When Louis C.K. walked out onto The Bell House stage last night, he held up a notebook -- the comedian's universal sign for "this is new material" -- and modestly disclosed that the event was not going to be the greatest show, which was why the tickets were only $10. "You are falling on a grenade for a later, better-paying audience," he explained with a chuckle.
No one was surprised by this caveat. The event itself was called, "Louis C.K. Working On His New Hour Of Material," and based on the fact that all three shows sold out in 3 hours after only The Bell House Tweeted about the event, it's clear that no one gave a shit. The 44 year-old, ginger-haired comedian constantly produces nothing but stellar work (and yes, that includes Pootie Tang). Louis C.K. could have stood onstage and farted for an hour, and some comedy blogger would have stayed up late last night penning a thoughtful, 1,000-word article about how the pacing and nuances of each individual sound and smell just gave birth to a new wave of alternative comedy. And only a comedian like Louis C.K. can workshop new material for sixty minutes not once, not twice, but THREE times in one night. I can only imagine the mental notes and feverish scribbling that went down in The Bell House's green room between the three shows.
I was lucky enough to have nabbed two tickets to the 7PM show, a feat that was only possible because of a combination of my freelance, work-from-home-ish status and my obsessive need to check Twitter every 30 seconds. Around 12:30PM yesterday, the Bell House Tweeted that Louis C.K. would be performing three 1-hour sets at 7PM, 9PM and 11PM that evening, and that tickets were only available through their in-house box office at a maximum of two tickets/person. Plenty of people bitched about this method of ticket sales, aware that they were likely going to sell out before most of Brooklyn got home from work. But knowing how much effort Louis C.K. puts into avoiding ticket scalping for his shows, I have a feeling it was his or his management's decision to do it that way.
I'm not going to reproduce any of his jokes for this article because my attempts would surely be very unfunny, but I will say that he talked about his thoughts on marriage, stories about his daughters, a recent experience in which he got high and attempted to walk to the movies, and an accidental "adoption" of an elderly woman at an airport. He even talked about sharks. And based on his track record, I'm sure the later, better-paying audiences will love the polished set as much as last night's audience loved the notebook set.