Louis C.K.'s Guide to Parenting

06.28.12 5 years ago 7 Comments

If you couldn’t already tell from the numerous posts devoted to Louis C.K. this week, “Louie” returns tonight to begin the third season of what may be the best all-around comedy on television right now. It’s at the very least, the most abstractly original, insightful, and interesting comedy on television right.

Louis C.K. appeals to a lot of people in different ways, but the biggest comedic draw for me are his parenting philosophies. A lot of stand-up comedians center their acts on exes, sex, masturbation, politics, gender, race, and sexuality, and there’s plenty of that in Louis’ stand-up, but what sets him apart from almost all the others are his thoughts on parenting. They are funny, they are wise, and they are spot-on. Once you have kids, there’s little more satisfying than having your biggest complaints about parenting reflected back in a darkly hilarious manner. Somehow, it makes parenting feel more cool than it actually is.

In fact, If you ask Louis C.K. what makes him a successful stand-up comedian now, he’ll tell you that it was becoming a parent. Actually, Rolling Stone did ask him that question, and he responded:

It was because before I was a kid, I think, and I’d simply escaped – those were just childhood annoyances that I escaped from, I think, through a certain kind of comedy. But having kids, you don’t escape from it, you seize onto it, it’s a big, stressful, exhilarating, real life thing. And it’s permanent, it’s something that you have to evolve for. Some people don’t, but I think you have to actually change your values system, and you have to revolutionize yourself in order to do it properly, because kids can’t raise kids, and I think you’re somewhat a kid until you have them, then you really have to grow up. Again, some people don’t, there’s a lot of bad parents. That’s what you call on.

Since parenting plays such an important role in his comedy, I spent a couple of hours going through Louis C.K.’s interviews and through his stand-up acts, and below I’ve collected his best quotes on parenting. Think of it as a handbook on how to be a good — or at least successful — parent without losing your sense of humor or perspective.

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