User-Centered Stand-Up Comedy

Tony Aubé
2 min readJan 30, 2024

This video is fascinating. Louis CK explains how he crafts his comedy specials. The connections with UX design are astounding.

Louis CK crafts his stand-up show the same way the best designers are taught to design, and the way the best entrepreneurs create their products. It’s mostly about user feedback.

When Louis has an idea for a joke, he barely writes it out. Instead, because it’s a spoken medium, he keeps it in his mind until he’s in front of an audience, and tests it out with them. Only then does he sit down, listen to his recordings, take notes, and iterate.

In other words, he has an idea, makes a MVP/prototype, and tests the hell out of it for a year until it’s great. That’s how he became one of the most successful comedians in the world.

The more you learn about creativity, the more you realize it’s all different variations of the same process. Whether you’re designing an app, making a movie, or crafting a stand-up comedy show, it always comes down to:

  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Test
  • Iterate

All creativity is interrelated.

Learning about stand-up comedy will make you a better web designer.

Learning about photography will make you a better architect.

Learning about poetry will make you a better filmmaker.