Hilarious (film)

Directed by Louis C.K.
Starring Louis C.K.
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Louis C.K.
Editor(s) Louis C.K.
Running time 82 minutes
Original network Epix
Original release
  • September 18, 2010 (2010-09-18)
Live album by Louis C.K.
Released January 11, 2011
Recorded April 2009,
The Pabst Theater, Milwaukee
Genre Comedy
Length 1:19:23
Label Comedy Central Records
Producer Jack Vaughn, Michelle Caputo & Shannon Hartman [1]
Louis C.K. chronology
Chewed Up
Live at the Beacon Theater

Hilarious is a 2010 concert film by stand-up comedian Louis C.K., as well as his third album, containing the audio of the concert recorded at The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee. The film was first screened at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, 2010, had a one-day theater screening in select cities on September 8, 2010, and had its world premiere on the television network Epix on September 18, 2010.[2] The film received two nominations at the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards. The film was later shown on Comedy Central, and the album was released on January 11, 2011 by Comedy Central Records.[3] The album was awarded Best Comedy Album at the 54th Grammy Awards on February 12, 2012.[1]

Background and development

After the airing of his second hour special, Chewed Up, Louis C.K. launched his Hilarious tour in the fall of 2008, where he continued his trend of ditching all the material of his previous effort and began performing with a brand new hour.[4] The themes and subjects include C.K.'s life post-divorce, living with kids, and numerous accounts of social criticism, such as the now-famous "Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy" routine (featured on the album as "Cell Phones and Flying"). He had done that routine in conversation on the October 1, 2008 episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, which had resulted in a viral frenzy after it was posted to YouTube and other media outlets; it was seen more than 7 million times before it was blocked by copyright claims from NBC Universal.[5] In reference to the appearance and internet attention, Eric Spitznagel praised his honesty in Vanity Fair, saying:

Louis C.K. has slowly been evolving from a dependably funny stand-up to the comedy lovechild of Bill Hicks and George Carlin. [...] If you don't find yourself nodding along with C.K. in fierce agreement, and even occasionally pumping the air with a raised fist salute, you're either dead inside or a member of that "crappiest generation" C.K. was talking about. Somehow, Louis managed to do something even Obama has had a difficult time pulling off lately: Finding the silver lining of our nation's ongoing economic collapse. In less than five minutes, C.K. made a convincing case that capitalism's death knell might not be such a bad thing after all. Sure, it could mean donkeys will become our primary source of transportation, but it could also lead to the triumphant return of rotary phones and manual credit card machines.[6]

While on his tour, C.K. also landed a deal with FX to shoot a pilot featuring a loosely autobiographical depiction of his life as a single dad living as a comedian in New York City. Soon after, the show was placed for an order of 13 episodes, requiring a new hour of material aside from the hour written for the Hilarious tour. He stated on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron that his 4th hour went into the show but was performed with the Hilarious material on the same tour.


At the end of the tour, C.K. filmed the material as his third one-hour special at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee during April 2009, with C.K. himself serving as director and editor. It was filmed as a concert special, and was screened in movie theaters in eight cities: namely, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.[7] It was mixed by Jon D'Uva of New York and recorded by Skeyelab Music of Chicago.[8]

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "Intro / Dead People"   2:28
2. "Being Single Again"   7:06
3. "Hot Girls In Bars And Their Dude Counterparts"   4:42
4. "Dumb Thoughts"   8:22
5. "Currency"   5:42
6. "Cell Phones and Flying"   11:24
7. "The Way We Talk (Hilarious)"   8:50
8. "Other People's Kids"   8:17
9. "My 7-Year-Old Is Better Than Me"   6:22
10. "My 3-Year-Old Is A 3-Year-Old"   10:41
11. "Taking Sexual Inventory"   5:28


Hilarious is also available on DVD and it is completely uncensored. The DVD was shown at Sundance and was received extremely well.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Pitchfork Media(7.8/10)[11]
The AV Club(A-)[12]

Hilarious was praised by critics, with Punchline Magazine writing an extensive review on C.K.'s performance, saying: "From each new hour of C.K. material, we've come to expect an emotionally rich, soul-baring performance; Hilarious gives us exactly that.... In the end, Hilarious will be remembered as one of the strongest stand-up comedy performances in the history of the art."[13]

Chart Positions

Chart (2011) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 77[14]
U.S. Billboard Comedy Album 1[14]


  1. 1 2 "Past Winners". GRAMMY.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. Louis C.K., artist. Jon D'Uva, engineer/mixer. Jack Vaughn, Michelle Caputo & Shannon Hartman, producers.
  2. "Louis C.K.'s "Hilarious" hits the big screen for one day; all the ticket info you'll need is here". Punchline Magazine. August 27, 2010. Retrieved 2014-08-24.
  4. Louis C.K.'s Website, "Louis CK Hilarious" tour is going on sale.
  5. YouTube "Everything's Amazing & Nobody's Happy" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  6. Spitznagel, Eric (2009-03-02). "Louis C.K.: 'Starvation Can Be Character Building'". Vanity Fair. PlanetOut. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  7. Snierson, Dan (Aug 26, 2010). "Louis C.K.'s concert film 'Hilarious' to debut on big screen in eight cities". Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  8. CD Credits, Photo of the CD credits.
  9. Allmusic review
  10. About review
  11. Pitchfork Media review
  12. The AV Club review
  13. Punchline Magazine, Louis C.K. — ‘Hilarious’.
  14. 1 2 Billboard, Comedy Albums 01/29/11.
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