Louis C.K.: Anti-cellphones, pro-being a person

The comedian doesn't let his daughters use cellphones because he wants them to know what it's like to be alone

Published September 20, 2013 3:00PM (EDT)

On "Conan" last night, America's funniest sardonic comedian Louis C.K. explained why he does not allow his daughters to have those terrible things known as cellphones. "Some parents really struggle with, 'All the other kids have the terrible things, so my kids have to have the [terrible things],'" said C.K.

"You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing anything. That's what the phones are taking away," he said. "The ability to just sit there. That's being a person."

He wants his daughters to face what he calls "the forever empty" without being scared of it. "You know what I'm talking about? Just the knowledge that it's all for nothing and there's nothing down there."

"Pretty much 100 percent of people who are driving are texting," he expertly noted. "People are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don't want to be alone for a second."

The comedian then shared his own experience of existential crisis while driving, prompted, of course, by a Bruce Springsteen song. After an impromptu performance of "Jungleland," C.K. explained that hearing the song "made me really sad. I've gotta get the phone and write 'Hi' to 50 people." But he stopped himself: "You know what, don't. Just let yourself be sad."

"I let it come and I just cried ... so much, and it was beautiful. Sadness is poetic," he said.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Bruce Springsteen Cell-phones Children Comedy Existentialism Louis C.k. Parenting Suffering Video