Louis CK's hilarious words at the State Theatre

photo via Louis CK's website

Last Friday night comedian and director Louis CK came to the State Theatre for two nearly sold-out shows. Both performances lasted well over an hour, and included new material from the prolific, spot-on curmudgeon.

Opening for the show was the just-shy-of-mainstream and sharply analytical Todd Glass. Glass's bio describes him as "solidly ensconced in the 30-40 demographic" (I'm hoping this is a joke and if not then he needs to start performing wherever the kids are) with "inventive material that often mocks the conventions of standup." It's always fascinating to watch people dissect their work within their work, especially with comedy because it's such a unique form of presentation.

Glass's opener for the night was about--what else?--openers. "I usually open with 'I look like Fred Flintstone and Mel Gibson had a baby,' but I've been doing it for years and years. Do you know how hard it is to come up with a new opener?" That bit quickly spiraled into a streaming, circuitous rant that left the huge room bowled over, Glass wailing and bent. From there on he pulled a variety of short and long stories out, never quite reaching the same pitch (which he himself predicted) but was still well ahead.

Incredibly, just a week or so after releasing Hilarious, a new comedy special filmed in Milwaukee, Mr. CK is now touring with new material in support of Word, a follow-up exploring the topics that come most naturally to him since becoming a single father: parenting, body issues, and the absurdity of life--specifically American. And for all of his baby fucking references and grape-jelly-lube rejoinders, there's still a winking kindness channeled beneath.

If you're not familiar with Louis CK's work it's recommended that you rent Hilarious or somehow acquire Louie. His subject matter stays similar because hey, he's a 43-year-old with two kids, a successful career, and an over-analyzed body. Plus, he flies a lot (there were many airplane jokes Friday night). But his social and relational commentary is so spot-on (talking about the BP oil spill: "I don't click on that any more") and his bitterness so understandable that, while he could never be an everyman (too smart), he may be as close to honest as an ungrateful bunch of sad sacks like us deserve.

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