Louis C.K.: There’s Only One Career Stupider Than Being a Musician…

Louis CK: Don't Be a Musician...
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Here’s some sage career advice from Louis CK, who says being a musician isn’t the stupidest decision in the world…

Louis CK: I enjoyed the Alvin Ailey — the dancing —

Conan: Oh you liked the dancing thing?

Louis CK: Yeah, dancing is really inspiring to watch when someone… ya know, it’s a terrible life choice. It’s the dumbest — it’s the worst career choice.

[noise, clapping]

Conan:  You’re saying that dancing is a terrible career choice.  You like watching it but it’s a terrible career choice.

Louis CK: It’s the worst available career choice.

Conan: What are you talking about?

Louis CK: It’s a massive amount of dedication followed by giving up.  They all have to give up.

Conan: What are you talking about?

“Don’t be a musician.  That’s a stupid thing to do for a living.”

Louis: There are like three dance jobs on the planet Earth.  And there’s no second tier.  Like any other career.  Even being a musician, what are you doing?  Don’t be a musician.  That’s a stupid thing to do for a living.  But, but, if it doesn’t work out the way you want it [looking at the band].  Look, you got these guys here.

[laughter, noise, clapping]

Conan: Louis, what are you doing?  You know these guys.

Louis: Just to be clear.  What I’m saying is that nobody cares who they are as individuals.  [howling, noise from crowd] But they’re — wait, wait, let me finish —

Conan: — in fairness, you got to let him finish.

Louis: They’re working musicians.  This is not their dream.  None of them.  None of them.  They each wanted to be separate rock stars.  But they’re just a clump of nothing.  That makes a noise —

Conan: A clump of nothing that makes a —

“What I’m saying is that being a musician, that’s viable…”

Louis: And they’re supporting their families.  They’re supporting their families and they’re paying their rent.  By just being nobody that anyone cares, making a noise that a computer can make.

Conan: Now now that’s not true!

Louis: It is!  What I’m saying is that being a musician, that’s a viable — look at this, these guys are a great example that it’s a good idea.  If you’re a dancer, and you’re the greatest dancer in the world, nobody gives a shit, first of all.  I mean, because everybody dances.  And how many millionaire dancers are there?  You can dance for like two seconds at your peak.  Then you gotta give it up.

I mean, stripping, you can strip.  But you don’t need to go to Alvin Ailey to learn to do that.  That’s a good career choice, being a stripper.

Conan: So, ugh —

Louis: As far as financially.

Conan: Financially, yes.

Louis: I’m not saying – look, and that’s why they’re wonderful people.  Because they’re doing something very stupid that we can watch.  I mean stupid for their lives, wonderful for ours.


Top image: Louis CK talks at the 72nd Peabody Award.  Anders Krusberg/Peabody Awards (CC by 2.0). 

10 Responses

  1. let's hope not

    It is good to remember that before Elvis and the Beatles made musical entertainment an iconic, hedonistic, millionaires club, fame machine, that being a musical artist was not for the faint of heart. It was more of a lowly pursuit with no promise of financial paradise. That paradigm that allowed you to become a major cultural hero with benefits galore may just well be a thing of the past, just like Elvis…
    It used to be that just the record companies were stealing from you; well now it is especially your fan$. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$>…………

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I’d cover something that’s 3 years old if I think it’s worth people’s time.

  2. Anonymous

    As long as musicians allow themselves to be exploited and allow their money to be taken from them, they deserve their fate.

    Everyone has to stand up for their own rights. When you don’t exercise them, don’t be surprised when they disappear.

  3. Rick Shaw

    After reading the headline, I thought the answer was founder/editor of a music-tech blog that had gone the path of gossip rag.

  4. Tea

    And being a loudmouth comedian is somehow better than being a dancer or musician?

  5. Davis

    Apparently far better career choice to be a misogynist comic who jacks off in front of colleagues.

    • Jim

      Interestingly, you knew this October 4.

      Is there some sort of scheduled release of this information, like they have 500 more to go, but they’re not going to release more than 5 new ones a day?

  6. Jackass

    I didn’t know you could make a living out of transcribing Youtube videos.