Louis CK rocks the troops
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Louis CK did a USO tour over last Christmas and has gotten around to posting some stories on his website. He may not be everyone's flavor as a comic, but he kills me. He talks about his first show and how he was supposed to keep it clean. He does an excremental job of that and the resulting response from the troops makes it all worth while. I will put it under the fold so I don't have to euphemize the sweet profanity. Here is a link to his site where there are a bunch of pics and more stories. I love hearing how affected people get when they interact with the troops.
Then it was my turn. I had zero idea what I was going to do but as I
watched the show before me I realized how politely it all was and that
no one had said anything real at all.
I peeked at the audience from the stage door. eVeryone was wearing knit caps, parkas, gloves, everyone was shivering and stamping their feet. The performers were all wearing coats and puffy clothes. I was wearing a thick fleece jacket. As Leeanne said my name I muttered "Fuck it" and threw off the fleece. I went out into the cold night air (outdoor show int he middle of the cold cold desert, like being on mars) in my tshirt, just like any other show.
I hit the stage, not knowing what I would say first till the second i put the mike to my face. I looked at them all and said "how are you fuckers doing?" The place went bezerk and it became instantly plain to me what they needed and wanted and what I needed to do. "You people are in a very fucked up place. I mean, it's Kuwait, the dessert and right over there is a starbucks. I saw the sign and thought it would be a little tent with coffe, but it's a real starbucks! With the jazz music, the chess tables and the faggot with the laptop." They couldn't believe it. the laughs were enormous. I was filthy. It was awesome. People were going crazy. It was like looking out over choppy water. People rocking back and forth, punching each other, clapping, stamping. It was mayhem. Every time I went way over the line I would say "I'm so sorry. I am not supposed to be saying any of this. I"m so sorry. Am I in trouble?" which would only make them laugh more. The sargent major was in the front row, arms folded, surrounded by Colonels and whatnot. None of them laughing. All aroudn them were young warriors, men and women of all ages, laughing and cheering at things that NONE of them could think about saying on this base, EVER.
After a particularly over the top bit, i paused to let them rest. AS
soon as there was quiet, a young soldier yelled out passionately "thank
you sargent Major!" I was stunned. he was thanking him for bringing me
there. and I felt also that he was helping me because everyone felt I
was getting myself into huge trouble for their enjoyment. When he said
it, everyone cheered. I said "You guys, the Sargent major is a great
great guy. And what I love about him is he's just a soldier like all of
you. He's not some asshole officer."
I cannot describe the reaction that this got. No one could believe I said it. They made a huge racket, a mix of "Oh my god!' "Oh shit!" and whooping and laughing. It was bannanas.
I did about 25 minutes and said "Thank you guys. Goodnight' Every single soldier lept to their feet and cheered. I yelled over them. "This is the best show I"ve done in years. Thank you thank you thank you!" I kept yelling thank you and they kept cheering. It was very very emotional. I had never felt that way on stage in my life. BEcause even in the best shows I"ve done for the largest crowds, they only laugh. These kids laughed with such relief, with such gratitude. I never made people laugh that needed to laugh that badly. It was amazing.
Here is a YouTube video of the opening bit. I fucking love it.