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The Boston Globe


Point of View

Louis C.K.’s stand-up offers powerful insights on race

About 27 minutes into “Chewed Up,” his 2008 special recorded at Boston’s Berklee Performance Center, the stand-up comic Louis C.K. starts apologizing for being so negative. After all, he admits, he’s got a lot going for him. “I’m healthy, I’m relatively young, I’m white — which, thank God for that [expletive], boy,” he says, in one of his classic bits on race. “That is a huge leg up, are you kidding me?”

As laughter erupts, C.K. — the schlubby, middle-aged dad from Newton hailed as the funnyman of his generation — proceeds to explain to his largely white audience that, even though there is nothing about white people that makes them better, being white in America is obviously better. “Here’s how great it is to be white,” he says. “I could get in a time machine and go to any time, and it would be [expletive] awesome when I get there,” he says. “That is exclusively a white privilege. Black people can’t [mess] with time machines! A black guy in a time machine is like, ‘Hey, if it’s before 1980, no thank you. I don’t wanna go.’ ”

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