No One Can Take Silence


"I feel bad for current human Americans because, with all the products and all the technology and the communication, no one can take silence. It's terrifying to people, I think. Everybody's got their phone on their pillow at night, literally — I do, too. I think people have a really hard time just comin' home, loosening their tie, getting a drink, and just sitting in the chair for a while. That's a really important part of human existence — a little reflection — a moment to reflect in the process. You take on a lot mentally and emotionally in this world, and you gotta give yourself some time, man, you know. Nobody does that.

And I'm not afraid to do that on stage. It's natural to me up there. The thing about being on stage is I know the future and they don't. I have an insane amount of power over the audience. If you're in a conversation with somebody, you're equal partners in control over where that conversations gonna go. Some people struggle with that. They need to bluster and yell and manipulate in order to feel like they're in control. But stand up is crazy because I know what I'm gonna say and they don't know. They're just sitting there and listening. 

So I can take a second, because I know I'm about to ruin your life with this material. You know? I have fifty fast balls in a row coming and they're gonna choke you. You're not gonna be able to breathe. I can see that comin' and you don't. So I can take a second. Take a breath. Look at the audience and smile at them and they're like, Whoa! Aren't you gonna say anything? Yeah, it's coming and then just hit them with a massive amount of material." 

~ Louis C.K. in conversation with Elvis Mitchell, KCRW's The Treatment (Aug. 22, 2012)

See also: