Louis CK (4 stars)

This article is from 2016

Louis CK

Everything is OK in the hands of CK as the US heavyweight comic discusses his inner life

Nobody says the word 'shitty' quite like Louis CK. We've heard him use the adjective so many times to describe aspects of America and its people that it's borderline exciting to hear him assign it to the Scottish weather. After three rain-soaked, grey cloud-heavy days in Edinburgh, he's got the measure of the place and its propensity for miserable precipitation.

Which segues nicely into a segment about suicide, a topic so delicate and close to the bone, but which CK mounts and rides like it's a leathery bull that can withstand anything. In his hands, everything is safe. The second he wanders out on stage, in front of a 3000-strong capacity crowd at the Edinburgh Playhouse, we know it's all going to be OK with CK.

The Scottish capital has no shortage of comedians in August who fail to hit the mark, or quiver internally in the face of an audience. CK is the antithesis of both. Dressed in a smart suit (a new look to help him 'appreciate life'), he's as confident and natural onstage as if he were chatting with a pal in his local bar, and every line lands exactly where it's supposed to.

Describing the tussle with his inner gay, when faced with the downstairs stirrings he gets at the sight of Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike, he devotes several minutes to the male member and fellatio. In the end, he decides it's not for him; but then women seem a difficult fit for CK, too. Evidently still smouldering from the burn of a difficult marriage, he warns us that the inevitable equation of love plus time equals hate is coming our way. And, of course, his two daughters – and children in general – come in for a caustic beating.

We've heard CK talk about his progeny so often that it's almost as if we've seen them grow up alongside him on stage. So when he wheels out a story from kindergarten, you wonder if there might not be a fresher tale to tell. But it's a minor complaint, and in many ways so devoted is his following that all he really needed to do was show up. Which he did, and then some.

Show reviewed at Edinburgh Playhouse; Louis CK is at Wembley Arena, London, 12 Aug, Eventim Apollo, London, 13 & 14 Aug.

Louis C.K.

  • 4 stars

The comedian, actor, writer, director and editor brings his highly individual brand of stand-up.