America has finally dived into the ever-looming culture of ignorant rage rising around us, head-first and with the voracious fervor of a thousand cracked-out rabid baboons who suddenly believe that the only way to achieve harmony and happiness is through war and aggressive perfectionism towards everything but one’s own self. This is the central drive of Louis C.K’s latest comedy special Hilarious, in which our fortysomething, balding hero showcases the absolute absurdity of modern society & their relentless dissatisfaction with cutting-edge technology.
Louis C.K.’s had the best year of his life professionally; the first season of his autobiographically-based show on FX, "Louie," was a smash hit. The show was renewed for a second season barely a month after its premiere, with new episodes currently taping. "Louie"s success coincided with skyrocketing recognition of the comic’s prowess onstage, something he’s been hard at work at for a quarter century. Better late than never? Hell yes it is: Hilarious has become the first stand-up comedy film ever accepted into the Sundance Film Festival.
Originally recorded as a stand-up concert film and intended for theatrical distribution, the film made its debut at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in early 2010 before receiving a scant theatrical run (in most cases, a single night) later that year. It made its television debut on the Epix cable channel before debuting on Comedy Central in January 2011, just days before being released as both an album and on DVD in its original concert-film format.
|Louis C.K. – Give It a Second|
Blistering cultural criticism with a powerful gut-punch of disquietingly relatable midlife predicaments is the strongest flavor that Hilarious has to offer, and the laughs often became full-fledged screams of inevitable response to Louis’ deadpan declarations. The film is a circumstantially funnybone-puiverizing lesson in the inevitable compromise and disappointment of middle age, with an unflinching honesty and an refusal to roll with the obnoxiously dysfunctional conventions modern society has built as the parameters of our cultural reality.
That fearlessly and depressingly scarce deconstructive spirit manifests itself in the topics C.K. addresses – the life-sacrifice of parenthood, the way sex changes as you age and Americans’ gluttonous, furious dissatisfaction with technology we’d have lost bowel control over five years ago – needling the status quo until it’s bleeding rivers of truth, disgusting, putrid truth, for all to see.
We could all use a lot more stark awareness in our lives, through the lens of someone morosely fascinating enough to make us laugh at it. That someone is Louis C.K., and he’s goddamned Hilarious.
CraveOnline Rating: 9 out of 10