Louis C.K.’s success as a stand-up comic began when he opened up about his frustrations as a father. Since then, he has amazed fans other comedians by throwing away all of his jokes and creating a brand new hour of material for a recorded special every year. In this emotional tribute to George Carlin, C.K. credits that approach to the deceased comedian.
C.K. gave the speech at a New York Public Library tribute to Carlin back in March of 2010, but it was just uploaded to YouTube yesterday, and it’s now showing up everywhere because it’s terrific. Over the course of ten minutes, C.K. talks about how Carlin gave him his first real laugh, how Carlin inspired him to become a comedian, and– most importantly — how Carlin’s philosophy broke C.K. out of a 15-year rut that has given us hours of laughter and one of the best shows on television (keep in mind that this event happened before “Louie” debuted on FX). In the final two minutes, C.K. gets choked up talking about Carlin’s death, and you can see a glimpse of what Carlin meant to the world of comedy. If you care about stand-up at all, take the time to watch this video.