Bruce Springsteen and a collection of all-star comedians will headline the eighth annual Stand Up for Heroes event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5. Louis C.K., John Mulaney, John Oliver, and NBC’s Brian Williams are already confirmed, and several surprise guests are expected. The event, presented by the Bob Woodruff Foundation and New York Comedy Festival, has raised millions for injured military veterans and their families. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Louis CK (1-10 of 12)
At this point, the best way for Louis C.K. to surprise us would be to write a happy ending. And that’s precisely what the auteur comedian did in the fourth-season finale of his undefinable FX series.
As Darren Franich wrote earlier this month, Louie can’t really be categorized. It’s a comedy, until it isn’t; it obeys the laws of continuity, until it doesn’t; it’s grounded by recurring scenes of C.K. doing standup, until those scenes fall by the wayside. The only predictable thing about the show’s ambitious fourth year has been its unpredictability. (Well, that and Louie’s bum luck with women, which is a whole separate issue.) Which is why season four’s two-part finale was so refreshing: The hourlong closer set aside flights of absurd fancy (like Hurricane Jasmine Forsythe) and time jumps (the extended flashback in “Elevator Part 4;” most of “In the Woods”) and meandering 10-minute monologues about the pleasures of being a single, straight, white comedian with no responsibilities (Todd Barry’s segment in “Elevator Part 5″) in favor of a simple, slow-building story about Louie’s complicated relationship with Pamela, the woman who broke his heart back in season two. READ FULL STORY
Though he has put “stand-up comedian” on his tax return for over two decades, Todd Barry did not prepare any new material for his brand new special, which was produced by Louis C.K. and distributed through his website for five bucks.
It’s too bad the Polar Vortex doesn’t inspire the same creativity as Hurricane Sandy.
When Louis C.K. first hosted SNL in 2012, his debut was nearly ruined by devastating weather. Against all odds, the show went on anyway — and it ended up being one of that fall’s more successful episodes. Although Saturday’s weather (in New York City, anyway) echoed 2012’s cold, rainy November, the show wasn’t quite as on point this time around. C.K. acquitted himself fairly well, minus a few flubbed lines and character breaks. That said, he only really let loose in his opening monologue, perhaps because it’s the only opportunity he had to do what he really does best.
So the show wasn’t great across the board — but it did have a few gems, including the night’s…
Eighteen months (and two days) ago, FX aired the final episode of Louie‘s third season. In the long, long period since that day, comedy auteur Louis C.K. has kept himself fairly busy, what with all the touring and stand-up specials and late-night guest appearances and roles in critically acclaimed movies like Blue Jasmine and American Hustle — and, of course, filming/writing/directing/key gripping the fourth season of Louie, which will finally premiere on FX May 5. (And what a return it’ll be: FX will air two episodes weekly for seven weeks, meaning the majority of the season will have aired before the eligibility deadline for the 2014 Emmys.)
That said, it’s been a while since Louis has had a sustained comedy showcase on TV in general, much less a major network; his last turn as Saturday Night Live host came back in 2012 (and was nearly derailed by Hurricane Sandy). What can we expect from his glorious return this weekend?
In actuality, the grumpy genius’s stage name is a phonetic approximation of his given last name, Szekely. (The more you know!) In the world of these new Saturday Night Live promos, though, Kenan Thompson assumes that C and K stand for something incredibly gross — so gross, in fact, that we’re not actually privy to hearing his guess.
That’s kind of how the promos go: Kenan says something off-the-wall, Louis reacts with polished straight-man verve. The gags are loose and improvised, if not exactly laugh-out-loud funny — which bodes well for C.K.’s second time on the SNL stage. (Well, as long as he doesn’t waste too much of the week enjoying herbal refreshments with Kenan.)
Check out the clip for yourself below:
In American Hustle, Louis C.K. had a small role as Bradley Cooper’s boss whose penny-pinching, by-the-book ways stand in the way of the Abscam sting to nail corrupt politicians. During the course of their increasingly adversarial — and ultimately violent — interactions, C.K.’s mild-mannered bureaucrat spins a family ice-fishing story that he hopes will teach Cooper’s hotheaded agent a lesson. Each time they meet, he unfurls a little bit more of the tale, and Cooper’s character hates himself for actually caring how it ends.
