Louis CK: The Immoral Moralist

Despite the irreverence of the nation's new favorite comic, Louis often discusses essential moral lessons through what he has experienced as a father, parent and divorcée. 

What's the Latest Development?


Comic's comic turned nation's comic, Louis CK is everywhere these days, making audiences laugh and cringe with his tales of moral adventure. Marriage, fatherhood and divorce inform the majority of his matured routine, where every corner of family life exudes irreverence. Consider his moral litmus test: "You can figure out how bad a person you are by how soon after September 11 you masturbated," he riffs. "For me, it was between the two buildings’ going down." Yet behind this affront to ascetic virtue lies a comic concerned with today's moral dilemmas and the roads they carry us down.  

What's the Big Idea?

It is Louis' willingness to expose the hidden side of humanityour doubts, fears and moral faultsthat give his moral lessons potency. Louis wants to be a good husband, father and citizen precisely because morality presents us with a challenge: To find our better selves for the sake of others. At a poignant moment in his latest show on FX, Louis is confronted by a friend who declares his intention to commit suicide, i.e. to take 'his own' life. Louis responds: "It’s not your life. It’s life … Life isn’t something you possess. It’s something you take part in, and you witness.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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