Review: Louis CK kills in ‘Oh My God’, his latest HBO Special.
If you’ve seen the hilarious promo for Louis CK’s ‘Oh My God’ comic special, he downplays his celebrity status by saying ‘it’s just gonna be me standing around telling jokes, to whoever shows up, it’s not a big deal.’
CK’s self-deprecation is his defining comedic trait. He is one of the few comedians around whose worldview is both amazingly bleak, while allowing for bits of optimism.
His new HBO special starts off with a hilarious underhanded comments about the Phoenix, AZ venue:
‘This is easily the nicest place for many miles in every direction…that’s how you compliment a building and shit on a town in one sentence.’
Subject wise, this was one of his most varied but he segued seamlessly while discussing the dangers of living in the food chain, the high stakes of dating, or road rage.
CK is an excellent storyteller, in particular describing an incident with a snotty neighbor who he gleefully antagonized noting that the result was; ‘This beautiful cocktail of anger and confusion…It’s like I invented a new way to hurt someone’s feelings.’
Every comedian who reaches middle age dwells on one’s changing physical condition, but CK is in a class of his own, noting that for him, even the act of getting up is like ‘getting an old Honda out of a snow bank.’
While discussing how older people are always wiser than younger folks, he ridiculed audience members who cheered gleefully when he asked who was under 40.
‘Whoooo! What a weird thing to celebrate. It’s like going to a cancer ward and going “I don’t have it!!!”
He also gave parents grief for chronicling every moment of their child’s development via smart phones, missing it firsthand. Following with ‘no one watches your kid’s videos on Facebook’!
For CK, everything is fair game, leading to his most daring bit, where he chronicles ‘the competition in your brain between good or bad thoughts,’ on such taboo topics as slavery, soldiers who die in war, and whether we should care about kids with nut allergies.
Any other comedian would get pummeled for material like this, but CK’s grace and light touch gives him a pass. In the end he’s on the good side, but doesn’t sugarcoat his mind’s dark underpinnings.
Of note is where he ponders if we all would murder if it was legal (or just a misdemeanor), as the fear of being arrested is the only reason preventing all of us from mass bloodshed. After chronicling some possible outcomes, he pauses:
‘That is a whole bunch of horrible thoughts right in a row.’
His gift is making the darker side of human nature palatable. He’s our vessel for weathering it with laughter, which is the best method for dealing with life in the uncertain and often scary 21st century.
‘Oh My God‘ is available on HBO On-Demand, and it’ll be available through Louis Ck’s website in the coming months.
And the first 2 seasons of CK’s FX show ‘Louie’, and several of his comic specials are streaming on Netflix. Click Here for a free, month-long trial of their service.