Except he never finds out. We never find out, because C.K. never finished the story. Until now.
On The Tonight Show on Monday night, C.K. explained the story behind the story, which taps into the mad genius that is director David O. Russell. Click below to see how his fish story was supposed to end.
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“This show is not really a show,” Howard Stern tells Jerry Seinfeld in the following clip, speaking in a slightly accusatory tone. “It’s just for you to drive around in cool cars…”
“…with people I think are cool,” Seinfeld answers matter-of-factly.
And that, in essence, is what the self-explanatory webseries Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is all about. Each episode features a neat old automobile, a sunny locale, and a table where Seinfeld shares a caffeinated beverage with a different comedic luminary. Tina Fey, Patton Oswalt, Howard Stern, Jay Leno, and Louis CK will all appear on the show this year — as will a creepy drone camera whose flight is scored by “Ride of the Valkyries.” Judging from the trailer, Seinfeld and Stern’s talk looks like it’ll be especially fun; how often do you get to see one middle-aged comedian tell another that he looks like “a hip Wicked Witch of the West”?
I really can’t wait to see whether Louis C.K. makes an episode of Louie about hosting Saturday Night Live. The sketch show itself was fine if uneven this week, careening between dizzying highs (the cold open; that “Lincoln as Louis” short), terrifying lows (basically everything post-Update), and creamy middles (Weekend Update’s guests, with one possible exception). Behind the scenes, though, things must have been a lot more interesting — how did the cast and writers manage to compose and rehearse 90 minutes of new material despite Monday’s devastating hurricane? For that matter, how did the crew manage to build the sets we saw last night? And just as pressingly, what was it like for cerebral Louis to enter a world that counts liberal use of the word “boner” as a totally acceptable punchline?
Sadly, we won’t know until Louie‘s fourth season, which doesn’t hit FX until early 2014. In the meantime, let’s discuss what we did see: an SNL that started off with a bang, thanks to a cold open that poked fun at New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, his overly expressive sign language interpreter Lydia Callis, and New Jersey’s lovably blunt Governor Chris Christie.
If you didn’t spend all of Monday watching Bloomberg discuss storm preparations while Callis gesticulated wildly at his side, you missed out — it’s not for nothing that she became an Internet phenomenon. SNL newcomer Cecily Strong imitated Callis’s elastic face beautifully, and Nasim Pedrad was almost as good as Roxy, Christie’s fictional guidette signer. The segment also nailed Bloomberg’s heavily accented Spanish, which became a meme of its own during last year’s big hurricane. Sure, the sketch was a little insider-y — residents of New York and Jersey must have been much more amused by it than anyone else. But after what the tri-state area endured this week, it seems fitting to give its citizens some extra attention — even if many of them can’t watch Saturday Night Live until their power is restored.
Louis C.K.’s hosting debut, plus a cast and crew that’s had a week to rest and recharge, plus a wealth of great material courtesy of the rapidly winding-down election and Hurricane Sandy? Tonight’s SNL might just be a perfect storm of comedy — as long as it successfully marries C.K.’s pitch-black, cringe-y sensibility with the sketch show’s broader tone.
Louis himself didn’t seem too confident when he appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this week. (Then again, when does Louis ever seem confident?) He told the SNL vet that during a laugh-free table read, he worried that Lorne Michaels would decide to cancel the show and simply blame it on the hurricane.
Luckily, things eventually turned around and C.K. said he finished the table read strong — so the show probably won’t be a disaster after all. Especially since we’ve got this to look forward to: “There’s one sketch that I’m in that I really hate, because what I’m doing in it is really embarrassing,” C.K. told Fallon. “When I think about this one sketch, I go, ‘Oh God, It’s going to be awful.’ I get a little dizzy and ill. But I told them, ‘Please leave this one in. Please don’t cut this sketch, because I hate it.'” I think I just got goosebumps.
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