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Comedian Louis CK reflects on life after Lucky Louie


Louis CK grew up without a lot of money, but even when he got some of his own he wasn't very responsible with it. "Money's like oxygen. It's not my money; it's the money. It's just an element of the universe, so I always feel like hoarding it in one place is unnatural." But with a wife and kids, Louis's become more conservative, though his recently concluded HBO sitcom helped a great deal financially. "Lucky Louie got me out of a hole that took 38 years to dig. A sweet nothing is what I have now." If you missed Lucky Louie or either of Louis's two HBO specials, you can get your CK fix on Thu., Sept. 6, at the Rex Theatre.

What's something you missed out on growing up in a low-income family?

We never had any snacks in the house. We had crackers -- my mother would buy these awful crackers that didn't even have salt on them, and I used to ask her to buy the pinwheel cookies, and she'd say, "If I buy those cookies, they'll be gone by the end of the day. These crackers will last two weeks." That was such bizarre logic to me. Yeah, if you buy petrified shit, that's going to last forever. I also didn't have a lot of toys.

Did that force you to be creative?

It did, but it also made me steal things a lot, from stores and from my rich friends' houses, and I'd get in a lot of trouble. I learned to lie a lot; that's a sort of survival skill when you don't have a lot of money. But rich people do that too.

Did you ever lie so much that you forgot what was true?

Sure, I used to tell people fantasy stuff, and after a while it just became part of my past. Kind of like Ronald Reagan thinking that he fought in World War II.

How do you feel about snacks now?

I'm still amazed that I'm a grown-up and that I can go buy candy. Just now, I went to a confectionery store and bought an assortment of chocolates. I ate about eight of them and I feel like a bag of shit. It all leads to misery. Either you're miserable because you don't have the candy you want, or you're miserable because you ate the candy.

Your opening act, Todd Barry, is one of your oldest friends. What's something about him that he wouldn't want you to share?

Todd loves me like a brother, thinks I'm a great comedian, and admires what I do on stage.

Louis CK with Todd Barry 7:45 p.m. Thu., Sept. 6. Rex Theatre, 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $25 ($30 at the door). 412 381-6811 or www.elkoconcerts.com

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