Louis C.K. may be one of comedy's hottest artists right now, but he hasn't forgotten the leaner years.

During an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" Tuesday night, he mentioned Minneapolis's Acme Comedy Club and gave high praise to owner Louis Lee.

C.K. referred back to six shows he did here back in 2006. During that period, he was used to earning $100 a night. After a string of sold-out shows in Minneapolis, Lee handed him an envelope. Inside was $10,000.

"No one had ever done that before," C.K. told Fallon. "Louis said, 'This is where you're at now.'

"I started crying like a baby."

At the time, Lee said that C.K. was one of the country's top five stand-ups. He's still a major fan.

"That was extremely nice of him to mention me," Lee said Wednesday. "The first couple times he came to the club, he was writing for Chris Rock and I don't think stand-up was his top priority. But he just kept getting better and better. I think he had also gotten used to the room."

C.K.'s sitcom, "Louie," returns to FX at 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Read my recent interview with him here, or check out Thursday's Variety section. Here's a clip from his Fallon appearance; he talks about Acme around the 15:50 point.