In an interview with Rolling Stone, writer and comedian Louis C.K. says his comic vision is informed by his upbringing in Mexico.
C.K.’s paternal grandfather immigrated to Mexico from Hungary and married a Mexican woman. Louis moved back to his father’s home country at the age of one, and stayed there until he was seven years old.
He says his outsider status in America, and the racial classification imposed upon him, gives him a unique perspective.
“Coming here and observing America as an outsider made me an observing person,” C.K. tells senior writer Brian Hiatt in the new issue of Rolling Stone. “I grew up in Boston and didn’t get the accent, and one of the reasons is that I started in Spanish. I was a little kid, so all I had to do was completely reject my Spanish and my Mexican past, which is a whole lot easier because I’m white with red hair. I had the help of a whole nation of people just accepting that I’m white.”
“Race doesn’t mean what it used to in America anymore,” he continues. “It just doesn’t. Obama’s black, but he’s not black the way people used to define that. Is black your experience or the color of your skin? My experience is as a Mexican immigrant, more so than someone like George Lopez. He’s from California. But he’ll be treated as an immigrant. I am an outsider. My abuelita, my grandmother, didn’t speak English. My whole family on my dad’s side is in Mexico. I won’t ever be called that or treated that way, but it was my experience.”
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