Last night I saw Louis C.K.’s new show at the New York City Center. It was—get ready for this—very funny. I know! The center itself is huge, nearly 3,000-seats, and it was packed. Going in, my companion spotted James Murphy, looking fuzzy and adorable in a big beard.
John Mulaney opened, which was a lovely treat. Who doesn’t love John Mulaney? He was, perhaps, a bit too self-effacing. “Don’t worry, I’m not here to see me either.” Guy, this Thursday 10 o’clock show sold out the day after it was announced. I think it’s safe to say the house is packed with comedy nerds.
In fact, I think I got some of the last tickets, because I was in the second to last row. The rise is dizzyingly steep, and both performers were so foreshortened they looked like pink toothpicks jammed into the stage. Still worth it! Louis came out after a very short opening set, chiding people for arriving late. “You could’ve done better. You missed John Mulaney and he was funny as shit.”
Louis started with a long, very funny thing (I refuse to say chunk, that is just gross-sounding) about how he connects with old ladies. The theme of the evening seemed to be aging and the aged, including Louis himself. “Anyone that I’m not looking at right now might be dead.” I’m not going to attempt to explain any of the jokes, because a. that is never funny and b. you probably want to just see it for yourself.
He was interrupted at one point by yelling in the front. Someone yelled shut up, loud enough to be heard all the way up in the faraway seats, so Louis stopped the show to mediate. “Did the usher leave?” he said. “I think an ejection is in order.” When the audience applauded, he shushed us. “You aren’t helping.” He settled a dispute between someone who was mad about someone else talking, and the talking person, who had threatened to fuck him or her up. “So he said he’d fuck you up? No, I’d be upset too.” I’ve never seen a loud talker up front NOT get ejected, but Louis helped them through it and everyone got to stay. (“So are you both okay? Please don’t chat during my show. People come here to see me talk, and you are kind of interfering with that, when you are talking at the same time.”) If this is how he is with his kids, he’s a great dad.
The show proceeded, ranging from more old lady talk, to a long part about tit squeezing that involved the universal one handed tit squeeze gesture, to what it is like to live in a 45-year-old body. He closed with a meditation on murder that was so funny I almost barfed laughing. I know I promised not to attempt to joke-explain, but my favorite line of the night was: “I think the law against murder is the #1 thing preventing murder.”
In the quick but effective encore, there was a moment where he seemed like maybe he was going to say something racist, and you could hear the entire audience being like NO DON’T RUIN IT, then what he said was the opposite of racist, and everyone laughed and applauded. Whew. Some people tried to give a standing ovation, but Louis didn’t stick around to see it. How someone can do two shows in a night back to back like that and still sound so spontaneous is beyond me. He’s a pro.