What Inspires Me: Louis CK

***Warning: The below video has some NSFW language, but I believe its big thesis makes it well worth it.***

Louis CK is one of my favorite comedians of all time. He’s brilliant, uncouth, controversial, and incredibly inventive. That last quality in particular was one that I grew to appreciate after watching the above video. Louis has taken a cue from the great George Carlin in not just reusing stand-up material from year-to-year, but in totally reinventing his act every year. He’s constantly starting from square one, not only resting on the laurels of his previous stand up specials and performances.

For some reason, stand-up comedians absolutely inspire me, especially as a teacher 1, who, to some extent, is a daily “performer” 2. From year-to-year, it makes sense that I’d keep my curriculum the same or hone it down to the best possible iteration of it, but Louis inspires me to keep it fresh, both to myself and to my students. From my last years in Taiwan, where thing became so repetitive that I hardly had to prep for each class, I’ve had to find ways to twist what I do, and I think taking a cue from this brilliant funny-man can/will help me better reach all my students.


  1. I’m SUCH a planner person—I’m absolutely averse to being impulsive or off-the-cuff at all—so seeing someone who appears to be just casually having a monologue (but clearly has rehearsed what they’re saying) is absolutely enthralling to me.
  2. I know that it’s constantly preached to put the students first, not the teacher, which I totally agree with, but one of my strength of my own teaching is me and my own personality which I use to hype up and direct my students.
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2 thoughts on “What Inspires Me: Louis CK

  1. Even though I use some lessons from year to year, I am always trying to keep my “material” fresh. I think this helps keeps the children engaged but also keeps me engaged. If I did the same thing over and over again I would get terribly bored. Louis CK’s advice is very applicable to this teacher and I hope others as well.

    • Chris says:

      Yeah, it’s an imperfect comparison, of course, but I really love his bravery in just GOING FOR IT and not being scared to throw out what has worked in an effort to get better. I feel like I want to hang onto the edge of the pool a bit more myself, but from this video, I felt like the idea was just to dive in.

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