Netflix is drawing the best talent in television and film, and for good reason. Netflix has become a dominant presence in original scripted content and is now expanding its reach into stand-up comedy. Netflix recently announced that it will release one new comedy special each week during 2017. In March, the streaming service recently released two highly anticipated Dave Chappelle stand-up specials which some have hailed as Chappelle’s big comeback to comedy, while a third Chappelle special will be released later this year. To continue the year of groundbreaking comedy content releases, Netflix released its latest stand-up special on April 4th starring the wildly popular Louis C.K.
The special is titled simply Louis CK: 2017 and was filmed live in Washington, D.C. Louis C.K. 2017 demonstrates the comedian’s unique ability to comment on current events and contemporary issues without straying into partisanship or divisiveness. The comedian tackles such hot-button issues as transgender rights, abortion, and 9/11 conspiracy theories without finger-pointing, stereotyping, or assigning any particular blame.
In its first day on the streaming service, the comedy special has already received critical praise. The A.V. Club‘s John Hugar says the special shows Louis C.K. at his best as “one of the most important comedians in the world” and “as skilled as ever at approaching dark, uncomfortable subjects, and producing remarkably hilarious material about them.” Jason Zinoman at The New York Times writes that the special shows off the talents of a legendary comedian still in his prime:
Louis C. K. does have his hallmarks: He continues to find comedy in imagining the world from a surprising, often alien perspective. […] This makes “2017” a snapshot not so much of our time but of Louis C. K. in his prime, a tight hour and 15 minutes revealing a dizzying number of ways to get a belly laugh: misdirection, juxtaposition, silly voices, act-outs, rambling personal stories, sex jokes.
This latest comedy special comes on the heels of another Louis C.K. streaming release, the dark comedy mini-series Horace and Pete starring Steve Buscemi. The series first premiered on Louis C.K.’s website for episode-by-episode purchase but was later picked up in its entirety by Hulu. That series follows the misfortunes of a pair of downtrodden Brooklyn bar owners as they struggle to come to terms with the failures of their lives and their outdated business. While the show wasn’t necessarily a commercial success, it was a hit with critics. This latest stand-up special looks to be no different.