You may think you like Louis C.K., but you don't like him as much as FX does.
Sunday (January 18) morning's FX Television Critics Association press tour day began with a trio of Louis C.K.-centric releases: “Louie” returns on April 9. Louis C.K.'s next stand-up special will have its debut on FX. And FX has ordered a comedy pilot from “Louie” veteran Pamela Adlon that will be co-written, directed and produced by Louis C.K. Oh and the Louis C.K.-produced comedy “Baskets” will premiere in 2016.
And now it's time for Louis C.K. to meet with reporters.
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2:15 p.m. Pacific. Pamela Adlon seems to be joining Louis C.K. on this panel, in part because she's an important part of the show, but also so that Louis doesn't feel lonely on the stage.
2:24 p.m. “Louie” hasn't begun production, so we're starting with the opening from last season.
2:26 p.m. Our first question is about that opening scene. “I just wanted that to be really funny. It's the first idea I had all of last season,” Louis says of the garbage man scene. He tells us that on the day they shot it, he had horrible diarrhea. And now you know. “It got a little quiet last season,” Louis says of last year's dramatic turn. “I start with an intention and then I just kinda move around,” he says.
2:28 p.m. It took two questions to get to the “date rape” episode. “I think you've gotta be careful with that word 'rape,' because it's a real serious and bad thing,” Louis says, disagreeing with the terminology. He says that for him, that scene was about the two characters trying to figure out where they were as a couple. He notes that earlier in the season Louie had pushed the woman he was dating and then he tries it again. “We thought it was funny when we shot it,” Louis says. Adlon says that he initially described it to her in boxing terminology. “He said, 'It's like I'm closing off the ring, I'm closing off the ring,'” she says. Adlon says that the way they played it ended up being slightly different and she wondered if they'd be in trouble. Louis calls it the physical manifestation of what they'd been as a couple earlier, the push and pull. Adlon says that she has three daughters and adds, “I didn't feel like it was rape-y, but…”
2:31 p.m. A more complimentary question asks about the scene with the violins. “Well that was supposed to be rape, but I'm really tone-deaf,” Louis C.K. jokes. He says that both Ursula Parker — Pamela is impressed Louis C.K. remembers her last name — and the other actress both played the violin and that it was scripted like that and then the actress agreed on the piece they'd play.
2:33 p.m. What will having her own pilot do for her participation on “Louie”? Well, she's excited because her dad was a writer-producer. She says her work on “Louie” will be the same. She'll be able to be in a scene or two. The Adlon pilot will be shot in Los Angeles after the “Louie” season finishes.
2:34 p.m. “So Did The Fat Lady” got a mixed response as well. What did he think of the response? “I love that episode because Sarah was so great,” he says. “I never like to comment too much on what people say,” he says, noting that he thinks all responses are valid. “If you become part of your own discussion it gets kinda crazy,” he says, but adds he's had time in his life when he felt heavy and part of that was him writing about how that felt to him. “She delivered it so beautifully,” Louis says. Adlon was part of the casting for the role and she calls the reaction to the material “amazing.” “They were so floored and they were so overwhelmed,” Adlon says. Louis acknowledges also the response from people who said the character didn't speak for them. “The character in that story doesn't represent all heavy women, heavy men,” he says. “It's one character.” He adds that it doesn't represent Sarah Baker, either. “Sometimes in life you say a big manifesto thing and it's just something you mean in the moment you said it,” Louis says. “Any time I write something and it creates that kind of dialogue, that's exciting and it's fun,” he says.
2:38 p.m. “It's not like I'm playing basketball and I want to play baseball. You can do them both on the same court,” Louis says when asked if he wants to do drama secretly instead of comedy. He says his favorite movies are the ones that do both. “I guess I don't want to put it in either box,” he says, but adds that he'd never announce he wanted to do drama. He adds, though, that this season may be more “laugh-centric funny.”
2:40 p.m. He says the feeling he had this season was “playful and goofy.” He doesn't know if that's how it's going to come out, but he says this standup year has been “sillier.” What was his intent last season? The six-episode season “just kept growing.” “I didn't expect to sit on one story for six episodes,” he says. “I don't regret it,” he says, but says there are things he'd have done differently, but that's always the case.
2:42 p.m. Is Louis going to be able to maintain his stand-up schedule? He says he does things seasonally. He says he'll shoot “Louie,” shoot Pamela's pilot and then he'll start going back to the clubs in summer, which has been his normal routine.
2:43 p.m. “I sold several scales from my junior high school and I used them to sell drugs,” Louis C.K. says of the “In the Woods” episodes. He says that the teacher in question wrote him an email a few years ago defending him again on the scales issue. He explains that he wrote back to her and confessed. The dialogue the principal said in the episode was verbatim what the principal says. “I was a terrible kid,” Louis says. “I don't think I did anything much worse than that,” Louis says. Adlon admits she's relieved that more people know the truth, because she's known for a while. Louis C.K. thought about doing the story as a movie for a while and he decided not to save it, because he wanted to give FX his best material now rather than saving it.
2:46 p.m. Adlon took the lead in writing her show and it'll feel different, Louis promises. Adlon says that “Louie” has always had a sometimes-surreal perspective. “What's confusing is people calling shows 'comedy' and 'drama' anymore, because the shows I watch, it's not that,” Adlon says. “I hope that it's anything that anybody would want to watch,” she says.
2:48 p.m. “She's just a very funny person, gets right to the meat or bone of things,” he says of working with Adlon. “I can throw anything at her and she can start playing with it,” he adds. Louis likes being the writer on his show because he wants it to have a singular intent, though he has other sounding-board writers. He writes all of the dialogue, though. “I just don't write it if I don't like what they suggest,” he says.
2:50 p.m. Louis recalls that they had a different vision for the role that David Lynch ended up playing and that led to homage to Lynch.
2:51 p.m. Does Louis C.K. have any thoughts on Woody Allen getting his Amazon deal? “I'm excited to see what comes out of that,” he says. “I guess it's all TV, because it's tele-vision?” he says of the Amazon thing. But movies are a different thing.
2:53 p.m. Louis says he hasn't talked to anybody about last season before this and he knew we'd ask about the scene with Pamela. “Of course I read all this s***. Of course I read it,” he tells us, though before the panel he told Pamela he was going to pretend not to read it. He says he doesn't like getting involved in the discussion, which is part of why he quit Twitter. “To me, she wasn't scared in the scene, she was annoyed,” he emphasizes. “I don't want to go and say, 'You guys got it wrong,' because that's how you felt about it,” he says.
That's all, folks…