After all, it's just a ride….

Louis CK, o2 Greenwich

ckGiven this perpetual winter weather, a persistent mild cold which refuses to be cured and continual economic trembling I reckon I’m due for a laugh, and numerous laughs I got from Louis CK who made his first UK stage appearance in six years at the o2 venue last night. Outside of hardcore comedy aficionado circles he’s perhaps not as well-known here as he is in the States, across the pond he’s something of firmament of the comedy culture and his recent series Louis – now onto its third season – has been securing howling praise across the board, a series which has proved impossible to legally source in the UK until Season 1 began broadcasting on some satellite channel earlier in the year. Other than a few scattered random clips I haven’t watch a single stand alone episode yet, I much prefer waiting for boxed sets to become available and then voraciously devour them in a weekend or staggered over the course of a week (Just mainlined Season 2 of Game Of Thrones, better than the first I thought and great fun) here’s a good example which like the rest of his material is very NSFW;

I’m not sure the gargantuan venue of the o2 was best suited to his brand of slightly confessional, vaguely dirty, mirthfully risqué material, but once he got into his stride he won the 12,000 of us over with particular highlights being the exquisite, ‘c’est magnifique’ status of freshly born ‘straight out of the pussy’ tuna for sharks spinning out from how lucky we are as a species to have evolved beyond the food chain, the usual subjects of sex and dating during middle age, how terrific post divorce life can be, and he even managed to be genuinely insightful and hilarious about one of the most tediously obvious subjects of current debate –  social media, the technology and communications revolution and how that is fucking transforming our behaviour and relationships. Now I’m betting my chin-stroking analysis is just lubing up your funny bones isn’t it?;

I like him ‘cause he isn’t just occasionally ‘offensive’ by common cultural standards for the sake of being controversial, it’s clearly in service of making you look at the world and certain issues and aspects of life from a different perspective , the fact that he’s a well honed stage presence, has terrific timing and is a calm improviser doesn’t exactly hurt either. Like any good comedian he left the strongest material for last, fans will be aware of his excellent ‘of course…but maybe’ set closer, if you’re easily offended then it’s probably best to give this strand of his material a miss;

 This was the first stand-up show I’ve seen since Doug Stanhope about three years ago, given that I’m remotely fascinated with the stand-up comedy world and the types of people it attracts – I’m a voracious listener to the WTF podcast after Reginald D. Hunter mentioned it in some interview – I really should try harder on the comedy front, I mean jeez, I’ve never even set foot inside the famous Comedy Store after twelve years of London living. Finally, just a very quick RIP to British horror maestro James Herbert. Like any spooky kid the ancient triumvirate of Herbert, Stephen King and Dean Koontz pretty much encapsulated my first graduation to ‘adult’ literature at the age when any young weirdo was graduating from YA material, inquisitively encountering an exciting secret world of gruesome violence and eye-opening sex scenes, particularly in the case of Herbert with some scenes from The Fog warping my adolescent brain. It’s been amusing reading similar reminiscences of my peers across the internet, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has scenes indelibly etched in my mind, and yes one can only hope that the residents of Bournemouth don’t decide en masse to walk into the sea  nor the priest administrating his funeral decide to amusingly re-enact that scene from the book. In terms of the movies yes he was adapted a few times but without anything of real merit being summoned, although I was surprised to see that an adaptation of perhaps his best known book The Rats finally got made, or more specifically not that a film had been made but that I’ve never seen or heard of it before this week’s sad news – I don’t think I’ve missed much;


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