Fans have come to expect a few things from a Louis C.K. stand-up set. They expect inappropriate comments about his children, his bold desire to murder morons, super-sad sex stories, and, well, just f—ed-up s— from a terribly twisted mind. What they don’t expect are light-hearted, silly moments such as a spot-on Tim Gunn impersonation, a declaration of love for Project Runway (complete with shout-outs to Mondo and Gretchen), and some trivial little jokes that even he described as “silly untethered” bits.
But that’s exactly what the crowd at Largo in Los Angeles was treated to on Friday night during the comedian’s second of three sold-out shows. It was a fresh mix of the I-hate-myself-and-want-to-kill-you-while-making-you-all-cringe Louis that made him famous with the a-little-more-okay-with-himself-and-the-world Louis. We kind of like both Louies, to tell you the truth, and from a stand-up perspective the new mix worked.
Fortunately for his die-hard fans, though, his new contentment — and, dare we say, borderline happiness (although in truth he still seems a few nuggets shy of a full-blown Happy Meal) — doesn’t mean the death of his appeal. The laughs were aplenty through his approximatly 90-minute 10 p.m. set.
A good majority of his set was spent on the familiar territory of aging, balding, and his overall fatness (his word, not ours; he’s actually really not that fat), which has played well in past stand-up sets and on the small screen on his Emmy-nominated FX show, Louie. The comedian used the set to work out new material, which, he quipped, “means low-grade material.”
“I didn’t know that at 44 that my a–hole would become like the waistband on old pajama bottoms. It’s really kind of loose and ineffectual,” said the comic/actor, who was clad in faded gray jeans and a black t-shirt (he joked that he spent $12 a year on clothes, and we believe him).
But the new spin on his aging rants is that he’s finally at peace with getting older. “Aging is part of life, man. Right?” he offered, while defying his self-professed old age with relevant bits about texting, iPhone’s Siri, and the creepiness of Apple’s omnipresent iCloud.
He also kept it young and hip with a declaration of love for Project Runway and a laugh-out-loud Tim Gunn impersonation (hopefully it’ll end up on YouTube shortly — or on a future episode of Louie — because it’s must-see comedy). “I love Tim Gunn. [In Tim's famous voice] I’m worried about you.[Huge laughs] All right, you’re the designer, which means you’re not gonna f—ing listen, so go ahead.”
Going where most people, let alone single dads, don’t dare to go, Louis dove into the idea that murder should be legal and parents should be able to kill their children. He’s a father of two daughters, and yes, we’re not taking him seriously, but it bears repeating.
As for the aforementioned “silly untethered bits,” those came in the form of quickies such as an impersonation of a goat ghost (just combine the bleat of a goat with the boooo of a ghost and you got the joke), why the tuna never told the shark his fin was showing, and a dog who was too stupid to wipe the egg salad off his face after stealing his sandwich off the counter.
Overall, there was nothing “low-grade” about this material at all, just a once-bitterly-angry comedian proving that you don’t have to be miserable to still be funny.
EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story contained quotes that have been removed out of respect for the in-progress nature of some of the material presented last night.