Louis CK releases new special, “Live at the Comedy Store”

Louis 480

So far, 2015 has been a pretty good year for Louis CK. His FX series Louie started shooting its fifth season, which will begin airing in April. He announced and then sold all of the tickets for a whirlwind theater and arena tour. He also broke the record for most shows a comedian has ever played at Madison Square Garden in one month, with a whopping four. (The fourth show was canceled because of the Blizzard that Wasn’t, but sales are sales.) And, now, he has released his seventh full-length stand-up special, Live at the Comedy Store.



In an impassioned e-mail he sent to followers informing them of the release, Louis spoke about his early days, the ones where he gigged endlessly in clubs for no money and honed his craft:


Nightclubs, comedy clubs, is where comedy is born and where comedy, standup comedy, truly lives.  Going back to Abraham Lincoln, who was probably America’s first comedian, Americans have enjoyed gathering at night in small packed (and once smokey) rooms, drinking themselves a bit numb and listening to each other say wicked, crazy, silly, wrongful, delightful, upside-down, careless, offensive, disgusting, whimsical things….I’ve been on comedy club stages probably more than I’ve stood on any other kind of spot in my entire life….The point is I prepared the material for this special on club stages.  I went to the Cellar here in New York, and their new club, The Village Underground, about ten times a week with the occasional trip uptown to Gotham Comedy Club and “The Stand” on third avenue.  I went out to LA to put that spin on it, working Largo, the Improv and finally the Comedy Store, hammering this stuff together in front of late night comedy club audiences.  So it only seemed right to shoot it that way.


And, indeed, the special is scaled quite a bit back from Oh My God and Live at the Beacon Theater, both of which were shot in big halls in front of thousands of people. It feels more like the stand-up bits from Louie, as a matter of fact; Flavorwire calls it “a special with the spontaneity of a workshop set,” and that description feels accurate. It’s probably not as polished an hour as Louis’ last few specials, but it’s also looser, sillier, more off-the-cuff.



But: is it funny? Well: there are two ways to answer that question. The first is by mentioning that the show costs $5, and that for your $5 you can download two different kinds of audio, and standard and HD video, and stream the audio and video several times each. It’s a whole lot cheaper than most other comedy you might obtain legally, and so, yes, it is well worth $5. The second is to consider whether it’s worth your time. Here’s the answer: if the thought of Louis CK describing rats having sex on a subway platform; depicting life in his fifth-grade Sex Ed class; talking about the time in his childhood when he found out that all humans eventually die; doing a spot-on imitation of the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz; and extending earlier riffs on his two daughters sounds like a good time to you, then listen away.

Live at the Comedy Store is available now.


(Photo credits: Screencaps via Louis CK)

website statistics