Louis CK came to St. Louis last night for two sold-out shows at the Fox Theater. The place was packed to the rafters (that’s 4,000+ seats) with a crowd that wasn’t shy about showing its admiration for him, and Louis didn’t disappoint them.
In his stand-up, Louis doesn’t tell actual jokes, opting instead for funny stories from his life. He paints pictures with his words, so you can visualize his encounter with an old woman at the airport, or another resident of his apartment building in their courtyard. His vignettes draw you in, thanks to well-chosen phrases, clever observations about people, and his talent as a storyteller.
What’s most impressive about Louis is that his show was 90 minutes long and didn’t contain any material he’d done in previous years. For a comedian to develop that much new stuff each year, eschewing the old, is a remarkable feat that few in the business attempt, let alone pull off.
Unfortunately, Todd Glass, who opened the show for 20 minutes, is exactly the opposite — a hack comedian whose premises often don’t have payoffs and whose targets for ridicule run as deep as the infomercials for the Sham-Wow. His act might work in comedy clubs, in the midst of other comics who stomp the same turf, but in a big theater next to a unique performer like Louis CK, he’s a waste of time.