raises the question of whether Louis C.K. is portraying women
unilaterally as intricate beings or writing them all off as
unmanageable, irrational stereotypes. I argue that the
ridiculousness and purposeful incoherence of the series
camouflages the perpetuation of these stereotypes, which is
negative if not dangerous, in such a way that these stereotypes
reinforce the already-skewed representation of women in media.
Louie C.K. began performing fairly unsuccessful stand-up
comedy in Boston and New York City in the 1990s. After landing
a string of staff writing positions Caroline’s Comedy Hour, Late
Night with Conan O’Brien, The Dana Carvey Show and The Chris Rock
Show writing and directing the 2001 film Pootie Tang, and creating
and starring in the single-season HBO show Lucky Louie (2006-
2007), his break arguably came when he began releasing several
full-length comedy specials. Live at the Beacon Theater, for example,
was sold on the comedian’s website for $5 and racked up over $1
million in sales within two weeks (Biography.com); then, in 2009,
FX announced that it had picked up and would air Louie the
following year. It is a show that C.K. has described as a
combination of “short autobiographical comedy films, about his
life as a single divorced father and comedian, with segments of him
performing stand-up routines that would be thematically tied to
the films” that was “unlike anything he’s done before” (Itzkoff).
Louie and its creator have been praised for pioneering “the filthy
and emotionally fearless, auteur-driven and defiantly non-
pandering genre of prestige comedy” (Marchese) and have become
known for the show’s tendency to push the boundaries of the
sitcom genre. An article in The Guardian explains:
[Viewers don’t] find that familiar sitcom
structure. Of course it is filmed with a single
camera and doesn’t have a laugh track, but these
days the same can be said for every 30-minute
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