Watch Joan Rivers Explain the Life of a Comedian to Louis C.K.

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Sept. 4 2014 3:11 PM

Watch Joan Rivers Explain the Life of a Comedian to Louis C.K.

85286924-american-personality-joan-rivers-participates-during-the
Joan Rivers in 2009.

Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Joan Rivers, who died Thursday at the age of 81, was a famous—and working, always working—comedian for half a century, having first broken through on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1965. One of the many comedians she inspired was Louis C.K., who, in 2011, told the A.V. Club that he had always loved her and that the documentary about her life and career, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, was “a huge inspiration.”

After seeing that movie, C.K. asked Rivers to appear on his show, Louie, and wrote a scene in which she tells him that comedy is not a job, it’s “a calling.” (“When I asked for script changes,” Rivers later explained in GQ, “we rewrote it together.”) Rivers tells Louie that the life of a comedian doesn’t get better, but “you get better,” and that, in any case, you do it because you “love it more than anything else.”

Advertisement

After she had filmed the episode, Rivers told Vulture that she had not yet seen C.K.’s stand-up, but that she hoped to, adding that “Louie needs a good fashion makeover but that will come later.” 

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 8:38 AM An Implanted Wearable Gadget Isn’t as Crazy as You’d Think Products like New Deal Design’s UnderSkin may be the future.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.