Love+Time-Distance = Hate (Stand-up Review: Louis C.K. 2017)

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Louis C.K.’s new comedy special is like being an unwitting particle caught up in a supercollider of disparate and inappropriate thoughts that bang up against each other but somehow fuse into a pure, unapologetic, comedic energy. Warning: Not for the politically correct.

 

SnapShot Plot

There’s no topic that is sacrosanct or off the table in Louis C.K. 2017, the newest stand-up special in which America’s most esteemed comic dons a suit and tie and right out of the gate launches into an excruciatingly uncomfortable discussion about abortion. But he does it within a paradigm of Logic, turning the hot-button issue over on all sides and grilling the politicized fringe element til it’s cooked to perfection. And that, my friends, is how Louis C.K. rolls. Dedicated to the late, great Garry Shandling, Louis C.K. 2017 doesn’t pull a single punch. By the end of the special, he’s flirted with racial and cultural stereotypes, doping rescue dogs as a form of obedience training, the advantages of becoming transgender, and the one-time only use of suicide as a strategic tool for avoiding adult unpleasantries. And the debate on the merits of Life itself, in fact. And parental responsibilities in the afterlife, as well as term limits on marital bonds in Heaven. He also talks about raising his two daughters and his (mostly) failed efforts to shield them from his professional persona, a long-running theme from all his previous work. If you can sit in your seat without squirming too much, it’s completely worth the panic.

 

“Here’s the thing. Stereotypes are harmful. But the voices are funny.”

Parting Shot

Louis C.K. has been around long enough to become somewhat of an elder statesman to many comedians who’ve come up through the ranks these past 10 years. He’s not only a gifted stand-up artist and comedian, but an actor, writer, producer, director, editor and six-time Emmy Award-winner. His personal brand of comedy has distilled over the years, as has his physical persona. No more the frumpy, shaggy-dog loser in rumpled t-shirts and comfort jeans, this Louis C.K. is trimmed down and spiffed up. He’s a much sharper dresser, and that sharpness seems to have whittled his routine to a more (at times) angry edge, like a black diamond, both dark and sparkly at the same time. Yet even as his comedy alleges to spring from life experience, Louis C.K. isn’t about to tell you which parts, nor will he subscribe to a confessional style of storytelling in which his covenant with the audience is one of soul-cleansing atonement. Nope, he’ll leave that to the professionals and you can make an appointment somewhere on the Christian calendar, no matter what club enlists you as a member.

Louis C.K. 2017 is presently streaming on Netflix.

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YouTube Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1Fe3mInaTI

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