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New Louis C.K. Special Premieres Tonight

'Oh My God' covers bacon, slavery, divorce, etc.
Patrick Courtney, 1:15pm, Sat. Apr. 13, 2013

Louis C.K. is nothing if not prolific. His exploits are well-documented: constant touring with seemingly endless new material; writing, editing, and starring in his critically acclaimed, groundbreaking television series Louie; and self-distributing much of his material.

Recorded in Phoenix at "the nicest place for miles in every direction," Louie's most recent special, Oh My God, is decidedly higher-profile than his previous efforts, having been promoted extensively by HBO. But in every critical respect, it is a classic Louie C.K. performance, and fans of the comic's trademark cynicism and self-deprecating humor will not be disappointed.

From weighing the relative merits of marriage and divorce ("No one ever says 'my divorce is falling apart'"), to blasting smartphone-toting parents at his kids' school ("The resolution on the kid is unbelievable if you just look. It's HD!"), Louie makes it look effortless. A riff on visiting seals at the aquarium with his daughter perfectly encapsulates what makes the special so successful: The comic takes his audience from “Look at this goofball making noises” to “I feel odd for laughing at this” in seconds flat.

And without spoiling anything, his closer – the hysterical "of course, but maybe" bit – is impossibly dark and richly gratifying in the way that fans of Louie’s third season will find irresistible.

Certainly the audience in Phoenix – seated in-the-round, which makes for a much more kinetic performance – got the best seat in the house, but the couch tonight will be a close second.

Louis C.K.'s Oh My God premieres tonight, April 13, at 9pm CT on HBO.

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