Did Louie’s Louis C.K. really steal school scales for drug money?


Last week’s episode of Louis C.K.’s FX show Louie, “Into the Woods,” was basically a whole movie. The run-time was 90 minutes with commercials as his character Louie relived his own childhood foibles with marijuana after he catches his daughter smoking pot at a concert. The details of his own teen drama around pot, and his difficult relationships with the adults in his life ring so true that it’s hard to imagine that it wasn’t partly inspired by C.K.’s own life.

Turns out, a lot of the details presented in the episode really happened to Louis. He’s used some of it in a bit, which of course could always still be made up, where he says that he stole school scales to pay for drugs. The teacher was a female in the joke, and he only told her that he was the one who stole the scales after she contacted him after seeing his HBO show.

Here’s the video of the joke, where he talks about stealing school scales to pay for pot:

The specifics about the scales might not be true, but it’s difficult to make up something that strange. Kids do a lot of crazy things, but stealing scales seems highly up to a particular set of circumstances.

In a long interview with medium.com, Louis explained about a “massive” drug problem that developed in junior high, just like the show, and continued in and out throughout high school. He also reports going through depression as a teen.

I was depressed a lot in high school. I did all this stuff outside of school: I did my internship, I loved my teachers a lot, I loved school and learning, but it wasn’t consistent enough. I’d always end up getting behind, getting in trouble, and I’d stop going, I’d feel bad, and everything would…I struggled, I did a lot of drugs when I was in junior high school, so I was already like a recovered addict. By the time I got to high school, I had been in and out of a massive drug problem.

Oh god, I dropped more acid than I remember in eighth grade. Eighth, ninth grade were two solid years of dropping acid, snorting coke when somebody had it, Quaaludes, smoking an alarming amount of pot, mescaline, drinking, stealing shit, crime, dumb, always in trouble, terrible time.

In 2011, Louis spoke to Playboy about his junior high drug problem, but explained that he got passed that sort of thing as an adult. “I did most of my drugs in school. I did loads of drugs when I was in eighth grade, ninth grade. For some reason those were the years I picked, and I learned what the pitfalls were,” he said. “Also, I’m too driven. I love what I do, and it’s important to me. Being ­addicted is one thing. If you’re addicted you have a sickness. But to do drugs recklessly when you’re trying to be a comedian, you’re just not trying hard enough.”

Louie just keeps getting better and better, with deeper explorations of communication, relationships, parenthood, and existential dilemmas galore. It’s not really a laugh-out-loud show anymore most of the time, but it’s like going to the cinema each week. Louis has a background with making small, artsy type films, and he’s melding together everything he’s learned about storytelling, filmmaking, and comedy into something truly brilliant.

If the end of “Into the Woods,” doesn’t make you burst into a lake of tears, you need to get your heart checked.

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