Old Video of Comedian Louis CK Making Fun of ‘Avant-Garde’ Photography

Here’s a little dose of humor to brighten your Saturday. Back in the 90s, in a jab at both MTV and “avant-garde” photography, a young Louis CK put this funny little clip together. In it, his name is David Cross (perhaps another jab at his fellow comedian by the same name) and his specialty? Toilet photography.

There are a few different messages CK was maybe trying to get across here. The whole skit ends with the phrase “MTV will show you a lot of crap, and tell you it’s art. But I will show you crap … and it’s like art,” making it likely that’s the angle he was going for.


But there’s something particularly hilarious about the comedian bent over a flushing toilet, taking frantic pictures with his rangefinder as he pours more and more food coloring in. “To me the commode is like a universe,” says the tortured artist, “and I can manipulate that universe just by flushing.”

Obviously this takes the idea of the crazy photographer to silly proportions, but once in a while it may not be such a bad thing to laugh at the artist inside all of us that’s always aiming for “creative,” but sometimes hits “crazy” instead.

(via Reddit)

  • Spongebob Nopants

    His comback is perfect. “It’s good! And you’re wrong! I went to college!”
    Yup. It’s a dig at David Cross alright. Or at that sort. The seemingly intelligent comedian who actually isn’t funny or even witty. Though in terms of funny, Louis CK is maybe not the best comedian to make that jab.
    In that way it’s unintenionally amusing on the meta level because Louis can see the faults in another comedian not seeing their professional faults, yet sorta doesn’t see his own.
    It’s a dig at people who honestly think they’re awsome just because they’ve tried – and don’t percieve the difference in quality between their product and the product of others who actually are better because they’ve thought more and worked harder.
    It’s the critique that photo craftsmen lay on “lucky” or fasionable artsy fartsies.
    The great irony is that even though they are right about this, the craftsman more often then not just doesn’t have the spark that the semi literate spaz does. That is very easy to see in photography and it’s also very evident in comedy. Very often the sucessful pros are the ones who work hard to become excellent at performance but are about as funny as a boil.
    Very often we’ve seen comedians get less funny as they become more polished and successful. Because they are thinking about the wrong things and with less fluidity as when they were less literate in their craft.
    I’m not moralizing, I’d take the greenbacks too.

  • Spongebob Nopants

    I can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve looked at educational photo books and the photographer-authors imagery had the same umph as stock photography. Technically competent but on it’s own it never gives the impression that the author/photog actually cares about photography, and certainly doesn’t care at all about art. These are the guys who are so competent somebody asked them to write an instructional book.
    Competence is important but if that’s all you’ve got then, in your hands, the camera is little more than a complicated xerox machine.

  • Kaveh Moravej

    With a macro lens, a few strobes at high shutter speeds or some longer exposures, this toilet photography might not actually look that bad.

  • Cochese

    Not sure if a Macro is necessary, but I’m with you on that, it could look really cool. I’m thinking of high-speed shots to get the dye just as it’s blending or right before it blends together.