Last night was Louis C.K.’s first-ever hosting gig for Saturday Night Live. But what was, for him, supposed to be a joyous occasion was felt with a heavy heart in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. So yesterday afternoon, Louis penned an open letter to his fans from his dressing room at Studio 8H in Rockefeller center.
Here is part of the letter:
[H]ere we are in the middle of New York City, which was just slammed by a hurricane, leaving behind so much trouble, so much difficulty and trauma, which everyone here is still dealing with every day.
Last night we shot some pre-tape segments in greenwich Village, which was pitch black dark for blocks and blocks, as it has been for a week now.
Its pretty impossible to describe walking through these city streets in total darkness. It can’t even be called a trip through time, because as long as new york has lived, its been lit. By electricity, gas lamps, candlelight, kerosene. But this was pitch black, street after street, corner round corner. And for me, the village being the very place that made me into a comedian and a man, to walk through the heart of it and feel like, in a way, it was dead. I can’t tell you how that felt. And you also had a palpable sense that inside each dark window was a family or a student or an artist or an old woman living alone, just being int he dark and waiting for the day to come back. Like we were all having one big sleep over, but not so much fun as that.
This is how a lot of the city is still. I know people in queens, brooklyn, Staten Island, new jersey, all over, are not normal yet. And not normal is hard.
And here at 30 rock, these folks are working so hard this week. There are kids in the studio every day, because members of the crew and staff had to bring them to work. Many people are sharing lodging. Everyone is tired. But there’s this feeling here that we’ve got to put on a great show. I’m sure it feels like that here every week. But wow. I feel really lucky to be sharing this time with these particular good folks here at SNL.
In about 5 hours we’ll be going on the air. I’ll do a monologue. And we’ll show you some sketches that we wrote and try to make you laugh. I’m gonna look really dumb in some of this stuff. But I don’t care. Its awfully worth it. And I’m really excited.
Anyway. I just wanted to let you know. If you watch the show tonight, when Don Pardo says my name and you see me walking out, all the shit in this email is what ill be thinking. I’m a pretty lucky guy. I hope you enjoy the show.
You can read the whole letter here.
Well done, Louis: classy and respectful. Just like after 9/11, when then-mayor Rudy Giuliani came onto SNL to tell New Yorkers it was all right to laugh, people want some reassurance that it’s OK for our lives to go on while still remembering those who lost everything. A lot of us whose lives were relatively unchanged by Sandy are feeling some sort of survivors’ guilt right now. I, for one, am grateful that Louis C.K, who is a New Yorker, acknowledged that and told us, again, it’s okay to laugh.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter.