Before the glory days of a show on FX and HBO comedy specials, Louis C.K. spent his time arduously working his way up to comic celebrity. By the time he landed a deal with FX for his show Louie, where his contract allowed him to singlehandedly write, edit, direct, and star in each episode, he had years of experience making short films. C.K. credits going through this self-made film school for preparing him for the work he does on Louie.
The Airspace has compiled a list of 14 of Louis C.K.’s short films From videos shot on 16mm film in the 90s to sketches uploaded to YouTube in the last couple of years, each film represents C.K.’s off-beat comedy and commitment to being a filmmaker at heart.
Ice Cream (1992)
“Ice Cream” was one of C.K.’s first steps into fame. The short played at the Sundance Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art in 1994 and received the Grand Prize at Aspen Shortfest. It was also included in his application to be a writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and impressed O’Brien enough to get him the job.
The Letter V (1995)
Robert Smigel plays the host of a Sesame Street-esque childrens’ show who is pushed to his limits.
The Legend of Willie Brown (mid 90s)
C.K. creates a Jazz mockumentary
Ugly Revenge (mid 90s)
Ron Lynch, JB Smoove, and Amy Poehler appear in this Manhattan-western.
Rick Shapiro stars as a clueless boat hijacker. Todd Barry is also featured.
Hello There (1995)
“Hello There” stars Ron Lynch as a man wandering about with a tape recorder. Louis C.K. appears as an extra.
Rick Shapiro stars as a sex-crazed Jewish mother, complete with lipstick and glasses.
Persona Ne’ll Aqua
Searching for Nixon
Are you Nixon?
Jimmy Carter Builds a House (2006)
In one of C.K.’s first videos for YouTube, Louis C.K. plays former US President Jimmy Carter (but forgoes changing his appearance or voice).
Louis C.K. learns about the Catholic Church (2007)
In a video made for YouTube, Louis C.K. stars in a journey to find out what the Catholic Church is about.
Airline safety video (2007)
C.K. creates a fake airline safety video.
I Say the Darndest Things to Kids (2008)
In a super-short, Louis C.K. offends a small, innocent child.
Louis C.K.’s Last Chance (2009)
Before Louie went on air, C.K. made a short to show just how desperate he would be for money to protect his kids future.