One Hard Truth About Getting Old
How Not to be an Old Person

What is Ageism and What Is Not?

[EDITORIAL NOTE: A reader sent me the video that is the topic of today's post, but I've lost the message so please accept my apologies for not mentioning your name.

UPDATE: Some of you are having trouble seeing the video. There is nothing wrong with embed but there could be a zillion things causing in your browser to cause it now to play. Most of difficulties have to do with out-of-date plugins such as Flash, Java, Quicktime, etc.

This happens most often with non-YouTube videos. I cannot fix it at this end. It is something in your browser. For Firefox users, here is a page of potential fixes.

You can also view the clip at NBC but if the problem is with your browser settings, updates, etc. it will not play there either.

category_bug_ageism.gif Let me proclaim up front that I am a big-time fan – have been for a long time - of comedian, Louis C.K. He's filthy, profane, mean, bizarre, nasty, offensive and when, after a couple of viewings, you get over all that, he is also laugh-out-loud funny.

Louis regularly goes right up to the edge of decency, then steps over it and stomps around in the mess he's made. But when he's finished and takes his bow, you've been poked in the ribs with a new perspective or two on something you had not considered that way before.

On the weekend following Hurricane Sandy, Louis C.K. hosted Saturday Night Live and although his opening monologue touched on the storm, the main topic was the story of his encounter with an old woman at JFK airport.

That's all I'm going to say. Just watch the video (he cleans up his act a lot for television), watch the whole thing and then we'll talk some more on the other side.

So did you laugh? I sure did - in all the places he intended us to. Then I watched it again and laughed some more.

In the first half of the piece, I was offended for all the old ladies who have ever been made fun of in such a manner. But then Louis C.K. did what he does so often and so well – a complete reversal exposing his sweet and vulnerable side...

You know what? Never mind. It's never a good thing to analyze comedy.

Tell us where you stand on this.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary Daniels Brown: The March for Women's Lives, 2004


Loved it...completely!

Me too!

Can't say. That site won't allow non-Americans to view it.

So, what--are old ladies some special class that they can't be made fun of? No way. We can take it.

Louis CK had some very good lines in his monologue. I especially liked how he described everyone's reaction when they first saw the old lady fall down. Hesitation, or as Louie called it, "decency chicken."

Better than that, he said old ladies say whatever they want to say because "The filter comes off around age 72."

He is very funny and, as you say, he does have a sweet side despite the harsh content of his act.

I could not play the tape on your blog though, Ronni. I went to You Tube to see it.

Very funny, yes....he takes that material and expands it beyond the stereotypes into human connection, yet manages to use fear of aging in a very humorous way. I am going to look for more from him.

Sure, we all need a good laugh now and then. It's supposed to be good for the soul. Either we are laughing at ourselves, something - or in this case someone!

How many of you in moments of frustration enjoy getting laughed at? Afterall, it's fun isn't it . . .

It was funny and I laughed.

But then I thought about all the negative stereotypes - clumsy, out-dated, ignorant, dependent,and not sexy - and I didn't think it quite as funny.

He tried to save it with the hastily thrown in line of 'she changed my life and I will never forget her'.

He didn't just make fun of old ladies. He threw in humor about immigrants, non-English speakers, refugees, Jews (the hat), and himself. I don't think it was cruel, and it was funny. I know some cranky old ladies lol.

Can't get the video to play Ronni!? But found it on I liked it, do I really have to wait until 72 to say what I think, ha, ha!

Louis C.K. is one of best around these days. I don't care if old people like me are laughed at as long as the joke is based on something human & real, not just a negative stereotype. And it depends on where the speaker is coming from. Louis C.K. can be brutally accurate but he's not mean-spirited.

Couldn't open the video.

Wish I could see the video. I tried the youtube link a well, but...not in Canada.

I do wish that cc were available on comedy routines. Unfortunately I only got about half of it, but from what I did see and hear he reminded me of the late great George Carlin. I loved Carlin and know I would love Lewis C.K. if only I had my hearing back.

I still have 5+ years to go before I hit 72, but I've been practicing the say-whatever-you-think routine for several years. It works! Amazing. Lovin' it. Maybe I should change my screen name to UnfilteredK. Hehehe.

Hilarious and touching. I'm a fan forever!

Louis CK's raw honesty--exposing his demons makes me cringe...but ultimately I can count on him
to give in to his immeasurable and immutable decency.

I hope I live long enough to enjoy Louis CK from the perspective of an old comedian.

I wonder, TGBers, when we were young what were our thoughts and feelings about the old and growing old?

Yes, Darlene. George Carlin-like guy.

First time I've ever seen this guy and he's funny.

Hey, Louis! Maybe I'm the sexy old lady you're looking for!

Loved it...for all the reasons mentioned. Thanks!

It didn't seem mean-spirited to me. I laughed a lot and especially loved the line about 8-year-old boys and old ladies 72 and over. How there's no filter. There's something to that.

He's wrong about the sex part, but I still have enough of a filter going that I don't want to discuss it.

You know- there are plenty of negatives in that act- BUT- there IS the positive that he SAW an "old lady"- we are not invisible (which is starting to happen to me. Dont like it.)And she was traveling- by herself! She had a life! (she has a life- she is going places.) And he stayed and they talked story- they learned from each other.
I also subscribe to the point that if you cant laugh at yourself.......

Couldn't access ... but found him on line at this link with NBC ..

Very funny...I never heard of him before...

I clicked on the video posted by Celia...

My husband and I are big fans of Lewis Black...

People who can make us laugh are priceless!

OMG! This guy told the truth! Like you I was working up to being offended in the beginning. After all, I am an old lady, but I ended laughing out loud.
Thank you!

I got a chuckle or two.

Having done some falling in public places, I thought he was a bit harsh about getting her up on her feet right away. I doubt that he did or would do that in real life. I think he played down his good side. The seeming spontaneity of his rap is beguiling. I know what he means about wishing he could desire a nice old lady, that is the trouble with biology. And that kind of reference to sexual feeling makes the monologue work. I felt in sympathy with his sentiments. But, no, I did not laugh.

"Not available in my area" is the message I got but linked to it directly here:

Loved being compared to 8 year old boys...



Not sure where I stand on this. Yes, it's funny, but. . . I'm almost 76 and I must admit that I still "filter" what I say, depending on the situation. Just because I'm an elder doesn't automatically give me license to say or do whatever I please (just my view).

Meh for me, too. However, I did get a sense of his decency.

Just wanted to note that I couldn't get the video to work on this site or at NBC with Chrome browser, but when I switched to Firefox, it played fine.

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