One of the hottest guys currently working in comedy delivers an hour of non-stop laughs in Louis CK: Oh My God, premiering tonight on HBO. Taped just this past February at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, the special finds the star of the critically acclaimed FX sitcom hit Louie in top form as he ruminates on topics ranging from the advantage humans have in not being part of the global food chain (“That’s a massive upgrade!”) to the unlikely joys of divorce and the inevitable challenges of getting older.
“I’m 45 years old,” he tells his audience, “so I’m either halfway through a healthy life or just about done with a not-so-healthy life.”
Either way, he’s reached the stage where he appreciates the simple joy of just sitting down and counts the awkward challenge of putting on his socks as the worst part of any day. Then again, as someone who didn’t look especially hot as a teenager, he’s finally gotten to the point where he looks pretty good for a guy in his mid-40s, while the high school hunks and prom queens of his youth have been in steady decline ever since.
For my money, the underlying appeal of Louis C.K.’s performing style is that, despite his recent and still snowballing professional success, he has been able to retain his immensely accessible Everyguy appeal. When his crowd leaps to its feet cheering loudly as he enters, he nods at the applause but tells them, “I don’t necessarily agree with you, but I appreciate it very much.” That’s a rare commodity in any performer, especially when you compare him to, say, Jerry Seinfeld, a once-charming comic whose performance style has gotten notably meaner and snarkier since his sitcom success.
The HBO special is decidedly adult, but unlike so many comedy specials these days, it’s not gratuitously “blue” – like the late, great George Carlin, Louis C.K. is smart and articulate enough that, while he doesn’t shy away from the occasional four-letter word, he doesn’t pummel his audience senseless with profanity just for the shock value of it.
If you enjoy his work on Louie, be sure to catch this special. Louis C.K. is very good in his sitcom format, but he’s really supreme as a storyteller, a talent fully on display in this lively special.