Life isn’t getting any more pleasurable for Louis CK. Maybe it’s some consolation that, as demonstrated by his show at the Edinburgh Playhouse, he’s one of the funniest fuckers alive.
The last time he was in the UK was 2014, and while the voice is a little gruffer and the vibe more resigned than ever, and he looks weirdly like George Galloway now, BUT the ridiculously high standard was the same. As ever it’s a set that’s high on ennui and misery, even though he says (or let’s slip) that he’s so much happier since his divorce, and that his children are the best thing that have happened to him. Such declarations of contentedness have absolutely no bearing on the tone of the show, though, which is dark. He presents suicide as an entirely legitimate way out, to the point where it seems like an obvious thing to do and it’s a wonder we’re all here. If that sounds crass, he’s not careless with the subject at all.
The bulk of his material includes, in some way, his children. His brilliant routine on the story of Achilles begins and ends on his relationship with his daughter. It’s via his kids that the gets to talk about the depressing awfulness of American public schools.
From his post-divorce point of view he has no envy for the couples who have been married for 60 years, and it’s in this stand-out routine that he shows just how good he is with little actings out, illustrating what he’s talking about and taking the standard to the next level.
Things peaked at the gay fantasies he’s been having about Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum. Talking about this and what it might be like to have a boyfriend was the happiest he looked all night.
There was nothing to do but admire one of the all-time greats on top form.
Review by Paul Fleckney