Comedian Louis CK aired his new special called “Oh My God” on the HBO network yesterday. It was recorded in Arizona in February of 2013 and features an entirely new set of comedy, which is one of his trademark styles. Louis traditionally throws out all material and makes new jokes each time a special airs. It’s quite the accomplishment in itself, seeing the frequency of this occurring.
Those expecting the hard punch of reality of older Louis CK will have to bide their time, as the set starts off slower, incorporating many lighter jokes and casual observations at first. It’s a cleaner, more gradual build up, which involves animal kingdom analogies and situational illustrations with cutesy tongue-in-cheek. Still, this isn’t a sign of bad times ahead, but merely a readjustment of priorities. Instead of getting out atrocious statements immediately to set the tone, Oh My God is much easier to get into; building momentum. In fact, this set has excellent pacing, as by the 15 minute mark the obscene material starts spewing out and doesn’t seem as polarizing as other times. Even when a shot is taken at Michael J. Fox and his Parkinson’s condition, the crowd reaction is not as disgusted as one would imagine. Laughs also ramps up from softer to louder as time progresses, though that’s a byline, as the special is aimed at home viewers.
Observations mixed with persuading rationale will make out the largest part of the set. A brilliant joke merely recounts the Nixon affair, with surprisingly little added exaggeration to bring out the comedic aspect of a national tragedy. By the half hour mark, the act is in full speed and the brakes truly come off with astute humanitarian quirks. Louis CK also doesn’t shy away from calling out the crowd when any reaction does turn negative with properly rhetoric. When the crowd disapproves of his assessment that people collectively ignore the lowest part of the social chain, Louis points out that they can solve the problem in a simple way, instead of just sitting there; rightfully so.
The perfect pace does come together with a climactic bit about morality contradiction. It even involves one of the more risky jokes of the evening; a light stab at the military, which is a bold thing to do in a place like Arizona. Certainly as Louis is vocal about his support of the troops, it’s a rare leap out of his territory to make that jump. This joke also reveals the excellent editing of the piece, as we get a brief glimpse of Louis bracing for impact, seeing if the joke will land or explode.
At the end of Louis CK’s Oh My God special, many will have spent the majority of time chuckling aloud with comedy both suited for squeamish audiences as downright human atrocities. Certainly for people unfamiliar with the rest of his work, this is the prime piece to ease people in and make them accept older, more brutal work. It’s different, but still in a good way, which shows the expertise of this comedian in many fields. This special will be available for sale for $5 in September. It’s definitely worth the money.