Youtube has given us a few rare glimpses of Louis C.K.’s ex-wife, painter Alix Bailey. Several years ago before he became a stand-up superstar, Louis C.K. (real name Szekely) schooled himself on film-making by playing with a few of absurd short black-and-white films. A couple of them starred Alix Bailey, yet unencumbered with the perilous good luck of being the source of Louis’ stand-up material.
Understandably, she’s an extremely private person since Louis made a name for himself eviscerating their failing marriage on stage. Even though their marriage didn’t work out, Louis has said in interviews that she’s still a big part of his life as they co-parent their two girls Kitty and Mary Lou. Louis shares custody of the girls for half of every week, and refuses to do any work when they’re staying with him. They have also been fodder for his existential stand-up. By relating to his confessional-style stories, he forces the audience to stick their face deep in the sh!t of their worst fears, and come through the other side laughing. It’s a kind of therapy.
One of his best bits ever though,”Everything’s Amazing, and Nobody is Happy” is a complaint about complaining. He eloquently rants about how we take all of our technology and convenience for granted, a point that seems especially valid in our modern digitalized world, but could hold it’s water in any human time period. It’s also a point that is often told in such a cliched manner, we don’t grapple with the weight of it. Louis’ rant is something that shakes us out of cynicism for a minute, and wakes us up.
His silent films don’t really do that, but they satisfy a small bit of the curiosity we have about his ex wife:
Searching for Nixon:
Persona Ne’ll Aqua:
His show Louie, which he directs, writes, stars in, and edits, is an uncomfortably magical show about a character very much like himself on FX channel. In the third season the Louie character’s ex-wife is portrayed by an African American woman, which has caused a giant gasp across the internet. In the fourth season, the always candid character Pamela directly points out that Louie’s white children could not have been mothered by a black woman, but she doesn’t receive any sort of explanation from Louie.
However, Louis C.K. said in an interview that his ex-wife is black on the show for two reasons: #1. he wanted some major differences between his ex on the show and Alix, and #2. they auditioned women of different races, including white women, and found that Susan Kelechi Watson was the best actress for the part.