky comes across as a guy who knows that God doesn't exists and anyone who believes in a higher power is an unfortunate simpleton. Is your bit on God a subtle response to Gervais, who is a friend of yours, in any way?

PCR: Do you ever think you'll get to a point where you'll do a kind of "greatest hits" tour, drawing from various "hit" material throughout your career? As a comedian you're more known for your continuing themes (death, pain, relationships, searching for meaning, your body, aging, raising kids) than any particular bits, but still, you have a mass of great material to cull from over the years. That is to say, you'll never be the Hot Pockets Guy, but I could see you doing a kind of review show. Is that even remotely appealing to you?

On Louie in general:
PCR: Your persona on the show is very passive and melancholy and awkwardly unconfident and introverted, whereas your standup, both on the show and in real life, is much more confident and fun and extroverted. Is that how you operate in real life, where you have this outgoing version of you for your standup (a guy who's self-deprecating but also confident) and then a quiet self-doubting guy in your day to day life? I'm wondering if the day to day version of Louie on the show is also a more exaggerated version of yourself—just exaggerated on the introverted end of the spectrum.

PCR: Your version of New York always feels overcast, drizzly, and just slightly too cold for comfort. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the time of year you film but I was also wondering how intentional that is. It's also a beautiful New York, with the sad, old, glorious buildings, vibrant delis and markets, and expansive parks. What do you hope to convey about the city through your settings?

PCR: I think Todd Barry is the perfect foil for you. I could almost imagine The Todd and Louie Show! as a real thing. The way that you both simultaneously get along really well but also irritate each other is hilarious to me. Any chance of making Todd a more regular part of the show (it seemed like he was kind of beginning to be in season 4)?

On Season 4 of Louie
PCR: I have to say I was a little disappointed with where "So Did the Fat Lady" ended up. I was made to feel really uncomfortable and horrid about the way I feel towards fat people (I'm a bit fat myself) and especially towards fat women. But then it seemed like you let us off the hook: You walked away with her holding hands but we never saw her again. Doesn't Louie need to be attracted to her sexually or at least have some other man find her sexually attractive? How does that character "win" or overcome her circumstances?

PCR: (from the "Elevator" episodes) How in the world did you come to choose that Hungarian actress (Eszter Balint)? Was Hungary as a country arbitrary or did you seek her out first and then build the story around her?

PCR: (from the "In the Woods" episode) How much of the drug stuff actually happened to you as a kid? Did you really steal those weight tables from your teacher?

PCR: By the way, Skipp Sudduth was so good as your science teacher, I almost thought you went and hired a real JR High science teacher. He seemed like the real deal to me. Any thoughts on his work on the show?

PCR: OK, since Pamela brought it up towards the end of the season but it still wasn't fully answered, I'm obligated to ask: why did you decide to have a half-black woman play the mom for your kids other than that you liked that actress? Are you kind of just messing with people? I know a family who has kids that are 1/4th black and you can still very much see their heritage in their hair, skin color, and features. So...what's the deal with those Anglo-Nordic girls playing your daughters...?

PCR: So...a really personal question: Have you and Pamela Adlon ever had a romantic/sexual relationship? I'm fascinated with your answer either way. If not, how do you do scenes like the end of Louie season 4 where you're having sex with each other (or at least the moments leading up to sex) and then you're getting entirely naked with each other and sitting in a bathtub? If you're friends how do you do scenes like that? Do you have sex afterwards just to relieve the tension? (haha) What kind of discussions do you and her have about how to do those scenes? Man, I just can't even imagine.

On Season 5 of Louie
PCR: I see a huge problem with Louie finding contented love in Pamela. Louie as a character always needs to be agitated and dejected and he always needs to have unfortunate stuff happen to him, as if he is this helpless victim adrift in an intentionally cruel universe. Not that you need to give away where season 5 is going with the Louie/Pamela relationship, but could you give some insight into Louie as a character in that it's basically bad for the show when something good happens to him? We always need to be both expecting the worst and really rooting for him to succeed even if we know it'll always end up in the toilet anyway. 

PCR: I love the "Penguin-like Racist Jokes" at the end of the "Potluck" episode. Do you ever feel like you'll deal with race more in the forefront on the show, especially in a more extended narrative arc like you did with Louie's romantic life last season?

PCR: So, I know the show plays with reality and many scenes are more like acted out thought experiments rather than realistic depictions, but I'm wondering about Louie's sexual encounter with the pregnant woman in "Potluck." I can fully understand why those characters acted on their passions in the moment, but do you think that kind of sex is acceptable in real life, that sex is a legitimate mutual exchange between whoever wants it, whenever they want it? As far as the scene goes, I get it, but I'm more interested in your personal views on random sex, which your character has had a number of times throughout the show's run.

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