Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, December 18, 2017

In “2017,” Louis C.K. delivers on his comedic promises

Louis C.K. has always been a maestro of humor, and Netflix decided to capitalize on this opportunity by enlisting him to perform his seventh hour-long special for them. Seven is a staggering number for the amount of taped stand-up specials a comedian can have. That said, Louis C.K. delivers just as he has throughout his career.

Of course, he is primarily known for his stand-up and comedic chops but Louis C.K. is a reputable writer, once writing for Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Since that gig, he has applied his writing talents to his own stand-up career, the hit FX genre-mix sadcom “Louie” and most recently his independent venture of “Horace and Pete” - described by Jimmy Kimmel as “‘Cheers’, if everyone was depressed.”

Netflix has made the decision to push more original content as of late. The 2017 plan includes an onslaught of comedy specials from household names such as Dave Chapelle (his two specials are currently streaming), Amy Schumer, Bill Burr and Chris Rock. Netflix aims to release one stand-up special every week.

“2017,” Louis C.K.’s special, is as topical as it is hilarious. He commandeers his audience with the use of extremism in humor. He takes the stage in a full suit and tie, a very radical change from his typical black t-shirt and jeans attire. C.K. grabs the microphone and thanks the audience for the applause before casually saying, “Um...so, you know, I think abortion is, um…”

This first joke, under 10 words in length, exemplifies C.K’s “2017” in a microcosm. He doesn’t dance around his points -- he attacks them without ever showing his hand. The abortion joke, for example, isn’t so much about abortion as it is about the circumstances regarding the abortion debate in America. By taking the controversial and making it all ridiculous, Louis C.K. gives audiences the sweet gift of reprieve.

Of course, there are longer bits in the 75-minute special: notable jokes include discussion of religious calendars, giving his dog drugs and the futility of love. His joke about e-mail fights is very memorable -- although long, it sets the bar high and never drops below that watermark set by C.K. A noticeably good piece of “2017” is the fact that C.K. connects his jokes in a very fluid manner - segueing effortlessly like a good conversation.

Louis C.K. does a fantastic job having a conversation with no one but himself, refusing to open up talks between his audience members besides what jokes they enjoyed. He simply wants them to have a good time. And by watching Louis C.K.’s “2017,” I can guarantee you will have a good time.

Grade: A

draju@theeagleonline.com


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