Louis C.K.’s love letter to New York and ‘Saturday Night Live’

11.03.12 4 years ago 9 Comments

AP Photo/John Shearer

I’ve been so tied up in my own little world this week, toiling away, working on this and that, closed up in the apartment for the most part (typical when you’re at your busiest in this line of work — and this has probably been the busiest week of the season for me), mainly aware of the horrors of Sandy via the news like most of you. Which is a trip. Out here, uptown, we’re fine. We’re lucky. Just a number of blocks this way or that, many people aren’t.

So I feel like I really need to take stock of that. Lots of friends, whether they be in New Jersey, upstate, Long Island, wherever, are still stuck in a bad spot. I haven’t had a chance to go downtown and take in the full effect of what’s gone on down there, and I should. I will. My heart sank a little when I saw the cover of this week’s New York Magazine. Then it was lifted again when I read the mag’s editors’ letter and all the resilience it reflected. And as resilient as New York is, it’s a city in need of a laugh right now, to say the least.

It was with great pleasure, then, that I read comedian Louis C.K.’s recent letter, which he says he tapped out on his phone in his dressing room at Studio 8H at 30 Rock where he’s gearing up to host “Saturday Night Live” tonight. A New York guy on a New York show at a time when New York could use a breather. It’s a great opportunity for an artist at the height of his game. Truly, I think there are fewer filmmakers performing, consistently, at Louis C.K.’s level these days, and this could be a highlight of his career.

But mainly, I was just touched by his perspective on the town that made him, that he loves. He writes:

“Last night we shot some pre-tape segments in Greenwich Village, which was pitch black dark for blocks and blocks, as it has been for a week now. It’s pretty impossible to describe walking through these city streets in total darkness. It can’t even be called a trip through time, because as long as new york has lived, its been lit. By electricity, gas lamps, candlelight, kerosene. But this was pitch black, street after street, corner round corner. And for me, the village being the very place that made me into a comedian and a man, to walk through the heart of it and feel like, in a way, it was dead. I can’t tell you how that felt. And you also had a palpable sense that inside each dark window was a family or a student or an artist or an old woman living alone, just being in the dark and waiting for the day to come back. Like we were all having one big sleep over, but not so much fun as that. This is how a lot of the city is still. I know people in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, New Jersey, all over, are not normal yet. And not normal is hard.”

So be sure to watch tonight at 11:30pm ET. It’s sure to be a delight.

And here’s to New York.

Click through to read the full Louis C.K. letter.

Hello. Its louis here. I’m clacking this to you on my phone in my dressing room here at studio 8H, right in 30 rockefeller center, in Manhattan, new york city, new york, america, world, current snapshot of all existence everywhere.

Tonight I’m hosting Saturday Night Live, something I zero ever in my life saw happening to me. And yet here it is completely most probably happening (I mean, ANYTHING could NOT happen. So we’ll see).

I’ve been working here all week with the cast, crew, producers and writers of SNL, and with Lorne Michaels. Such a great and talented group of people.

And here we are in the middle of New York City, which was just slammed by a hurricane, leaving behind so much trouble, so much difficulty and trauma, which everyone here is still dealing with every day.

Last night we shot some pre-tape segments in greenwich Village, which was pitch black dark for blocks and blocks, as it has been for a week now.

Its pretty impossible to describe walking through these city streets in total darkness. It can’t even be called a trip through time, because as long as new york has lived, its been lit. By electricity, gas lamps, candlelight, kerosene. But this was pitch black, street after street, corner round corner. And for me, the village being the very place that made me into a comedian and a man, to walk through the heart of it and feel like, in a way, it was dead. I can’t tell you how that felt. And you also had a palpable sense that inside each dark window was a family or a student or an artist or an old woman living alone, just being int he dark and waiting for the day to come back. Like we were all having one big sleep over, but not so much fun as that.

This is how a lot of the city is still. I know people in queens, brooklyn, Staten Island, new jersey, all over, are not normal yet. And not normal is hard.

And here at 30 rock, these folks are working so hard this week. There are kids in the studio every day, because members of the crew and staff had to bring them to work. Many people are sharing lodging. Everyone is tired. But there’s this feeling here that we’ve got to put on a great show. I’m sure it feels like that here every week. But wow. I feel really lucky to be sharing this time with these particular good folks here at SNL.

In about 5 hours we’ll be going on the air. I’ll do a monologue. And we’ll show you some sketches that we wrote and try to make you laugh. I’m gonna look really dumb in some of this stuff. But I don’t care. Its awfully worth it. And I’m really excited.

Anyway. I just wanted to let you know. If you watch the show tonight, when Don Pardo says my name and you see me walking out, all the shit in this email is what ill be thinking. I’m a pretty lucky guy. I hope you enjoy the show.

Thanks.

Louis C.K.

Live. From new york. Its saturday night.

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