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Louis C.K. counters crude wit with wisdom for Ohio State

Courtesy of FX

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While his show “Louie” might be bogged down with misfortunes, Louis C.K. attempted to stray from his negative roots and put a more positive twist on his stand-up for Ohio State students this weekend. He didn’t tone down the crude humor though.

“Life is really an amazing gift. You get a body and you get to be on Earth. You get to look at s—. And you can take stuff and just put it in your mouth, like bacon and caramel and go ‘Ughhh.’ You get to f—. That’s free if you’re smart,” C.K. said at an Ohio Union Activities Board-sponsored event in Mershon Auditorium Saturday.

Taking the stage at about 7 p.m., the comedian, whose real name is Louis Szekely, received a roaring round of applause as he unhooked the microphone from its stand and greeted the crowd of almost 2,500 students, a few of whom formed a line as early as 12 hours in advance of the event’s start time.

“It’s great to be here … Thanks for coming. Nice group of young folks,” C.K. said, slowly scanning the auditorium. “This is a nice place. The nicest place for many miles in any direction.”

He kicked off his stand-up exploring the nature of offensive statements, explaining how people can still find a true statement offensive.

“If you say things like, ‘More than three Jews have ever stolen,’ that’s just true,” C.K. said. “And people will be like, ‘Eww that’s upsetting. Why did you say that?'”

C.K. also shared how simple jokes can still get laughs.

“Can you make comedy out of a really simple premise? Like cars are so much faster than people. They’re way faster than people,” C.K. said. “Who’s the fastest guy? That guy (Usain) Bolt, the Jamaican? He’s really fast. A 1984 Honda Civic is way faster.”

For a few students, C.K.’s stand-up didn’t disappoint their expectations of seeing him live.

“I had a lot of anticipation for the show because I’ve been following and watching his stuff for years. I was definitely super satisfied with how the performance went,” said Amanda Krasowski, a third-year in electrical engineering. “I like that he’s still your average guy, you know, hanging around in his sweatpant shorts and he still seems like your middle class guy even though he knows he’s rich and famous.”

Holly Butcher, a third-year in English, said she was “blown away” from the event.

“I was afraid that it wasn’t going to be any new material but every single thing he said was new. So that was fantastic,” Butcher said.

Later in his act and on a more personal note, C.K. touched on his childhood and growing up relatively poor.

“When your mom is poor, kids of poor parents are mean because they don’t give a s—,” C.K. said. “There’s no sympathy for your mom. You’re just like, ‘Mom, you suck.'”

C.K. said that while he was growing up, his mother would buy “poor people food,” such as unsalted crackers, because he did not like them and that way the crackers would last longer.

“When I realized that this was the principle that guided the management of my life, it was so depressing that we were going to get the s—iest possible things so that we can keep them,” he joked. “Oh god, why don’t you just s— in the fridge and go, ‘That’s groceries.'”

C.K. crystallized his shameless style at the end of his performance on a segment he called “Of course, but maybe,” where he introduced a popular idea and then he would describe the “maybe,” or the creeping suspicion in the back of his mind.

Such as, “Of course the Make-A-Wish Foundation is a wonderful organization. They give a wonderful experience to a child who is going to die of a horrible disease. Of course that’s wonderful. … But maybe, giving a beautiful memory (to someone) who is going to be dead in a week is a waste of time.”

Since his humble beginnings, C.K. has had a long-standing career in comedy. His writing credits include “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “The Dana Carvey Show” and “The Chris Rock Show.” His live-comedy album “Hilarious” was awarded Best Comedy Album at the 2012 Grammy Awards.

His most recent feat, however, is not on the stage but on the screen. C.K. is the writer, producer and star of FX’s “Louie,” which won the 2012 Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.

C.K. said of his career, “Life gets better when you get older. It depends on the person. You add some wisdom and some income to this and it gets better.”

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