Louis C.K. has last laugh at Mahalia Jackson Theater

Within the competitive field of stand-up comedy, it is often difficult for individual performers to sell out entire venues. For Louis C.K., however, selling out back-to-back nights with less than a week’s notice has become the standard.

The Emmy-winning comedian’s shows began at 8 p.m. on Feb. 1 and 2 at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Crowds of more than 2,000 fans showed, hoping to catch more than a few laughs, which C.K. certainly delivered.

Like all of C.K.’s shows, both began with six to seven five-minute sets from budding stand-up comedians around the area. Some packaged their jokes better than others and some were downright hilarious. They all shared one common element, however: C.K. wanted to give them a chance in front of a large audience.

By the time the final opener finished, the crowd was itching to hear the A-list funnyman take the stage. He was greeted by an eruption of cheers and applause before he quickly took control of the audience and never let go.

Observers could hardly sip their drinks without being interrupted by uncontrollable laughter. C.K. is known for his tendency to completely disregard the standards of “appropriate” topics. His unfailingly awkward charisma shined as he tackled taboo subjects like racism, abortion, religion and politics. The audience provided only a roaring demand for more.

The show’s flow remained far from seamless, though, as at one point a heckler made his way onto the┬ástage and tried speaking into the microphone before being swiftly removed by security. C.K., dazed by the incident, collected himself and impressively improvised, making light of an event that “had never happened in thirty years of being on stages.”

It was a moment that encompassed much of C.K.’s career: observing the bad or particularly unsettling parts of life with a pointed sense of humor.

As he gave the audience a bow and his final thanks, the applause he received went beyond simple praise. It was a standing ovation to a legendary career that was well-captured in a single night.

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