Louis CK said the following in a Google Groups post from August 2005:
Lots of folks say it takes 15, maybe 20 years to make a great comic.
Lots of people start out with a lot of talent but by the time they hit
that many years they’ve given up, become bitter and crusty or have died
from ill health and depression.
Outside of all that, it seems to me that if you’re trying to do
something extrordinary, which succeeding as a comedian is, if only by
virtue of the fact that almost no one pulls it off, then you should get
yourself into the best possible shape. I don’t mean looks, I don’t
mean weight. I maintain a pretty good belly. I just mean getting
yourself ready, steeling yourself, improving your abilities and
stregths as a person..
Given the odds of making it as a comedian, I am amazed at how little
effort so many comedians make, while complaining bitterly about their
lack of breaks. I mean, you should be thinking like an olympic athlete
but you think like dorito-eating high school brats, doing nothign and
expecting everything. Of course I’m not talking about YOU, whoever is
reading this. I’m talking about YOU, over there. Yeah.
Every time I run, I reach about fifty points in my run where I want to
quit. I reach about 100 points where I am SURE I’m going to quit. But
I keep going and when I finish, I’ve just proven to myself that I can
survive self doubt and exhaustioin. This is an invaluable tool for me
as a comedian, writer and producer. Everything I do is helped by
exercize. Even if I can’t spell it right.
One other thing, I NEVER listen to music when I run. This is my
reason: When I get to those points, going up a horrible hill, running
staright into a cold wind, I have to reach somewhere inside myself to
get through it. If I have an ipod suplying me with “Eye of the Tiger”
or some wonderful Cher song, then that gets me through. That’s no good
to me because next time I’m on a stage getting tired, or next time I’m
shooting number 9 of 20 shows or next time I just want to fucking eat a
bag of poison because I get sick of my life, I’d rather have whatever
tool I built inside myself on that hill, then have to listen to cher
Does that make any sense?