Monthly Archives: March 2011

Comedian Louis CK Talks Being Mexican

March 10, 2011 at 11:09 PM EST – Most people may not realize this, but Louis CK (comedian and former writer for Letterman, Leno and Chris Rock) is a Mexican-American.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview done by Tavis Smiley:

Tavis: Did I read – I’m sure I read this somewhere and I don’t believe everything I read, but I think this is true. English is not your first language?

Louis C.K.: That’s right. Spanish.

Tavis: How (laughter)? I don’t mean how. I mean, I know how. I’m just like I never had any idea.

Louis C.K.: I’m curious what makes that so surprising to you.

Tavis: I mean, because you’re – I guess it’s the way that so many of us got introduced to you comedically. You know, it’s possible, obviously. I just never thought of you – I don’t know. I didn’t process it that way.

Louis C.K.: Well, it’s interesting. My dad is Mexican, so I’m Mexican. I’m half Mexican. It’s always been interesting to me. It’s been an interesting part of my life experience. Yeah, my dad was Mexican and moved here – well, he came here to go to summer school and met my mother, who’s American.

But anyway, we lived there for a lot of years. I was born here, but we lived there from when I was like a baby until I was about seven years old and that’s where still my grandmother and everybody in my whole family is there. But because of the way that I look, I wouldn’t be pegged as a Mexican, which is interesting because I’m more Mexican than a lot of people that are known as Mexicans, you know.

I lived in Mexico, my dad’s Mexican, I have a Mexican passport, I have citizenship there.

Tavis: (Laughter) And you’re writing Pootie Tang.

Louis C.K.: That’s right.

Tavis: I think that’s probably why it didn’t connect for me.

Louis C.K.: Well, Mexico is – and I’m not trying to say this like you don’t know anything, but what I understand is that Mexico is like here in terms of racial makeup. There’s a lot of white Mexicans. Actually, my dad’s Jewish, Hungarian, Mexican. You know, Mexico is the land of immigrants like here, but they have more brown people because they didn’t slaughter the Indians like we did, like they didn’t do as thorough a job of genociding their Indians, so the face of the Mexican is more often brown.

Also, people experience Mexicans as that brown guy that comes over and works in my house, or whatever it is. They don’t realize that they’re surrounded by millions of white Mexicans and also a lot of white Mexicans who stay in Mexico because they’re having a great time because white people went everywhere.

Tavis: So the moral of the story is that we’re surrounded by Louis C.K.s that we know not of.

Louis C.K.: That’s right. Lot of white Mexicans. My cousins all look like me, but they don’t speak English.

Louis CK Mexican