Comedy Review: Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store

Grade: B+

Comedy has always been the call to fame for professional laugh master Louis C.K. and for someone who has been around for as long as he has, he still manages to keep his comedy from being too outrageous. This is noticeable in his special “Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store,” which is available to watch on Netflix and other digital platforms.

The show starts off with an opening act from comedian Jay London, who’s well known for his one-line zingers especially those ones made on NBC’s former hit reality television show “Last Comic Standing.” His style is confusing at first, lacking any sort of context when he comes on the screen. For some, he may be hard to understand without subtitles. For the audience who attended the show at the time of the taping, however, he was probably a good warm-up for C.K., who enters the stage to raucous applause.

For someone who has never seen C.K. perform, you may think, “Oh, well here’s another guy that’s just going to shout nonsense into his microphone.” That’s certainly not the case here. Much of the comedy he shares in this stand-up performance is situational, or observational, and while his language may not necessarily be appropriate for children’s ears, his routine is certainly not the worst in terms of vulgarity.

C.K. speaks about many situations that produce humorous results, such as his interactions with a teacher of a sexual education course and his observations of people who frequent subway trains, and he describes each situation with a breadth that’s unmatched by others in his genre of comedy. He also gives the audience an impression that he’s a family man by often talking about his two daughters, and at one point explains how he tells his daughters that life is just about eating food.

Getting people to laugh seems effortless for C.K., and it’s remarkable how his routine does not seem to cause offense to anyone. In fact, most of his routine comes from his own personal stories and making fun of himself. He even makes fun of his health, and at one point explains that his aspirations to remain fit vanished a long time ago.

In contrast to other comedians, like Portland, Maine native Bob Marley, he’s much cleaner in terms of the description of his observations and his skits in general. C.K. is almost like that college friend of yours that’s explaining a funny event that occurred to him last weekend. He’s definitely someone who has his own unique swagger, and one whose observational comedy and creativity is unmatched by anyone else.

After watching “Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store,” you may want to check out some of his other videos or perhaps his comedy-drama television series “Louie” which is currently going into its sixth season. You can also see C.K as the voice of the Jack Russell terrier Max in the new Illumination Entertainment film “The Secret Life of Pets,” which is in theaters now.

Nathaniel is the Culture Editor and is a fourth-year journalism and business administration student at the University of Maine. He have been writing for The Maine Campus since November of 2014, covering everything from community events to films.

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