Louis CK is back on the stand-up stage, and this time he’s joking about the masturbation scandal that got him kicked off it in the first place.
The comedian made a surprise appearance at a Manhattan comedy club last Wednesday, telling the crowd he’s ‘been to hell and back’.
Louis CK opened his set at the West Side Comedy Club by telling the crowd it had ‘been a weird year’ and that he lost ‘$35million in an hour’ during the scandal.
He also joked about getting booed on the streets and said everyone hated him, clearly referring to the fallout that came after he admitted to masturbating in front of women without their consent last year.
Louis CK made a surprise appearance at the West Side Comedy Club in Manhattan, telling the crowd he’s ‘been to hell and back’ since his sexual misconduct scandal
The former FX hitmaker even joked that he met Adolf Hitler while he was in ‘hell’.
It was the first time that Louis CK specifically addressed his sexual misconduct controversy, despite the fact that he performed two other sets last week.
Louis CK kicked off the week at Caroline’s in Manhattan last Sunday night, where one source told LaughSpin that he ‘looked frightened before he went on’.
He opened his set by telling the crowd it was ‘good to be here’, before adding: ‘Even though some of you might not like me’.
But the comedian never directly addressed his #MeToo scandal, instead telling the audience that he ‘took time off because…it’s good to take time off’.
One comedian who was at the show said Louis CK’s set mostly joked about getting old.
During one bit, he pondered whether gay guys missed when it was bad to be gay.
A source who saw Louis CK’s sets at both Caroline’s and West Side said he didn’t get a huge applause on Sunday night and ‘did just okay’.
Louis CK (pictured with comedian AMarie Castillo) told the crowd he lost ‘$35million in one hour’ and said he got booed on the streets following the controversy
‘I couldn’t listen to the words because I’m like, “Come on bro, really? You’re not going to talk about it?” It was insane.’
But the source said Louis CK was ‘much more confident’ on Wednesday night as his set centered around the scandal and said he got far more applause.
Comedian AMarie Castillo, who hosted the night and introduced Louis CK to the stage, said he came off as ‘so genuine’.
‘He…reflected on how weird this year was, tried out some new dark and dirty material,’ she said.
‘It’s like he didn’t even skip a beat with the year he had. Sounds to me he is owning up, acknowledging, and trying to figure it out.’
While the source said the audience was far more responsive on Wednesday night, the comedians who were also performing were laughing harder than the audience.
Louis CK first made his return to the stage in August, when he made a surprise appearance at two New York comedy clubs in one night.
Comedian AMarie Castillo, who hosted the night and introduced Louis CK to the stage, said he came off as ‘so genuine’ and later tweeted about the performance
But many on Twitter were not happy to see the comedian’s celebrated return to stand-up
The disgraced comedian first did a surprise gig at the Governor’s Comedy Club in Long Island.
James Dolce, the club’s owner, had been just as shocked as the audience when Louis CK stepped out to perform.
He was onstage for roughly 10 to 15 minutes and received a standing ovation, Dolce said.
Many of the attendees waited after the set to get a photo, but Louis CK quickly left for another show at the legendary Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village.
Dolce told TMZ that he thinks the comedian paid his price and should be given a second chance, adding that Louis CK is welcome at any of the comedy clubs.
But fellow comedian Melinda Hill felt differently, saying his comeback was #MeTooSoon.
Louis CK’s surprise appearances have become more and more frequent since his gig at Governors’ Comedy Club in Long Island in August (pictured)
The club’s owner said he was just as surprised as the crowd when Louis CK stepped out to perform, doing a 15 minute set before he headed to the Comedy Cellar for another gig
‘He did a great thing by admitting wrong doing, I felt that was very admirable,’ Hill said. ‘I would love to see him also offer a heartfelt apology as an amends.’
‘But I still think it’s #MeTooSoon,’ she told the outlet, adding that Louis CK’s set was a ‘sneaky, surprise…much like sexual assault is often sneaky and a surprise’.
Louis CK received a standing ovation at Comedy Cellar after his 15 minute set, however several women in the audience said it made them uncomfortable, especially after he cracked a joke about a rape whistle.
Two women in the crowd told Vulture his set included a joke with the phrase ‘clean as a whistle’, which built up to a joke about how rape whistles are not clean.
‘When he said “rape whistle” people were laughing, and I was just sitting there like ”Oh my f***. This is so uncomfortable and so disgusting.” Everyone around me was laughing. That was just depressing,’ one woman said.
Comedian Melinda Hill spoke out against Louis CK after the set, saying it was #MeTooSoon
The two women said Louis CK’s surprise performance ‘felt like he was being thrust upon the audience without telling them’.
‘There were at least four to five females that I could see, and three or four of them were not having it,’ one of the woman said. ‘They were just looking at him, deadpan, straight, not having it.’
The club’s owner told The New York Times that he received complaints about Louis CK showing up to the venue and felt like he was in a tough position.
In November, five women accused Louis CK of sexual misconduct, which he later admitted to
‘There can’t be a permanent life sentence on someone who does something wrong,’ he said, adding he was surprised at how quickly Louis CK has decided to start performing again.
‘I had thought that the first time he’d go on would be in a more controlled environment. But he decided to just rip the Band-Aid off.’
The Comedy Cellar has since created a new policy in which customers who are upset by an unannounced performer can walk out and receive their drinks on the house.
When Louis CK returned last month to test out more new material, two patrons walked out and took advantage of the new policy.
New York comedy club booker Candi Clare, of Stand Up NY, has also publicly revealed she will not book Louis CK for any club nights.
‘I would say “no”. I wouldn’t make a scene, I wouldn’t call attention to it. I would simply say, “I’m afraid it’s not possible”‘, she wrote in a recent Facebook post.
‘You don’t get to saunter in and be that guy anymore. I’m not a judge, jury, cop, or “comedy” police. And I certainly wasn’t in the room during these events.’
‘But besides the direct effects his admitted actions had on these women, he has put all of the stand up comedy community in a really s****y position.’
‘You’re s****y Louis. And just like we don’t have ultimate rule in the matter, you don’t get to decide if your self-imposed time away from the stage is enough either.’
Last year five women came forward and told the Times that Louis CK allegedly displayed inappropriate behavior, including masturbating in front of them.
Shortly after the Times ran the story, the comedian issued a statement saying the allegations were true.
FX canceled a deal with Louis CK and Netflix scrapped plans for a stand-up special. HBO also scrubbed his work from its on demand video streaming service.