The Telefile
Louis C.K. Talks <I>Louie</i> Season 3, His Best Friends and Jerry Seinfeld

Fans of Louis C.K. and his FX sitcom can understand why I can't recommend the series enough; Louie is great. To promote tonight's Season 3 premiere, Louis C.K. took a press call yesterday to answer a few questions about what we'll see in coming episodes. To spare you spoilers and a lot of the same queries about why the character who plays Louie's ex-wife is African American -- hint: it's because she's a talented actress -- I've pulled out the interview highlights, which are entirely free of dick jokes (unfortunately).

On this season's guest stars
There are a lot of guest stars that are piling up, and I'm excited about it... I won't tell you all of them, but Melissa Leo is in the second episode. F. Murray Abraham comes back; he's one of my favorite guys ever. Robin Williams does a thing on the show later in the season. Jerry Seinfeld is on the show... Jerry is in not in the last three, but the tenth, eleventh and twelfth episodes of this season are going to be a whole story of their own. It's going to be basically a three-part story, and it's what we put the most effort into, and Jerry is in that. I don't want to say anything about any of it because it's got a lot of guest stars, and a lot happens... but Jerry did a part, and what he did was very different than what you're used to seeing Jerry do. Jerry turned in a really, really great performance. I was really happy.

On playing with the format of Louie's storytelling
It's kind of crazy to think that every story you ever tell should take exactly 22 minutes to tell. I mean, imagine telling somebody a story of a great, funny thing that happened in your life, and then you're done with the details and you look at your watch and go, "Shit, I gotta keep talking about this for 22 minutes." So I gotta come up with other reasons to talk about it, introduce other people. And then whenever you're watching something on television that was created because it was necessary, because they needed it, it's not fun to watch.

So when I start writing a story, it's like, if this is over, it's the end of the page. I'm shooting it if it's good because it could be just the one scene. And if it sprawls and just keep going, then I'll shoot all of that and just cram it into as much of the show as just thirteen 22-minute segments, and I just put the pieces in wherever they fit. This year is unique because there's more than one story that took more than one episode to tell. That's new for this show. There's still a lot of short stories, a lot of two-story episodes.

I also like that when people are watching the show, they don't know how long they're going to be told a story for. I think that makes it exciting... I think one reason TV always done well is because there is something comforting where you kind of know what you're going to be taken through. But a different --and probably a smaller -- group of people would rather watch a show where they don't know how long this is going to go on for. They don't know if they're going to see this character's face ever again. This character might be in the rest of the season, or who knows? I think it's more organic that way. Life is built that way. You stick with things that are compelling, and you drift away from things that aren't.

On how his daughters feel about it
Well, my daughters have seen parts of the show. The pilot episode had a whole disaster on a school bus that came from a jumping-off point of a real thing that happened with my daughter. So she enjoyed watching that. This isn't on HBO, so there are some scenes my kids can watch. And the kids on my show are vastly different than my kids in real life. They're really not even close as characters, so it's really just a different life. There isn't so much of a parallel anymore.

And we're all friends, me and my kids. They're my best friends, and therefore I spend more time with them than anybody else in the world, and so we all know each other and we laugh about the same stuff. My show is an adult version of the same humor that I share with my children. They know whenever they see me on the show or onstage acting really angry, they just think it's hilarious because I'm not really like that. If I was an angry, detached, jerk of a father, then my show would probably be some kind of a nightmare for my kids, but they just think it's funny because Daddy's not like that.

I get mad like anybody else does, but being able to laugh about getting mad is very healthy, and my kids know that. We share a lot. And really, I can only speak for them to a limit. They are my kids, but when they turn 18, you can ask them.

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