Brian Jacobson

Deep-Fried Romantic finds a father figure

By - Sep 22nd, 2010 04:00 am

Being a stand-up comedian pretty much means you’re going to talk lowbrow about life events. You can put on a fancy tuxedo like Don Rickles, but you’re still going to insult the crowd and make dick jokes. So it was no  surprise to see Louis CK saunter out onto the stage at The Riverside Theater last Saturday night in a comfortable black t-shirt and blue jeans, with his trademark red beard a little longer than normal like he’s headed out on the open road.

Louie made a little homecoming of sorts; he shot his last concert movie at sister venue Pabst Theater in 2009. Funny thing is, Louie doesn’t give a crap about seeing Milwaukee, or any the cities he’s touring in. He flatly says so:

“Hey you should see the—”
“No, no I don’t. I’m just fine here at the hotel thank you.”

Louie would much rather sleep, he says, which he finds more attractive than sex these days. He loves sleep as a one loves a hobby. He waxes on and on that it’s like someone pleasuring him while shooting heroin straight up his urethra at the same time. It’s much funnier to watch him explain it than me paraphrasing it. He ends the bit just as everyone’s constantly howling.

“Aw, s%$#.”

It’s his role as a newly divorced father with two small girls that brings out the most agonizing pain of laughter. Louie is a master of saying something sweet and honorable about parenting and ending that sentiment by saying the most outrageous gut feelings about it that every parent ponders at one time or another but dares not say. This is no Cosby material.

One true story relates how he’s trying to best his ex-wife during a joint vacation to Italy. He wants to show his two girls something that she hasn’t, and they come upon a pack of wild Italian ponies.

“Look, look, look! Ponies. Ponies! Does your mom ever let you see wild ponies?! I’m the best father in THE WORRRLDD!!!”

Everything, of course, ends in trauma as one pony proceeds to bite his 8-year-old girl (luckily, no skin broken) and Louis is forced to scoop up his child and run away from the 50 little horses.

“Did you know ponies could bite,” she asks in tears.
“Well, yeah, I guess so,” Louie replies out of breath.
“THEN why did you let me walk up to them?!”
“I don’t know!”

Louis CK ends the bit by stating that a little girl being bitten by a beautiful Italian wild pony is like being raped by Santa Claus.

As predicted, it was a nearly straight 90 minutes of new material previously unheard or witnessed. Having heard every story, appearance, and stand-up in the process of writing this article, I can attest that none of the moments seemed familiar. One bit about flying in a hell-bent plane was played up in one episode of the new FX series Louie, but that was it.

I’ve started to think of Louis CK as a kind of metaphorical father figure for the Deep-Fried Romantic column. He isn’t willing to put the effort into certain details — like remembering the name of a street — and some of his stories wane into the territory of “so the guy goes up to the thing and asks her to whatever.”

The great thrill of listening to his routines is similar to finding the funniest guy at the house party or bar. He manages to be a philosopher of the mundane, and wanders so far away from the original topic by thinking of abstracts that it’s a wonder he can reign it back to the matter at hand.

Coda: I’ve just learned that if you want to watch Hilarious for free, in its entirety and basking in the glow of the Pabst Theater interiors, just visit the Epix HD website and provide a valid email address for an invite to watch it online. Don’t say I never gave you nothing.

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