Louis CK

After two decades of showbiz acclaim, Louis CK occupies a comedy sweet spot. Or maybe it’s a treacherous middle ground. He’s not a trendy young alt-comedy darling, and he’s too smart to be a Vegas headliner who caters to conventioneers. He kills on Letterman, Leno, and HBO specials, but his sensibility doesn’t quite translate into sitcom land. (Though he’s trying yet again with Louie, currently on FX.) He’s a balding middle-aged dad trying to make sense of the world, but with a profane candor that can’t be safely squeezed into Dockers. He’s a curmudgeon who also laughs at his own petty outrage. He makes a standard, Seinfeld-style observational joke about being stuck in the slow line at the grocery store, then reframes it as if to say, Look at me being such an asshole to complain about this shit. In his struggles through marriage, kids, and divorce, he’s similarly double-minded. Musing about why, outside of family, no one would ever tolerate a delay because someone—i.e. his four-year-old daughter—won’t put on her shoes, he exclaims, “Nobody ever calls her on her bullshit!” Then he turns the third corner: What kind of a jerk would say that about his child? And we laugh again. BRIAN MILLER

Fri., Nov. 12, 8 p.m., 2010

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