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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Last Night: Stand Up Comic Louis C.K.'s Show at the Pageant

Posted By on Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 4:04 PM

Louis C.K. emerged from the side of the stage looking like he had just rolled out of bed, and asked the audience, “Where is everybody?”

The patches of empty seats Saturday at the Pageant may have been a slight disappointment to the comic, but it wasn't apparent to the audience during the hour-plus show, which was an expletive-filled journey through C.K.'s mind.

Read an interview with C.K.

Friday marked the first time in his more than 20-year career that C.K. has played St. Louis, and it was definitely worth the wait. His act, peppered with expletives, made up for leaving St. Louis off his tour itinerary for so long.

Covering topics from masturbation to white people to comparing his three-year old daughter’s bowel movement to that of a bear's, C.K. delivered his act more like a man just sharing what’s on his mind -- a very twisted, vulgar mind -- than a comedian performing rehearsed stand-up.


C.K. as he appears on his Showtime special, Chewed Up.

"I'm sick of ______" seemed to be a common theme throughout C.K.’s hour-long set, his main target of attack being fat, white, lazy Americans. C.K. tells us how he is sick of complacency. On people complaining about minor annoyances at the airport: "You are sitting in a chair thousands of feet above the ground! You are doing what Roman emperors have only dreamed of!"

C.K. worked the audience with ease, taking some exhausted subject matter and making it seem fresh again: the difference between men and women, single life and having children. He told stories with such disgusting detail that it made some cringe. He described to the audience a story that began with him sitting on the toilet with the door open so that he could keep an eye on his kids. Suddenly his three-year-old daughter appeared naked and waving her butt in his direction -- something "she just likes to do" he told the audience.

He then described, in detail, the horror of watching his daughter go to the bathroom on the floor then slip and fall in it. A subject not a lot of people could convey with such hilarity, but C.K. does naturally with ease.

In what could be considered the "title track" of his comedy show, Hilarious, C.K. addressed how much he loathed that white people used such "top shelf" words like "hilarious" and "genius" when describing things that are neither hilarious nor genius. Impersonating a mundane exchange between two people, "Hey, I brought an extra cup." YOU’RE A GENIUS!"

C.K. left the audience in uproarious laughter and exited the stage, but not before being summoned back for an encore. Admitting that he had no more new material and that he got rid of most of his old jokes because they were mostly about his wife (he is now divorced) he performed a couple of jokes off his recent Showtime special, "Chewed Up" to satisfy the audience’s hunger for more. Louis C.K. may joke about how old and out-of-touch he is, but he showed no signs of it Friday night.

Show opener Amir Gollan was a pleasant surprise. His deadpan, monotone delivery garnered laughs. He is someone to watch for the future.

- Rob Ruzicka

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