Todd Barry: The Crowd Work Tour
Hello. This is Louis CK again. I'm writing to let you know about a new funny thing that is available on my site, louisck.com. It's called "Todd Barry the Crowd Work Tour". I'm not in it. Todd is. This is the first thing produced by my site and sold there for another comedian. It's 5 dollars as always. and it's REALLY GODDAMN GOOD. Here's some things about it:
Todd Barry is a great comedian. He has always been one of my favorites. There is no one out there like him. There never has been. He's hysterically funny. I've known Todd for about 20 years.
About a year ago, Todd had this idea, to do a tour where all he would do on stage is "crowd work" which means casually engaging members of the audience in conversation and culling that for possible laughs and enlightenment. This is something many comedians have done throughout history, to pepper their mostly planned shows with a few moments of improvisational freshness and some sense of being in the moment and in the place instead of just reciting a show. Some comedians are good at it, some aren't (I'm not). Some are great at it. Todd is great at it. Sometimes Todd comes with me on tour and when we do shows together, I always have the houselights completely down but he has them about halfway up so that he can see who is out there and engage them.
Crowd work has a special feeling to it because you know the comedian has gone off their script, off their own brain insides, and reached out without knowing how it might turn out. It's a high wire act. Of course there are comedians who have rote and hackneyed ways to make this work, like a cheap magician. "where you from? Oh okay I'll talk slower then." But a great crowd work comedian just opens his or her mind up and takes in information and let's their curious and funny nature process the conversation in an inspiring, illuminating and hilarious way. It's something I've always loved watching Todd do through the years.
So, Todd's idea was to do a show that is all crowd work. No "jokes". No set material. Just go up there and start talking to whoever is willing and see what happens. It has a natural tension to it because Any second, the show could just go dry. But it never does with Todd.
Todd did a Crowd Work tour and it was a success. So he had the idea to do another one and film it, to create a standup special. I thought it was a great idea so I offered to produce it for him and to provide it on my site. We got Lance Bangs to direct it. Lance is a really great guy. If any of you have seen the Jackass movies, you've probably seen poor Lance throwing up while holding a camera.
So what we did was put Todd on the road. He started in San Diego and worked his way up the coast to Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage Alaska. Lance filmed all the shows and some of the travel in between and Todd worked with Gina Sansom, the editor (who did a great job), and put it together.
The result of all this is a really funny and compelling show. I've never seen anything like it. I don't think there is anything like it. It's not just a standup special with a guy on a big stage doing his well honed hour. In this show, you're watching a master at work with no material and it's just great. Really great. Every city he worked in changes the color of each performance because the crowd is the show and each crowd comes from a different metropolitan culture. You learn things from this show like what are people doing for a living these days. What are the hours of a professional tweeter? How much does a pipe layer in Alaska drink? Todd takes all of these people's lives and plays with them with his unique rhythm and great mind.
Anyway, you really really really should go to louisck.com and buy this show. It's five dollars. It's funny as shit. And shit is really really funny.
Thank you for your time. Oh, also, I'm hosting Saturday Night Live again on March 29th. Please watch.