Louis C.K. was already a well-seasoned, headlining comedian with a litany of TV and film projects under his belt when an appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien became a viral hit. The clip, titled "Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy," is remarkable not only for it's humor, but for how it encapsulates the zeitgeist: Despite the fact that there is no better time to be alive, Americans have an obsession with focusing on the superfluous negatives of existence. Morbid as it might be, this outlook (mixed with a sheer brilliant sense of humor) has rocketed Louis to the apex of the comedy world, allowing him to pack theaters with eager fans -- which is precisely what he did at the Fillmore Miami Beach. And last night's material (part of his Word tour) may be his strongest yet.
After a brief introduction by Louis, veteran comedian Todd Glass opened the show. His gregarious style won over the crowd over as he discussed his frustrations with poorly conceived dinner parties and presumptive infomercials. He left to a chorus of cheers and applause after 15 minutes as the familiar theme from FX's Louie began. The Fillmore crowd exploded in anticipation of C.K.
Immediately after taking the stage, Louis thanked the crowd for attending, not because he was particularly touched by the gesture, he simply enjoyed getting a portion of the ticket sales. He then proceeded to chastise the audience for spending their money so fool-heartedly, pointing out that there was nothing preventing him from shitting his pants and exiting, leaving the crowd unsatisfied.
He then ventured into the familiar territory of aging, sex, divorce, and parenting, though Louis wasn't retreading his well-worn jokes. C.K. deplores the brazen, selfish naiveté of youth, arguing that anybody 20 years or younger has "nothing interesting to say." By living twice as long, he had amassed far more experience and stories just by existing. Louis proved this point through a story where a woman once blew him and then two years later, hung herself. Young people just don't have stories like that.
Louis elaborated on his general malaise by exposing his affinity for sleep, explaining that he is rarely happier when in a sleepy daze, biding time until his death. Death was the crux C.K.'s closing story of a plane flight that he was very fortunate to make it out of alive. It's a stark and funny tale that explores the blind trust we put in airlines. Louis said his goodbyes as the rapt crowd leapt to their feet eager to give him a much-earned standing ovation.
It wasn't a minute before he quickly returned to the adoring audience. People scurried back to their seats or stood in the isles while C.K. regaled the crowd will more stories of mortality deferred (e.g. getting in a street race with an armed man and the difficulty in trying to induce vomiting after a dog has eaten chocolate).
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An encore in stand-up puts the comedian at a disadvantage. The rhythms of their set will have been broken, and the crowd's attention broken. But Louis easily regained control of the crowd and had them in hysterics once again.
He ended his encore by musing on a scene from Schindler's List, where a mean little girl screams "Goodbye Jews!" at a group of future Holocaust victims. Louis joyfully explained that somewhere there was a casting call tape of 50 adorable little girls forced to scream "Goodbye Jews!" until the perfect anti-Semite was found. After a "Goodbye Jews!" of his own, Louis C.K. finally left the stage to another ovation by the appreciative crowd.
Thanks to a massive sobriety checkpoint, we were soon stuck on the MacArthur Causeway for ninety minutes of standstill traffic. It our killed our mood. But then we looked at it as Louis might have: It's ridiculous that we were upset that we were inconvenienced for a little more than an hour so police could rid the roads of dangerous drunk drivers. Maybe it was time to acknowledge all the blessings we have to be thankful for and stop getting bogged down in bullshit. Otherwise, we're just more material for C.K.'s Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy shtick.