At a time when lowest-common denominator hack Dane Cook was on the rise and the criminally marginalized show Arrested Development was on the chopping block, Louis C.K. created a sharp, bleak, and hysterically insightful sitcom about a nurse and muffler shop employee raising their 4-year old daughter while scraping by at the poverty level. Because it was shot before a live audience for HBO, and because of the simple set design and artfully inserted undercurrents of social commentary, Lucky Louie felt like a raw fusion of Roseanne and All in the Family. Unfortunately, such subversive smarts flew too far under the radar and HBO cancelled the series after just one season. Undeterred by that failure, Louis C.K. simply dove back into the club circuit, where his reputation for profane honesty, fearless self-flagellation, and natural timing always shine.
Sat., Nov. 10, 8 p.m., 2007