Louis C.K. Biography (Personal Life, Career)

Louis C.K. is an American stand-up comedian, Emmy-winning television and film writer, actor, producer, and director. He currently stars in the FX comedy series Louie, which he also writes, directs and edits.

Personal Life

Louis Szekely was born on September 12, 1967 in Washington D.C., the son of Mary Louise and Luis Szekely. His mother is of Irish Catholic ancestry and his father, a native of Mexico, is of Mexican Catholic and Hungarian-Jewish descent. Louis Szekely was born in Washington but lived in Mexico City until the age of seven. Because of this, his first language is Spanish, and he still retains his Mexican citizenship.

Upon moving from Mexico to Boston, Massachusetts, Szekely discovered he wanted to become a writer and comedian, citing Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, and George Carlin as some of his influences. When he was around the age of 10, his parents divorced. Consequently, Szekely was raised as one of four children by a single mother in Newton, Massachusetts. His primary influence for aspiring to produce movies and television turned out to be his mother.

After high school, he worked as an auto mechanic in Boston before summoning the courage to try stand-up.

He was married to New York artist and painter Alix Bailey; they divorced in 2008. He has two daughters from the marriage and shares joint custody of them with Bailey.


C.K.’s first attempt of performing stand-up comedy was in 1984 at a comedy club's open mic night, where he was given five minutes of time, but only had two minutes of material. The experience kept him away from comedy for two years. One break, and a friendship for a time, came on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, when the two exchanged observations about their lives. Szekely gradually moved up into paid gigs, opened for Jerry Seinfeld and hosted comedy clubs until he moved to Manhattan in 1989.

Louis C.K. has performed his stand-up frequently on shows such as Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Lopez Tonight, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In August 2005, C.K. starred in a half-hour HBO special as part of the stand-up series One Night Stand.

In 2006, C.K. starred in his own hour-long HBO stand-up comedy special titled Shameless. On March 1, 2008, Louis recorded a stand-up special, Chewed Up, that premiered on Showtime October 4, 2008 and went on to be nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Writing in a Comedy or Variety Special." On April 18, 2009, Louis recorded a stand-up special titled Hilarious that was released in 2010. It is the first stand-up comedy film to be accepted into Sundance.

In a 2010 interview, C.K. described returning to stand-up and doing specials after his divorce as a year and a half working "to catch up to" the breakup of his marriage which had nonetheless been central to the show and his life.

Comedian Louis C.K.’s credits as a writer include Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Dana Carvey Show and the Chris Rock Show. His work for the Chris Rock Show was nominated for an Emmy Award three times, including winning "Best Writing in a Variety or Comedy Series" in 1999. He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for his work writing Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for writing on his 2008 special, Chewed Up.

C.K. has co-written two screenplays with Chris Rock, Down to Earth in 2001, and I Think I Love My Wife in 2007.

He wrote and directed the feature-length movie Pootie Tang (2000). He has written and directed the independent black-and-white film Tomorrow Night (1998) and several shorter films, including six short films for the sketch comedy show Sunny Skies (1995) on the Showtime cable network.

In June 2006, C.K. began starring in Lucky Louie, a sitcom he created. He also plays a small role as a security guard in Role Models. In 2009, C.K. was added to NBC’s Parks and Recreation, where he appeared in a multi-episode story arc as a potential love interest for Amy Poehler’s character.

Stand-up comedian Louis C.K.’s show Louie, which he writes, directs, edits and acts in features his stand-up routines and life experience.

C.K. started his own YouTube channel, featuring sketches, short films he made independently in the earlier years of his career, and rejected HBO segments. In 2007, he wrote a controversial sketch presenting the Catholic Church as existing "solely for the purpose of boy rape" that attracted the ire of several Christian media organizations (the same groups would later attack Lucky Louie for being "barbaric").

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