Casually abrasive and cheerfully profane, comedian Louis C.K.'s stand-up is a pitiable ramble through the travails of married life - saying "I do" opens the floodgates of hell, apparently, and while it might sound miserable, it makes for some damn funny one-liners. One could argue that Louis C.K.'s installment of HBO's recently revived "One Night Stand" series is among the funniest (although I thought Flight of the Conchords' stuff was pretty amusing). In spots, this half-hour of occasionally caustic comedy serves as a literal blueprint for Louis C.K.'s new HBO sitcom, "Lucky Louie," with certain segments re-appearing almost verbatim from Louis C.K.'s stand-up act.
Of course, not everyone will find Louis C.K.'s brand of combative chuckles humorous (after all, he is the auteur responsible for Pootie Tang), but then scanning his impressive list of credits (helpfully alluded to on the back of the DVD case) might give the skeptical pause: this 20-year veteran of stand-up has earned Emmys for his work writing and producing television shows and also (ahem) directing those aforementioned comedic films. His is not a name that's well-known outside of comedy circles, but his rabid cult following as well as his increased exposure with "Lucky Louie" may help elevate this cutting-edge comic's woefully underseen profile.
His acidic take on marriage and fatherhood blows away any perceptions of Louis C.K.'s affection for his family (he's just kidding when he says his wife hates him, right?) and his deeply twisted take on the afterlife, as well as much of everyday life, will have you clutching your sides in either the pain of recognition or the depths of helpless hilarity. The DVD
Presented as originally broadcast in 1.33:1 fullscreen, One Night Stand: Louis C.K. looks sharp and free of defects, as befits a recently created television special - colors don't bleed, there's no trace of edge enhancement and the image is clean. The Audio:
The clear, full Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtrack is just fine - laughter and applause never overwhelm Louis C.K.'s cracks and the opening and closing music tracks don't feel too full or bassy. No optional subtitles are included. The Extras:
A surprising number of extras are onboard for such a short main feature: 17 minutes of deleted scenes, playable separately in 10 installments or as one big chunk, are here as is Louie C.K.'s 11-minute HBO debut on the 1995 "Young Comedians Special." Make no mistake - this DVD release is also timed to serve as a promotional push for Louie C.K.'s baby, "Lucky Louie," which is where the other two featurettes come in: the 12-minute "Lucky Louie: The Making of a Sitcom" and the one minute, 32 second promo for "Lucky Louie" rounds out the disc. Final Thoughts:
Louis C.K.'s occasionally button-pushing brand of comedy won't be to all tastes, but the die-hard fans of his already know this is a disc they'll want to own; the curious might do well to rent first, but do so knowing that his uniquely caustic take on everyday life might just make you a fan despite yourself. Recommended.