Louis C.K.: Oh My God shows HBO audiences the comic’s more confident side

Louis C.K.: Oh My God
Saturday, April 13
HBO, 10pm ET/PT

To say Louis C.K. has been on a roll is an understatement. The past few years have seen the once-journeyman comic strike it big with a series of highly successful standup specials and a series on FX that has become a bona fide TV revelation. But with the announcement that Louie won’t return until 2014, the best rabid Louis C.K. fans (I’ll unapologetically count myself in that number) have to look forward to is an entirely new hour of standup.

Oh My God probably isn’t his best hour — I’m still partial to Chewed Up — but it’s definitely a treat for fans. Louis does a new hour of standup every year, so his last few specials have served as yearbooks of sort, with his increasing age being a vital part of his act. He delights in chronicling the decay of his body and his growing apathy toward things that seemed vital in his youth: sex, popularity and general vitality.

Although, given his major success as of late, there’s less of an edge to his self-loathing, more of a soft poking than a sharp stab. But still, it’s funny to hear him talk about making an “It Gets Better” video to young, dumpy guys, telling them that it just takes time for a woman’s looks to sink down to his, and that he can be her last rung on the ladder to avoid rock bottom.

The true test of a comic is when you could theoretically write out his or her whole routine, and still not have it equal to hearing their delivery. That’s always been Louis’ gift, an expert way with words that shows his devotion to comic giants like George Carlin, who is mentioned in the end-credits acknowledgements.

RELATED: Louis C.K. brings his foulmouthed, heartfelt act to FX

It’s encouraging yet also unnerving seeing Louis C.K. be so confident. So much of his appeal is how he gives voice to the middle-aged man who is lost and obsessed with faded youth and fast-approaching mortality. But he still knows how to give voice to those awful thoughts we all have in our head, and make us feel just a little better that we’re not the only ones having them.

Louis C.K. Oh My God HBO

Photo: Credit: Kevin Mazur