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Louis C.K Live at the Beacon Theatre (2011)

by on 2013/04/23

“I have a lot of beliefs and I live by none of ’em. That’s just the way I am. They’re just my beliefs. I just like believing them.”

* * * *

Hoo boy, I just don’t know how to feel. Yes, I was laughing. Quite a lot. But it was a pained sort of laughter, like the kind you’d make if you were being tickled by a very large, angry man, and you aren’t really sure you aren’t going to die of suffocation before the tickling is finished.

Louis C.K. is an undeniably funny, complicated guy. He came to me recommended by Sarah Silverman (Jesus is Magic), and Amy Poehler (Hoodwinked! Too). Sarah Silverman said in her book that he saved her life once when she mistakenly took some drugs and forgot how to drive. She also said he used to stay up all night, not drinking, doing illicit drugs or any other morally dubious activities, but to learn how to play guitar and speak Russian.

Poehler made him her love interest on the wonderful Parks and Recreation.

I imagined him to be a thoughtful, learned man. And he is, until he (willfully) isn’t.

Then …here comes the c-word (which I think it should only be used in real emergencies when ‘bitch’ just isn’t strong enough. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered those moments do, in fact, exist). Then there’s the riff on becoming him becoming a corpse sex slave to people with terrible perversions. Then there’s the bit about his own unrelenting track of  sexually perverted thoughts, his boredom, at times, with being a parent, and his visceral, consuming hatred for a boy in his daughter’s elementary school class.

All of these things, please forgive me, were funny.

I laughed and laughed my tortured laugh.

Performing at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan in this 2011 show, C.K. has that same breathtaking shock comedy signature that Sarah Silverman shares. He’ll say something that my liberal mind needs to feverishly believe is meta-level parody, then I gasp out my wheezing half snicker (as my eyes dart around guiltily searching for humanity’s judgement).

I agreed with much of what he said, however pause-making. The bit about hating another child so much for torturing your kid that you can’t stop thinking about him or her rang true (so very true). The riff about being bored with being a parent and hating ‘Clifford the Big, Red Dog’ also resonated.

“I know. You’re going to grow up stupid because I’m bored. I can’t take it, baby. I can’t. I can’t watch it. I’m bored more than I love you.”

There’s a darkness in Louis C.K.’s material that I really understand. It is an angry sort of funny. I am a pretty angry person myself.

However, the fact that I feel just a little unsettled and ashamed of my anger (which I mask with unfailing politeness like Genghis Khan reincarnated as a British accountant or as Mr. Renders has frequently noted a ‘Klingon in tuxedo’) makes those laughs a little strained.

All of this to say, I liked Louis C.K. and I will seek out more of his stuff. With a conflicted, furtive kind of deliberation.

* * * *

63 minutes

Unrated but not safe for young children, at all, ever

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  1. A Goth’s Month in Review: April 2013 | Geek vs Goth

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