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Louis C.K.

Louis C.K. takes to the stage as a modern-day everyman who identifies those ingredients that make the seemingly commonplace hilarious. Such as the experience of trying to suppress an intense bathroom need as you hurry home. “And then I see my house,” he says, and my eyes tell the rest of me, fuck it, man, let go, we’re here.” He widens his eyes, gives a little we’re-in-this-together grin, and adds, “Because my eyes are fuckin’ retarded and they don’t know the difference between the outside and the inside of my house.”

The pacing, the build-up, the payoff are all so well done that you forget he’s performing and feel as if you have a personal spokesman articulating your own folly.

“I work on a show during the summer,” he says, reached by telephone. “I write on stage, in front of an audience. Here in New York City, there are clubs where I can do 10 or 15 minutes, and the show grows until by August or September I have something.” He’s a keen observer of the minutiae of everyday experiences—does he jot such thoughts in a notebook? “I lose notebooks. And if I write things down like that, my brain says, ‘Oh, it’s in a notebook’ and I forget it. But I record all my shows, so if I spend, say, five days alone with my kids, my brain gets wiped clean and I can go back to those recordings for the material.”

He pursued a dual career as writer and performer, with notable stints as one of the original writers of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Chris Rock Show (which won him an Emmy Award) and stints on the staffs of the David Letterman and Dana Carvey shows.

He’s had a tumultuous relationship with TV, writing and starring in the successful but short-lived Lucky Louie for HBO, but it was his stand-up specials for that network: Shameless in 2007 and last year’s Chewed Up—that brought him his greatest acclaim.

The show at the Egg tomorrow night (Friday), Louis C.K.: Hilarious, follows in that tradition and will be filmed in March as another HBO special. Although, like any comedy show, it continues to evolve, what he performs in Albany is the essence of it. He doesn’t tailor it for different audiences or locations, because “audiences are audiences. Laughs may come at different places, but the contrast is interesting.” And don’t expect political or current events humor: “That’s beaten to death by the talk shows and the blogs. I mean, after you hear about something 50 different times, you say, ‘Yeah, I know that, Madonna is stupid, OK.’ Also, I’m not smart enough to be political. I mean, I’m interested in it, but it’s not my material.”

What you will get are his unexpectedly funny insights on subjects ranging from fatherhood to saving money to pursuing a middle-age sex life. If there’s an echo of Bill Cosby, it’s no surprise. “He was one of my early influences, along with George Carlin and Richard Pryor and Steve Martin. And when was in high school, I’d watch Jay Leno on TV and I thought he was amazing.”

His new DVD, a recording of Louis C.K.: Chewed Up has just been released, and he’s satisfied with the way it came out—to a point. “I won’t watch it,” he says, “because then I might vomit. But it inspires me to work on the next one because I’m sure that one will be that much better.”

Louis C.K. will perform Friday (Feb. 6) at 8 PM at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany). Tickets are $32. For more info, call 473-1845 or visit

—B.A. Nilsson

Photo: Michael P. Farrell

Brian Patneaude

Anyone who doubts the presence of jazz in Albany simply hasn’t spent any time on the corner of Lark and Madison. See, this is Metroland country, and we tend to know what’s shaking up the way at Tess’ and around the corner at Justin’s. Either way you go, you’re bound to run into tenor saxophonist Brian Patneaude. Between gigs with Alex Torres’ Latin Orchestra and Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble, he’s had a weekly residency at Justin’s for the past seven years.

On Saturday, Patneaude takes the act a little further up Madison to celebrate the release of his new album Riverview at his alma mater, College of Saint Rose. Along with longtime drummer Danny Whelchel, Patneaude rounds out the quartet with NYC guitarist Mike Moreno and Texas-based organist Jesse Chandler, both of whom boast some heavyweight names on their discographies.

Catch the only gig these guys have on the calendar at the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts (1002 Madison Ave., Albany) Saturday (Feb. 7) at 8 PM. Tickets are $10, or free with a St. Rose student ID. Call 434-6756 for more info.

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