Whenever Louis C.K. hits the stage it’s more than a stand-up show, it’s an event. Well this week Louis will hit the stage figuratively with the release of his new Comedy Central special Hilarious, his latest special, album, and DVD since 2008’s Chewed Up.
Hilarious is one hell of a stand-up special. Actually, calling is a special is probably not doing it justice considering it’s accomplishments. The film was the first ever stand-up performance screened at the Sundance Film Festival, made its travels throughout the year to various theater screenings, and airings on pay channels. In short, it’s become exactly what one hopes a comedy film might be – buzzed about, critically acclaimed, popular with fans, and goddamn funny. All while at the same time completely true to what it’s original intent is… to make people laugh.
Louis C.K. is known for being a dynamic comedic mind. Anyone that follows his career (and/or saw the documentary I Am Comic) knows that he makes a habit out of writing completely new material for his specials, then scraping everything just to write from scratch another special about a year or so later. A lot has happened since C.K. last took the stage for a special, the two biggest probably being getting divorced and starting a new (successful) comedy show on FX.
On Hilarious, C.K. mines these new topics of his personal life, unwavering much from the brilliant delivery he’s honed for many years now. Often using his personal life for material, he navigates his world of family (his two daughters provide some of the most memorable material from Hilarious) and being a divorced father who is now dealing with single life. But for our money, C.K. is best when he laments about everyday things with a fierce combination of intelligence, frustration, rage, and self-pity. Topics range from his wonderment of new technology, what he calls the “going out to get laid guys,” to two men and their misuse of the word “hilarious.” Yes, the special isn’t a self-proclamation by C.K. rather a pun used to highlight other’s laziness toward the English language.
The best thing about C.K.’s comedy is his ability to take topics that may seem mundane or cliché and turn them into something fantastic. Routines on dating as a middle-aged divorced man are both surprisingly fresh and relatable even to someone who hasn’t experienced either. Besides who hasn’t seen the skanky chicks at the bar and thought “what is that?” “is this her job?” The other thing that makes Louis C.K.’s material so great is his universal social commentary about our consumption habits – in which he says all the cool stuff is wasted on us, the “biggest generation of assholes.”
Last night Comedy Central aired Hilarious as a special for stand-up month. As terrific as an hour-long special is, nearly 40 minutes of the film were un-aired. Therefore any fan of stand-up must pick it up uncut and uncensored in DVD and CD form which will be released tomorrow.
With the release of Hilarious, Louis C.K. has once again established himself as one of the best comedians of his generation, Hilarious is painfully funny, well crafted, and at the risk of offending becoming the butt of his own joke, downright hilarious. Pun gods be damned!