Howard Stern recently talked to Louis CK about an embarrassing incident in the comic’s career.
As Howard Stern recalled, back in the earlier days of Louis CK’s career, he was called on to direct the now-cult classic film Pootie Tang. Chris Rock asked for him by name. But Howard Stern observed that Louis CK got canned from the movie partway through.
Louis CK told Howard Stern that he was canned off the movie because he was difficult to work with.
“I didn’t know what I was doing. And I just thought that anybody who told me not to do something was an asshole. Chris Rock was in his 30s. He had a lot of pressure on him for it to work. So when I became an asshole, it was hard for him. But we’re ok.”
Howard Stern asked Louis CK if it is tougher to do movies than television because of the amount of investment risk that you are responsible for. Louis CK agreed, and explained:
“A movie only gets one shot, and if it doesn’t hit, it’s just gone. With a TV show, every week you have a chance to get some momentum. And there’s a sort of feeling about the show, if there’s awards and stuff. But with movies, all that effort goes into this thing. People jump out of airplanes and all this stuff, and nobody went.”
In fact, Louis CK told Howard Stern that the whole business can get downright depressing.
“It’s pretty brutal, and people lose their jobs. On Pootie Tang, I was in a room with all these executives, and I watched guys get fired.”
Fortunately, as Howard Stern observed, Louis CK makes more in a few nights of standup than he would ever make on a film. Louis CK expanded on that.
“But the freedom of the fact that I don’t need it for an income, and the I make enough doing standup means it’s a benefit to me in making movies. I don’t have to take a shitty deal to make a movie.”