Oh My God
Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ
Louis C.K. is arguably the hottest comedian in the world right now. In the past five years he has produced four comedy specials all the while creating one of the funniest television shows in recent memory in "Louie" and this is in addition to his burgeoning film career. He's reached a point in his career where any project that adds his name makes headlines and for a lot of comedians that would be enough. For a lot of comedians that would be the end of their stand-up careers. In fact in the 80's and 90's that was the formula; struggle on the road, get on Carson, get a sitcom and never look back but not Louis. He's different.
With "Oh My God" Louis starts to take his place amongst one of the greatest of all time. He talks about a neighbor and her dog , the stupidity of posting videos on Facebook and confronting a total stranger all in the first 30min of the show. All of which are funny and will make you laugh out loud, but just around the 30min mark, Louis takes another step forward. It is here that he starts to talk about the process of dating and how our existence as a species relies on this seemingly out of date ritual and the joys of being lucky enough to be a human being and he goes on to talk about our anger while driving and a bit so special I'm not even going to describe it. It's pure brilliance though.
I cannot help but feel Mr. C.K. knew exactly what was happening during this special and what it would mean to his legacy because from my perspective there are all kinds of subtle mentions to his idol(and mine) George Carlin. Firstly, the round theatre stage is reminiscent of Geogre's most popular special, "Class Clown". Secondly, while Louis is known for wearing a solid black shirt and jeans during his performances for some reason he chose to wear a top that was almost a blue and during "Class Clown" George was wearing not a dissimilar shirt. Finally on more than one occasion Louis uses his facial expressions to really drive home a punchline, a tactic that Carlin used liberally.
Am I reading too much into it? Possibly, but I don't think so. Louis has proven that he is a very smart man with a strong understanding and appreciation of those who came before him and it would not surprise me to learn this was all done as a "tip of the cap" to George. Regardless, "Oh My God" only solidifies Mr. C.K. further into the "living legend" status he's been earning and inches the bar that much higher for the rest of the comedy world to jump over.