Now that he rules the comedy roost, Louis C.K. is finally releasing his unseen, black-and-white movie from 1998 that features young stars-in-the-making in J.B. Smoove, Steve Carrell, Amy Poehler, and Wanda Sykes. The star of FX's Louie took to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night to pitch his 15-year-old film, Tomorrow Night, which will debut on his website in February and can be downloaded for a $5 fee. A fresh look at the movie's trailer shows a veritable who's who of modern comedy, and explains why the movie is now being released. At the same time, the trailer's weirdness pretty well explains why it has taken so long for the movie to reach a wider audience.
Quasi-sexual ice cream seats and creepy old people romance doesn't often make for a blockbuster. So, yeah, despite (because?) of the now-big comedy names, the film looks a bit bizarre. Though the movie premiered at Sundance in 1998, it was never released beyond that. Let Louie himself explain why: "It was a black-and-white movie, and when I made it I wasn't anybody. It was shrewd," he joked.
But oh, those now-recognizable faces do make the film look like an intriguing project. There's a screaming, open-mouthed Carrell, officially billed as "Mail Room Guy Without Glasses" on the IMDB. There's plenty of shots of J.B. Smoove as the sassy mailman, and an uncredited Wanda Sykes alongside him. And a big-haired Conan O'Brien appears as well, portraying himself on stage.
As a funny-man in the New York scene 15 years ago, Louie befriended these burgeoning comedians, many of whom make up the core of the comedy circuit today. The number of soon-to-be famous comedians appearing jumped by one on The Tonight Show last night, when Louie showed a previously unseen clip from the movie. The short functions as Amy Poehler's first ever on-screen role, as poor Poehler takes a spray of water from C.K. right to the face, but stays in stride.
Everyone starts somewhere, right? In any case, Louie's own routine for watching the movies may come in handy here. C.K. detailed his pre-movie routine on Jerry Seinfeld's "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" video series – get really high and eat a lot of snacks.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.