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'Louie''s Guest-Star Stories

The fourth season of ”Louie” continues the show’s tradition of amazing, unexpected casting; Louis C.K. shares the intel behind the cameos

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Parker Posey
Season 3
Louie asks Posey’s Liz out and ends up pulling a crazy all-nighter.
“I wanted to write something about a long date that leaves you in the dust. That was in my head, and then I met Parker when we did a reading of a play for charity, and she was really good and had this really audacious voice. We hung out afterwards, and she made me laugh and was kind of nutty and fun, so I wrote that for her.”

David Lynch
Season 3
Lynch’s character coaches Louie through the Letterman-replacement arc.
“I wrote that part for Ben Gazzara, but he died while we were writing it. Then we thought about Jerry Lewis, and he passed. Then I sent it to Martin Scorsese, who said no. I thought David Lynch would be crazy and perfect.”

Charles Grodin
Season 4
When Louie hurts his back, he consults with Grodin’s physician.
“I wrote this doctor character, and we were kicking around names. I’ve always loved Charles Grodin, but I had heard he had kind of retired. But he really liked the material. Ellen Burstyn is doing a part on the show, and she talked to him about it — they did Same Time, Next Year on Broaway for years. He pops up in four episodes this season.”

Matthew Broderick
Season 1
As himself, Broderick directs Louie in a movie.
“We worked together on a movie called Diminished Capacity, and we became pals. So I was looking for something to do with him. I did a movie called Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, and it was my first real movie role. I stunk really bad. I just couldn’t get my head around it. I couldn’t do it well, and I had no confidence and felt very hated by everybody on the set. It was terrible. So I put that story together for us to do.”

Joan Rivers
Season 2
As herself, Rivers plays the object of Louie’s affection.
“I had never met her. I saw A Piece of Work, and she was describing how she dealt with the tougher parts of her life, and I felt if she were in front of me I would want to kiss her. I thought, ‘That would be great if I could play that moment out!’ And now we’re friends. She came over to my house for Thanksgiving this year.”

Chloë Sevigny
Season 3
After their epic date, Louie tries to find Posey’s Liz again and instead encounters Sevigny’s entrancing bookstore clerk.
“I love Chloë. I would hire her for anything. I wrote that part with her in mind. I had always wanted to put her in something, and I’d like to give her something more sizable someday.”

Todd Barry
Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4
As in real life, Barry is one of Louie’s comedian confidants.
“Comedians like Todd and Ricky [Gervais] and Jerry [Seinfeld] are great on film, because comedians work under pressure well. When actors are having a tough time, you have to try to coax them and tell them they’re doing great and hope that their confidence comes back. With a comedian you just say, ‘Hey, man, you’re really stinking the place up, I need a lot better from you,’ and they’ll just start to get better. They’re used to being in an adversarial place. Comedians don’t live in a world of automatic support. The default is they’re gonna get killed.”

F. Murray Abraham
Season 2, 3, 4
Abraham has been playing different weirdos in Louie’s life.
“He’s just an excellent master actor. There are certain people where it’s like having a Ferrari to drive around in, and you just can’t believe how this thing takes the curves and what you’re able to do with this guy. He’s a nice guy, and funny. He always makes me laugh.”