Divine Comedy: 25 Best Stand-Up Specials and Movies

From classic HBO specials to arena-comic concert flicks, these bits continue to crack us up

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3. 'Louis CK: Shameless' (2007)

During his 2007 special, Louis CK informs the crowd that married people would rather tell everyone else they're great rather than tell the truth: "My wife assassinated my sexual identity and my children are eating my dreams." It's precisely these bits of painful self-examination (and recrimination) at the heart of of CK's act that's helped turn this sad sack into an extraordinary — and extraordinarily prolific — from workaday stand-up into comedy's equivalent of a special-ops sniper. After surviving the death of the Eighties comedy boom, he found ways to connect his penchant for absurdity and a talent for poetic scatology to his life as a father and husband, and a legend was born. In confessing that his daughter is an "asshole," and his wife gives him a handjob that is "the saddest thing that’s ever happened in America," the man they call Louis let audiences see for the first time the messed up guy lurking just behind the jokes. ML

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