That's right. Louis CK just recorded enough material Saturday night in Boston from his ongoing "Hilarious" tour to fill two CDs. When I mentioned this to him after he finished signing autographs and taking photos with fans, he realized he hadn't thought about the limitations of the compact disc — such is the nature of our relationship with digital technology these days. Of course, our increasing reliance on high-tech gadgets and innovations is one of the many topics that came under his microscope during his 95-minute set at the Orpheum (crews captured another three minutes of his pre-show announcements that may find their way onto the CD, plus an encore of about 12 minutes, from which he told me he may use only a little bit on disc). An October 2008 panel appearance with Conan O'Brien — in which Louis CK talks about how we have forgotten what technology and science has made possible for us — has shot around the Internets recently, as evidenced by the crowd giving him an applause break Saturday night when he began getting into the topic. The few minutes he told Conan is part of a broader message that lasted about 18-19 minutes on Saturday on how all of the great things that our world has invented and created in the past two decades have been wasted on us. When he railed against people complaining about the reaction times on their cell phones, noting, "The sh!$$iest cell phone in the world is a miracle!" I could not help but note that just before the show, my cell phone, combined with the application of Twitter, not only informed me that rising teen comedian Bo Burnham was also in the crowd, but also allowed me to find him among the 2,600 fans at the Orpheum and exchange greetings in person.
As for the show itself, let my voice be added once again to the chorus of fans and critics who feel the world needs to pay more attention to what Louis CK is saying and give him a broader platform to do so. I didn't use the words "hilarious" or "amazing" or "genius" to describe him, because as he will tell you both live (and soon enough on CD and DVD), we no longer know how to use those words appropriately.
What I will tell you is that his pre-show announcements spoofed the instructions you're bound to hear at most other clubs and theaters, that he acknowledged, "I'll sign your ticket stubs because I know you all lost your jobs last week," and that he implored the audience 1) not to shout out and ruin his CD recording, and also 2) not to give his opening act a hard time because Louis CK picked him personally. That opener, Ted Alexandro
, is normally a headliner himself, but managed to go up cold in front of that theater audience and win them over in a 16-minute set that even went so far as to poke fun at Christ, religion and Catholics. In Boston, remember.
What else is worth noting without telling you too much, especially since I'm sure to write more about Louis CK's "Hilarious" in the months to come? Well, this time around, he went more than an hour before talking about his two daughters and didn't talk about his ex-wife (though he does open and close with material about himself being recently single, and discusses his relationship with his children as a single dad). He also paused at one point to tell the audience how he had changed the phrasing in one joke. "That's my job," he said. "I have to sit all day and sit around and think this stupid boring sh!$." In the bit in question, he told us he added the word "sticking" instead of merely "throwing" his ass against a wall and jumping into another dimension. "It wasn't getting a laugh" before, he said. "I knew it was funny, but I had to add something so you could understand." And in his encore, he began by telling the crowd that when someone asks them where they're from, just say "Boston." That's what he does, and he grew up in Newton, noting that no one really cares about your answer. And he kept going, too, even taking a request for his "suck a bag of dicks" routine. On this night, he smiled and gladly obliged. "I don't want to be the guy who's selling 'suck a bag of dicks' T-shirts after the show, but I'll do it for you guys because you were so good to me tonight." And he was good to us. Be sure to see Louis CK when he is in a town near you.
Further reading: Louis CK answered plenty of questions last week from the Boston-area press…