Friday, January 7, 2011

Louis C.K.'s "Hilarious"


If you're going to call your album Hilarious, then let's face it: it better be.

I think it's safe to say Louis C.K. chose the perfect name for his latest project.

Most observational comedy dissects life's little annoyances we all encounter on a day-to-day basis: the line at the DMV is long/ my dog does the darndest thing/the people I work with are goofy/parents and old people are weird. It's C.K.'s knack for pointing out what the rest of us encounter every day but never realized needs to be addressed that sets him apart from other comedians.

I'm guilty of using the word "hilarious" all the time and a lot of people in my circle of friends are, too. But it wasn't until C.K. took me to task for using it to describe things that aren't actually hilarious that I realized, "Whoa, he's right. I suck." The fact that I was laughing so hard that my vision blurred helped dull the acceptance of my ridiculousness.

C.K. confronts issues head-on with a sincere passion that fuels his comedic energy. It's not just that he finds Girls Gone Wild girls frustrating, he finds them so frustrating you can actually feel his teeth grinding. Going through a divorce is never the most pleasurable experience but C.K's explanation of why it shouldn't merit an "Awwwwww" is priceless. Getting older isn't always the most ego-boosting process, but C.K. finds the funny in it and exposes the humor in it by exposing himself.

It's that frank honesty that brings the big laughs. He doesn't pretend to have it all together or to have all the answers. More often than not, it's because of  his lack of having answers that he has these stories to tell in the first place. If he knew ponies have a tendency to bite people, then his daughter probably wouldn't have been so traumatically scarred while vacationing in the Italian countryside. At the same time, Hilarious would also be missing one of its funniest tracks.

I love the fact that C.K. can find humor in the little things. He has an entire bit devoted totally to currency. That's right. Currency. C.K. makes something as seemingly mundane as European coins - and their forerunners - so funny, it will forever haunt every trip you take out of the States. If you find yourself embarrassingly snickering as you dig through your Euro coins on your next visit to an Irish pub or English cafe, you'll only have C.K. to blame. Or thank.

One of the best tracks, "Cell Phones and Flying", is one that most people will already be fairly familiar with. If you have e-mail, Facebook, or ever visit YouTube then more than likely you caught the "Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy" clip, C.K.'s appearance on Conan where he rails on society for not appreciating the modern miracles that have been taken for granted. Now you can enjoy that bit as C.K. meant for it to be heard, in all of its "he's so right, he nailed it!" glory.

There is nothing - nothing - not funny about this album. It's an amazing project and should only cement Louis C.K.'s standing as one of the funniest, most-consistent,  hardest-working comedians out there today. Of all the possible titles for this album, Hilarious was the right way to go.

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4 comments:

  1. ooo. you need to put this on my ipod! i love this guy!

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  2. The pony bit cracks me up.Can't find it on the net now seems to be blocked. :(

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  3. [...] since my review of Louis C.K.’s Hilarious, I’ve tried to be mindful of how often I throw around that [...]

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  4. [...] 1. LOUIS C.K. - HILARIOUS If you’re going to call your album Hilarious, then let’s face it: it better be. There is nothing – nothing - not funny about this album. It’s an amazing project and should only cement Louis C.K.’s standing as one of the funniest, most-consistent,  hardest-working comedians out there today. Of all the possible titles for this album, Hilarious was the right way to go. *** “But Ed,” you may be thinking to yourself, “Those are all great albums, but wouldn’t ya know it, I’ve already purchased all of those and added them to my collection. Are there more albums that almost made the list that you recommend?” And to that, I say, “Read on.” HONORABLE MENTION [...]

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