Louis CK New Special, "Oh My God" Premiered Sat Night on HBO
The good news is that I can tell you right off the bat why "Oh My God" was a departure in quality. And the future need not be bleak. The man who has over-shared every innermost confession from inside his shameless skull--much to the squealing delight of pretty much everyone--is running up against a realistic limit to the number of thoughts a human man can have about his own life during a given period of time. The result on "Oh My God" is a disappointing, but certainly well-earned proportion of increasingly observational humor at the expense of Louis talking about what we love most--himself.
For example, an early chunk of his new material discusses how nobody cares about the differences between seals and sea-lions. An extended segment in the middle addresses how some people are simply not destined to get laid. To be sure, Louis can do observational material as good as anyone else. But at this point in the game, listening to Louis do jokes about sea creatures is like watching Stephen Hawking explain the basics of fossils. Let Bill Nye handle that, dude! Give us the black-holes and aliens!
Needless to say, "Oh My God" isn't without his trademark: scarily relatable moments of 'Here's why I'm an asshole deep inside'. I won't break the seal on any of these, but if you're a fan, there are certainly golden nuggets to enjoy in his fifth hour-long special since 2007.
So the big question at hand--the question comedy nerds knew we'd have to face for quite a while now--is, "Will Louis CK burn out?" The answer is, when it comes to his chops for relating the intellectual and emotional experience of modern humanity... definitely not. The only bummer is that at some point he's going to need to slow down because he's starting to process his life experiences for our enjoyment at a rate faster than he can experience them. And now we're right with him, pressed up against his horizons and hoping like vampires that he has another fucked up year.
A word of advice, Louis, painful though it may be to say it: The reason you're so funny is because you're NOT super-human. We admire your work ethic and adore your personality. But don't feel bad if you need to take some years off working to let life pile back up for a while. There's a reason touring comedians all do routines about airports... To quote your contemporary Pete Holmes, "You need to live a life worth commenting on."