Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

Louis CK

What you see on Louie is just the tip of the iceberg — a funny, clever show. What you're not seeing is that he produces it, he writes it, he edits it, he knows every lens, every camera angle. He's Steven Spielberg without the beard and with humor. And Louis CK, 44, knows the future — that it's all about the Internet and social media. I love that he let people buy his special, Live at the Beacon Theater, online for $5.

When he sent me the Louie episode he wanted me to do, I called him and said, "I like it, but I'd like to work with you on this." He was wonderful. There is absolutely no ego there — we reworked the script together and we improvised. It was such a meeting of the minds, such a joy. Nobody said, "Stick to the script!" He knows that if you let go, if you loosen the reins, something wonderful will happen. He doesn't just walk on the set and say, "My way or the highway" — he knows what he wants, but then he lets it take on a life of its own. It's one plus one equals three with him.

No one can learn how to be funny. What you can learn is how to trust yourself, to have enough self-confidence to say, "I think this is funny — they will too." Louis gets that. There's no downside to him. He's the next Big One.

Rivers is a comedian and television host