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Louis C.K. - Hilarious (Cover Artwork)

Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.: HilariousHilarious (2011)
Comedy Central Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: likeaparasitelikeaparasite
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A lot of great art, from literature to music to movies finds humor in anger and frustration caused by the shortcomings of people. Like his other comedy albums, Louis C.K.'s Hilarious does exactly that, offering a cathartic experience for many who will relate to his disappointment and disgust at flaw.
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A lot of great art, from literature to music to movies finds humor in anger and frustration caused by the shortcomings of people. Like his other comedy albums, Louis C.K.'s Hilarious does exactly that, offering a cathartic experience for many who will relate to his disappointment and disgust at flaws he perceives in both himself and society.

Divorced at 41, C.K. declares that one of the biggest differences between himself and young singles is his pessimism: "I know too much to be single[...]You gotta be optimistic to be single![...]You have to be stupid![...]That's what 'optimistic' means[...]An optimist is somebody who goes, 'Hey, maybe something nice will happen!' Why the fuck would anything nice *ever* happen?" There's a loose, playful quality to the early part of the set, as C.K. mocks subjects like singles, his brain's weird logic leaps and currency, without ever seeming to get too worked up.

C.K. only starts to sound seriously appalled when his attention shifts to the current generation of Americans. "Cell Phones and Flying" is a rant about spoiled and ungrateful people who bitch that modern technology is "too slow". A chat with Conan O'Brien about this subject became a viral video called "Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy," which intrigued everyone from online anti-establishment groups who eagerly interpreted it as a searing indictment of capitalism, to the band Candy Hearts, who considered it the perfect title for an album about "that feeling of having everything you thought you wanted, yet something is still missing or it's just not enough."

"The Way We Talk (Hilarious)" further slams the way Americans express themselves these days, asserting that laziness has drained the spark from their conversations. As an example, he helpfully provides gut-busting impressions of mumbling, slurring fat guys and shrill, flaky girls he once overheard. Big laughs come from the fact that these people are almost completely incomprehensible, except when they exclaim "I know!", "Obama!" and "Stephanie!" The impressions precede a tirade against people who misuse words like "amazing" and "hilarious," and a maniacal fantasy about dropping someone off a cliff for the heinous crime of undeservedly being called "hilarious."

C.K. saves his harshest resentment for negligent parents who corrupt their children with excess television, fast food and hitting. He hates child abuse and how society's laws enable it, but can also see the ridiculousness of that--"If you hit a dog...they fuckin' will put you in jail for that shit! You can't hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you! But a little tiny person[...]who trusts you implicitly--fuck 'em! Who gives a shit?" Modestly, C.K. suggests that what keeps him from hitting his kids is success, not being "better" than anyone. He has money and works "two hours a week, sometimes," unlike his poor single mother, who hit him after backbreaking 15-hour shifts left her with little patience.

The album winds down with one of C.K.'s most fruitful subjects for stand-up comedy fodder--raising children as a single parent. His key point about this topic is the importance of keeping one's ego in check when parenting. Two stories illustrate that point. In one, a wild pony bites his eldest daughter, because he was too busy praising himself as "the best father" (for introducing her to wild ponies) to consider how dangerous they might be. In the other, he and his younger daughter have a bitter and thoroughly unnecessary dispute over Fig Newtons, because his ego blinds him to the futility of arguing with a three-year-old.

Another signature characteristic of C.K.'s comedy is his affinity for scatological/body fluid humor, and it takes center stage near the end of the set. After a hyperbolic, wildly graphic story about his three-year-old taking a monstrous shit, C.K. compares himself to younger singles again, this time more favorably. While younger men are freaked out by women's bodies because of things like periods, C.K. proclaims that he's so happy just to be out among single women (after years of often sexless marriage), he'd gladly "drink the blood" if it would get him laid.

I wish I could give due credit to all the material on Hilarious, but to borrow a phrase from one of its funniest stories, that would take "at least forever." I've already said plenty about it, but the set has countless other transcendentally funny moments that I haven't even touched on. I leave them to be discovered by anyone who listens to (or watches the DVD of) this treasure trove of incisive observations about the strange people and perspectives that pervade modern society.

