Louis CK is a titan of comedy.
He’s arguably this generation’s greatest. He will probably be counted alongside the likes of Bruce, Carlin, Pryor, Murphy, Rock, Chappelle (and formerly Cosby) in the pantheon of those that defined laughter for a generation.
But for the bulk of us, the only chance to ever see him has been through his stand-up specials or through his exceptional TV series, Louie. We’ve never had the chance to see Louis in his natural environment – performing on stage at a bona fide comedy club.
Louis CK: Live At The Comedy Store changes all that. Set at one of the world’s most legendary stand-up spots, this film feels like a real night of comedy. Even the way it is filmed, close up on the artist, mostly from the torso up, feels intimate – like you’re sitting amongst the other punters, trying to get the waitress’ attention for a drink.
In an email CK sent his subscribers upon the special’s release, he even said his aim was to capture the experience of a nightclub.
“I prepared the material for this special on club stages. I went to the Cellar here in New York, and their new club, The Village Underground, about ten times a week with the occasional trip uptown to Gotham Comedy Club and “The Stand” on third avenue. I went out to LA to put that spin on it, working Largo, the Improv and finally the Comedy Store, hammering this stuff together in front of late night comedy club audiences. So it only seemed right to shoot it that way.”
Is this his best work to date? No. Live At The Comedy Store‘s jokes don’t hit as hard as the work in his previous specials. And there are definite lulls in the flow, as he occasionally goes off on tangents and chases jokes that don’t always pay off.
But throughout all 90 mins or so Louis looks at ease. He looks comfortable. On stage in a club is his home. It’s where he grew-up as a comic. It’s where he’s spent most of his career. It’s where he became the man the world loves today.
Louis CK: Live At The Comedy Store is available from his website louisck.net for the measly sum of US$5 (around AU$6). Because Louis rules.