Philosophers from the days of old used to ponder about existence, and our place from the mirco-sphere of society, to the macro-sphere of the vast, unending universe. Names like Plato and Socrates searched both themselves and their world to make intellectual findings so profound, they resonate to this day in literature, the arts, and the sciences. An argument can be made that the comedians we look towards for entertainment achieve the very same thing. Granted, nowadays we have departments of academics and artisans to further the fields of thought, but are their social observations any less valuable?
One such comedian at the top of his game right now is none other than Louis CK. The multi-hyphenate talent conquered the world of stand-up before producing the countless shows and films we know and love today. To those unfamiliar with his work, I implore you to familiarise yourself with his ouevre. Here are a few times Louis CK made us sit and think like the modern day philosophers he is.
Basic human entitlements.
Things can feel pretty bleak some days, but it's important to remember all that there is to be thankful for. For one, we could be anywhere lower in the food chain. But how fortunate we are to exist in the exact time, space, and reality that we can mindlessly scroll our feeds and laugh at Louis miming a dick.
On humans ruining the world.
We've reached a rather self-aware point in time where more than ever, people are reflecting on the legacy of white colonisation. Additionally, the we've reached a point where we're also reflecting on the lasting effects of human life on the evnironment. In this clip, Louis makes light of a heavy topic to highlight the absurdity of civilisation.
On human rationality and connections.
Human connections have often been characterised as an illusion we participate it. Connecting the dots the way we do is evolutionary. Cave men saw shadows on a walls around their campsite, and thought "Hey, that's a predator there." How they used that information dictated their survival. Louis demonstrates this innate tendency we have to make a story out of odd cosmetic details, while exploring how irrational the human mind can be ruled by emotions.
On the humour in life's tragic side.
This one deviates a little from the other clips of comedy. In 2015, Louis CK won the Moth Award for Storytelling. In his acceptance speech, he tells an uplifting anecdote about one of the worst times he had lived, in the bleakest, most alienating setting possible, as well as the lessons he had learnt from those lost moments.