If you watched last night’s supersized episode of Louie, you might have wondered whether any of it was based on Louis C.K.’s own childhood. It may have been even more autobiographical than you realized.
While stand-up shouldn’t be mistaken for nonfiction, C.K. has told a similar story about himself on stage, saying that when he was in junior high school he stole 14 triple-beam balances from his school and traded them with his drug dealer for weed.
According to the bit, one of C.K.’s teachers (in this case a woman) stood up for him when he was accused of the theft, defending him against the principal. Ultimately, he says, there was no proof, and he got away with it, just like on the show. Unlike in Louie, however, he says he only admitted to lying about it years later, when his teacher heard about his HBO show and wrote him a letter.
Even if C.K. made up this specific story, he’s said before, in a lengthy interview with Jonah Weiner, that in middle school he had a “massive drug problem,” which led him to crime:
Oh god, I dropped more acid than I remember in eighth grade. Eighth, ninth grade were two solid years of dropping acid, snorting coke when somebody had it, Quaaludes, smoking an alarming amount of pot, mescaline, drinking, stealing shit, crime, dumb, always in trouble, terrible time.
While the episode’s long flashback adds up to a cautionary tale about smoking pot at a young age, C.K. seems to have a healthier relationship with the drug now. When he appeared on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee this past winter, he spoke about his love for getting high and going to IMAX movies. On the other hand, in his 2011 Live at the Beacon Theater special, he claimed that he couldn’t smoke pot anymore because today’s weed is too powerful. As ever, the line between Louie and Louis can be a little blurry, but there’s plenty of truth in his comedy.