TV

Louis C.K. Releases Comedy Special to Understandably Skeptical Response

The special was made available on Saturday

Louis C.K.
Louis C.K.'s comeback has now resulted in a new special.
David Shankbone/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / April 6, 2020 6:00 am

It’s been over two years since Louis C.K.’s repeated instances of sexual misconduct were brought to light. The comedian disappeared from the public eye for a while after that; this was understandable, given that he’d admitted to doing a number of deeply unpleasant things, including masturbating in front of women without their consent. But in recent months, he’s resumed making high-profile appearances. The question of whether he would release a new special became more of a matter of “when” than “if.”

Over the weekend, Louis C..K made a new special, titled Sincerely C.K., available for purchase via his website. The timing of this drew a number of skeptical comments from observers of the comedy world.

The special also contained at least one unsettling moment of overlap with another recent instance of sexual predation. Specifically, as noted by journalist Seth Simons, C.K. thanked Harvey Weinsten’s attorney Beth Berk in the special’s credits.

The special was recorded in Washington, DC earlier this year. The Washington Post‘s Elahe Izadi noted via Twitter that she’d written about one of his appearances at the time. Revisiting it now, Izadi’s article offers a complex picture of the crowd that had gathered there to see him perform.

C.K. may no longer be a celebrated auteur, but he still has an audience. He sold out two theater nights in D.C., and people went to great lengths to see him. They paid for tickets and babysitters.

For readers who might be curious but have no interest in giving Louis C.K. any of their money, The Independent also reported on the special. Some of what the article describes sounds — well, “problematic” would be putting it far too mildly.

C.K. did not stop there, and later in his set made a comparison between women’s experiences of non-consensual sex and slaves singing while being forced to work.

Those wondering what a theoretical Louis C.K. comeback might look like now have their answer. Those hoping he might stay out of the spotlight for more time or adopt a more thoughtful, repentant profile will likely be disappointed by the result.

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