If you're wondering why I wrote about a stand-up comedy album for this site, my logic is simple: if we can have reviews for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles album and a Third Eye Blind album, why the hell can't we have one of these? I hope your reaction to that explanation is at worst similar to one C.K. imagined having if his three-year-old had been a bit more polite during the heated Fig Newton debate--"a little cunt-y, but acceptable...I could deal with that."

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
johnnyz77 (December 21, 2011)

thanks SilentStorms . you should check out Mike Birbiglia. he is hilarious. you might know of him already though.

TweekendMachos (December 19, 2011)

Why is this just being reviewed? He's got an entire new stand-up special on his website. www.louisck.com for $5!!!! I find it funnier than this one as well.

robalobadob (December 18, 2011)

Jim Jefferies is a really good Australian comic... If you're not easily offended by things.

FuckYouOiOiOi (December 17, 2011)

How come nobodies mentioned Dave Attell?? He's a master.

Scruffy (December 17, 2011)

Other "smaller" comics: Chris Hardwick, Dan Telfer, Matt Braunger, T.J. Miller, Paul F. Tompkins, Carmen Esposito, Adam Burke, Amy Schumer, Natasha Leggero, Marc Maron, Anthony Jeselnik, Jimmy Pardo, Tig Notaro, Todd Barry, Todd Glass, John Mulaney.

There's more. I like all of the above for sure.

14theroad (December 16, 2011)

I can honestly say this is the funniest thing I've ever seen. The only stand-up dvd I own.

givemeamuseumandillfillit (December 16, 2011)

Oh, he went from "Fucking the same woman sucks and my daughter is a dick" to "Fucking different girls is awesome and my daughter is a dick?"

Dude's a genius! What a twist!

Dante3000 (December 16, 2011)

Because nothing can't not not be something!

Michael_Berryman (December 16, 2011)

Louis, Hannibal Buress, Eugene Mirman, Patton Oswalt and Kyle Kinane are the best comics now. oh, and Norm.

SilentStorms (December 16, 2011)

Hmmmm, I wouldn't say that I know a lot of 'new' comedians, but as of late I'm perusing the discographies of:

This man.
Mitch Hedberg
Lewis Black
George Carlin
Bill Hicks
Patton Oswalt
David Cross
Jim Gaffigan
Denis Leary
Eugene Mirman
Bill Cosby
Nick Swardson
Daniel Tosh
Greg Giraldo
Brian Posehn
Richard Pryor
Rowan Atkinson
Dane Cook

I'm not a huge fan of some of these (early Pryor, mid-Carlin, Posehn and Cook) but Tosh, Hedberg, Hicks, Mirman, CK, Cross and Lewis Black are the most consistent. Giraldo was amazing but he died before he could record a proper cd, but check out his Comedy Central special, it's fucking amazing. Hope that helps.

johnnyz77 (December 16, 2011)

SilentStorms , who else are you into? i love to hear about new talented comedians.

GarrettIrish (December 16, 2011)

I don't see any reason comedy albums can't be reviewed. This site is mostly music, but some of the news is a sort of 'punk slice-of-life' kind of deal. I think a lot of us would agree that Louis C.K. is funny, and I think you could make an argument that some of his stand up resonates well with punks. Probably because a lot of us just hate everything.

badbrain (December 16, 2011)

Absolutely the best comic going right now. Im really glad that he finally seems to be gaining the attention he deserves

karliscool (December 16, 2011)

The man's a genius

skankin_in_the_pit (December 16, 2011)

I so badly want this to be made into a shirt. http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lw7w43dLi21qzpbmro1_500.jpg

SilentStorms (December 16, 2011)

I would love to see more comedy album reviews. I've been seriously into comedy albums for the past 2-3 years. Maybe I'll write one. Probably not.

And to the person who said this stuff is racist either hasn't actually listened to what this guy says or just doesn't get it. The other option is that I'm a blind racist, but I'm pretty sure that CK doesn't think that people of a different race are inferior ... if anything he would say that he is inferior.

SilentStorms (December 16, 2011)

This is awesome. I love all of his stuff.

palpitations101 (December 16, 2011)

Brown Sugar! How come you taste sooo goodah?

EchosMyron (December 16, 2011)

Score is for Louie's second season.

CCSummers (December 16, 2011)

This is fucked up, racist shit.

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