Louis CK Rejected by Denver Comedy Club: ‘He Hadn’t Done the Work’

CK admitted to masturbating in front of women, and Wende Curtis spoke to one of them

Last Updated: January 10, 2019 @ 12:05 AM

Wende Curtis, the owner of Denver’s Comedy Works, decided not to let Louis CK perform at the comedy club after getting in touch with one of the five women who called him out for masturbating in front of them.

“It didn’t feel like it had been very long since he admitted what had happened and my gut instinct was that he hadn’t done the work,” Curtis told TheWrap. (Jezebel first reported on her decision.)

Reps for CK did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Curtis said she received an email from the comedian’s assistant last month asking for available dates at Comedy Works. She said she gave the assistant a couple of options at first. But after a friend sent her a recent article about CK, she reached out to one of his accusers asking how she felt about CK’s attempt at a comeback.

“She sent me an article she had written and told me it was the last thing she would say about the subject,” Curtis said, “and I respected that.”

Curtis said she then emailed the assistant to say that the dates were no longer available, without going into any further details.

After the New York Times reported in November 2017 that five women had accused CK of masturbating in front of them, CK admitted it was true. Last year, he began performing a few stand-up dates, drawing criticism from people who said he should have spent more time reflecting, outside of the public eye.

Last month, leaked audio of his performance at New York City’s Comedy Cellar included jokes about Parkland mass-shooting survivors and gender non-conforming individuals. The jokes drew more backlash.

“Cause you went to a high school where kids got shot, why does that mean I have to listen to you?,” C.K. said. “Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way and now I gotta listen to you talking?”

Fred Guttenberg, a father of two Parkland shooting victims, was among those who railed against the comic. “My daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. My son ran from the bullets. My wife and I deal with loss everyday. Why don’t you come to my house and try out your new pathetic jokes?” he tweeted.

A previous leaked set performed at New York’s Comedy Cellar included a rape whistle joke.

Curtis said that CK will be welcome at her club in the future if he shows real contrition.

“I believe in second chances,” she said.  “We have the power to change but no one can do it for him.”

“He can’t phone it in,” she added. “He has to look at himself and do some hard introspective work.”