TCA 2012: Louis C.K. On Pushing Boundaries, Awards Silliness and his Love for 'Project Runway'

Showrunners Louis C.K. Headshot

From "somwhere" in Albany, Louie executive producer and star Louis CK greeted members of the Television Critics Association Saturday with his thoughts on fashion, comedy and FX's standards and practices division.

Here's a look at the many topics he tackled during his half hour before the press.

On Comedy’s Boundaries

It is rare for FX to have to reign CK in. “I’m like a dog with a shock collar. You can take the collar off after a while; I know where the fence is,” he said via satellite (CK is en route to the Adirondacks to retrieve his daughter from sleepaway camp), recognizing the valuable “service” that the net’s standards and practices division provides. Still, exceptions exist, including a bit that was potentially offensive to Catholics in the God episode earlier in the series’ run. “It certainly didn’t upset me any,” CK said of FX Networks president John Landgraf’s note, “because he’s usually right.”

STORY: TCA 2012: FX Renews 'Louie,' 'Brand X With Russell Brand,' Adds Martin Sheen to 'Anger Management'

On His Emmy Record

If people expected CK to start gushing about his seven Emmy nominations (for both his FX series and his stand-up special), they don’t know CK. The very idea of records and competition, he said, should be “more of an athletics things.” Not that he isn’t flattered, and pleased for his cast and network. “The record was previously held by David Lynch, who was a big hero of mine,” he added. “To take something away from him is bittersweet.”

On CK’s Personal TV Habits

When CK is asked about his favorite TV shows, the roomful of TV reporters anticipate titles like Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad or Curb your Enthusiasm. Instead, CK starts praising Lifetime’s Project Runway. “I love it because I actually really enjoy fashion… And I love that Tim Gunn guy. He’s got a really great work either,” he quips, adding that he’ll watch big-tent competition shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent, too. “I’m a real sucker for very maudlin emotional stuff,” he said, claiming he used to “cry like a baby” while watching Deal or No Deal.

On his Stand Up Future

To hear him tell it, CK will never stop doing stand-up. In addition to loving the format and the comedic inspiration born out of the live experience, he acknowledged that he still makes “way more money” on tour than he does on TV. "Stand-up takes the pressure off of doing other things," he continued. What’s more, it keeps his “blood moving” and is what he argues he’s best at.

STORY: FX's John Landgraf Calls Out Netflix, Bashes Rivals and Admits Fighting with Showrunners

Other Louie Imitations

Following on Landgraf’s stated desire to have more multi-dimensional comedians sign on to do Louie-like shows, CK was asked who would be capable. He mentions a multi-hyphenate like Chris Rock, who appeared earlier in the day to peddle Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. His advice for those who attempt the model: “You’ve got to educate yourself technically,” he allowed, noting the importance of respecting the craft and knowing how such things as cameras work. “Some people draw a line between the technical and the creative, and that’s a mistake.”

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