Director: Louis CK
Louis CK returns with his latest comedy special, an hour of new material – by now among the many things he’s known and revered for is the fact that he turns around new material year in, year out. He won’t go on the road with a recycled routine – offering some “greatest hits” version of comedy with a few new bits. There are familiar and recurring themes, there are bits that are instantly so spot-on too as to seem like you must have heard them before from CK. But no. It’s new stuff. It’s always new stuff when Louis hits record.
Last year there was no new special from him – so this is the first since Oh My God. It’s available, as with previous comedy specials from Louis CK via his website, you pay $5 and you get to download both audio and video.
This intimate, hour-long show (with a snippet of opening act, Jay London) is Louis CK back in the comedy club, as opposed to the more grandiose theatre tours/specials. So it’s up-close, confessional, and filmed in high def, available 1080p HD – the first of Louis’s specials to be offered in this quality. It’s a front-row experience – or as close as can be – watching this from home.
And the material traces around – reinvents/reworks – some of his favourite topics from recent years, being happy with the body he has (the aim now is for people to offer some surprise when he dies, to not expect/predict it), travelling with children – the selfishness of those without children convinced the screaming on the plane could only ever be upsetting to them, not to the parents that have battled with it for potentially days on end – and the selfie-obsessed social-media culture that is more interested in preserving a moment than actually experiencing it.
He’s the master.
At this point a Louis CK special is like a sit-down chat with an old friend. You’re just happy for him to do all the talking (it’s the only option, obviously) but it’s constantly amazing how he can go to dark places, intentionally twist and mangle an idea down towards the depths of depravity, only to emerge, having wrestled it back up to the surface, with an illuminating philosophically point shining, halo-like; these “lightbulb” moments seem to appear in Louis CK sets more often than in most from the current crop. That he can find a way to that point after engaging in the subverted-sophomoric always seems all the more impressive.
Live At The Comedy Store might not be CK’s absolute finest but it’s still full of fire. And there are one or two holy shit moments that you’d never get from another comic, nor on any of the other CK specials. That’s what’s so truly special about Louis CK.