Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too.
Louis C.K. has talked openly and repeatedly about the way that George Carlin changed his career. It was Carlin’s practice of throwing out all his material once it was documented in one of his many HBO specials and then building an act anew that inspired C.K., making him go deeper and be smarter with his own work. So when C.K. signed on for his own HBO special, he paid direct homage to Carlin by recording it at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona, home to one of his esteemed predecessors most notable early outings for the pay cable network.
Fittingly — and perhaps intentionally — C.K. also closed the show with the most Carlin-esque bit he’s ever created, an ingenious riff on dueling intellectual impulses that vibrates with exactly the sort of precise language disguised as casual musing that the Carlin perfected. It’s utterly remarkable.
Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Laughing Matters” tag.