C.K.’s oddball stand-up performance delights fans
May 4, 2009
BY Jorge Bannister TELEGRAM & GAZETTE reviewer
While he’s quirky, and a bit of an oddball, Louis C.K. is certainly one of the best stand-up comics.
The 41-year-old comedian performed at the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts Saturday and had all 1,250 people in the audience sitting on the edge of their seats laughing so hard.
Raised in the Boston area, C.K. — who won an Ace Award for best variety show as a producer in 1997 and won an Emmy award as a writer on “The Chris Rock Show” in 1999 — showed the audience his wide-ranging humor from airport security, divorce and daughters getting bit by ponies. (The latter happened on a trip to Italy last summer.)
C.K. came out fast and furious for his hour-and-a-half set, with the first 20 minutes absolutely solid. Though the set wavered after the opening material, C.K. recovered nicely to close off his set with even better material than he used to open the show.
C.K. described to the audience how his mind works, painting a picture of a man walking a dog while holding his cell phone in the same hand he was holding the leash.
“I walked past him and thought, ‘Why would he have a cell phone linked to his dog?’ And that’s when I nearly punched myself, yelling at myself in my head saying, ‘You idiot! Why would he have a cell phone linked to his dog?’ This is how my brain works; stupidity, self-hatred followed by more analysis.”
C.K., who claims he “barely finished high school,” also described to the audience how awful technical high schools are.
“All through life you’re told, ‘You can do whatever you want.’ And then you go to technical high school and they tell you, ‘You can do … eight things.’ How (messed) up is that? You’re this big dreamer, and you get to technical high school and they say, ‘Here, work on this air conditioner that was donated by a business that is no longer operating. Never mind the fact that the AC unit is going to be obsolete when you graduate.’ ”
To close his set, C.K. shared stories about his daughters and his recent divorce.
When he announced to the crowd he had gotten a divorce, some in the crowd showed sympathy. C.K., however, wanted none of that.
“No, don’t do that. I’m psyched. It’s tough when you’re talking to your friends and you tell them, ‘Hey, I just got divorced.’ I say it with a smile and am genuinely happy about it and they’re bummed out. It sorta makes it an awkward situation. Of course, I am happy with it. If it were a good marriage, we’d still be going on. No good marriage ends in divorce. Never. Not one. A (bad) marriage, on the other hand, always ends in divorce.”
Todd Barry opened the show. He was solid during his 20-minute set, which was highlighted by his material on Italian food.
“Everybody likes to complain about Italian food when they go out,” Barry said. “The one thing they always say is, ‘My grandmother cooks the best Italian food.’ They complain about having to pay $10 for a dish they can make for $1.
“Yeah, but for $9, you get a heaping side order of not hanging out with your grandmother.”