“None of you knew when you woke up this morning that you would be here tonight.”
That was just one of the funny-but-true lines that comedian Louis C.K. uttered when he started the first of two surprise sets Tuesday night at Helium Comedy Club. Tickets for an 8 p.m. show were announced Tuesday afternoon in an event posting from Helium claiming that C.K. – a comedian known for dropping projects without warning, such as his recently-debuted “Horace & Pete” series on his website – would present a “slew of new material” at the Sansom Street club that night (hours later, a 10:15 p.m. set was added).
No sooner than that announcement was made, Louis fans lined up along Sansom and 22ndstreets to buy tickets. “What did you guys do, just leave your job right in the middle of your shift?” asked Philly comedian Chip Chantry of the exodus of Center City employees filing out of work to see C.K.
C.K.’s sold-out set was worth risking your tenure. Dressed in a blazer and a tie – rather than his usual baggy, black t-shirt – the 48-year-old joked about liking naps more than sex at this age (fewer “consequences”), considering suicide when his children grew up (“no big thing”), hating vampires and digging “Magic Mike” stars Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey too much for his own liking. Along with poking fun at his Mexican heritage (“I’m not Mexican, my father is.”), C.K.’s only dip into politics was to state that “Ted Cruz always looks as if he just got his head cut off.”
Mike and Beth Strauss from Grateful Plate catering in South Philly had never been to Helium before but braved April’s unusual chill for C.K. “Of all current comedians, he keeps things realer than most in a sick, genius way,” said Mike Strauss, with Beth adding, “Plus, I have a thing for redheads.”