Judge Ian Visser is not only shameless, he's pants-less! Zing!
"I was in a bar the other night. It doesn't matter where, because I'm lying…"
I am not a follower of the comedy world, especially the arena encompassing the stand-up circuit. I generally blank out when people discuss acts they've seen or heard, and I rarely seek out the genre as a source of entertainment. I was probably the last person in North America to realize who Dane Cook was, and whenever anyone points me to a comedy clip online I usually have no idea who the comic is prior to watching.
My experience with comedian and writer Louis (pronounced "Loo-ee") C.K. follows a similar pattern. Unbeknownst to me, the Emmy winner has been writing in the industry for years, including a stint with Saturday Night Live and the film Pootie Tang (yes, he admits it). His profile has been growing recently with appearances on the late-night television circuit and a recent HBO sitcom, Lucky Louie.
Louis C.K.—Shameless was filmed at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California in November of 2006. Shot in front of a live audience, the viewer gets an hour of biting comedy that covers such diverse topics as raping Hitler, wearing possum-related t-shirts, and punching your child in the face.
Louis' style is very simple: a man stands on-stage and rails about what has happened to his life after marriage, kids and all the rest of it. This may sound like a bummer, but it's impossible not to revel in how willing Louis is to complain about his family and their foibles. When a guy calls his own four-year-old daughter an "a-hole" (and explains why she is one), you know you're getting the straight story. I probably spent as much time laughing at the man's willingness to reveal his flaws as I did the actual comedy material. A lot of it crosses the line into near-inappropriateness, but it only adds to the hilarity of it all.
The direction of Louis C.K.—Shameless is simplicity itself, the camera switching from wide shots to close-ups of Louis and sparing us from those irritating and distracting audience reaction shots. The 16:9 widescreen image is solid with no artifacting or color issues. The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track is clear and sharp with a nice balance.
Louis C.K.—Shameless features a pair of extras. The first is Louis' HBO half-hour special, shot several years ago. Louis' delivery and style in this act are similar to his current work, but there is a lack of attitude that contrasts with his recent material. If anything, Louis' is even grumpier now, with his current act focusing more on his real-life disappointments than the staid "you-ever-notice?" bits featured in this special. Although the comedy in this offering isn't as cutting or personal, it is still a nice inclusion. The second bonus is a short promo trailer featuring a pair of scenes from Louis' short-lived sitcom.
Like most comedy, Louis C.K.—Shameless won't appeal to everyone. However, if you like your laughs cynical, unabashed, and profane, this DVD should find a space in your collection's comedy section.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Other Reviews You Might Enjoy
Scales of Justice
• HBO Comedy Half-Hour: Louis C.K.
Review content copyright © 2007 Ian Visser; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.