Louis CK’s Stand-Up Return Sparks Outcry: ‘Get the F— Offstage’

Comedian performed his first stand-up set since he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women

Last Updated: August 28, 2018 @ 9:38 AM

Louis C.K.’s surprising return Sunday to the stand-up stage was met with heavy criticism after he performed a set at New York’s Comedy Cellar.

“Louis CK being ‘banished’ from stand-up comedy wasn’t some kind of petty punishment, it was a f—ing workplace safety issue,” tweeted fellow comedian Ian Karmel, in a lengthy thread. “Can you imagine the bank you’re working at hiring back the guy who jacked off in front of women without their consent because it had been like, a year or something?”

Comic Dan Telfer was more blunt, telling C.K. in a tweet to “get the f— offstage,” adding, “If you repeatedly undermine other people’s careers so you can trap these human beings and force them to witness you masturbate then you don’t get that career anymore.”

C.K. performed his first stand-up set since he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman told TheWrap. Dworman said that C.K. appeared at the Greenwich Village comedy club around 11 p.m. on Sunday night and did a 15-minute set.

The unannounced show was “typical Louis C.K. stuff” with jokes about racism, waitresses tips and parades, according to Dworman. “It was very ordinary for him,” he said, describing the audience response as “sustained applause … It was a good reception. He went through an everyday list of jokes.”

Aside from Karmel, C.K.’s return was met with intense criticism on social media, with many lamenting the fact that C.K. being welcomed back is another sign that the careers of men who have been outed for sexual misconduct in the #MeToo movement are being prioritized over the women who have said they are victims.

“Just woke up to see Louis CK decided the best way to ‘move past’ non-consensually surprising women with his dick was to non-consensually surprise an audience with his face,” write SlashFilm writer Donna Dickens. Another comedian, Sarah Lazaurs, wrote: “I’m still on the same shampoo bottle as when louis ck’s time out started.”

“My concern is that, if Louis CK isn’t welcomed back on stage, it could start a chain of events where we can’t see Woody Allen play the clarinet,” wrote “Arrested Development” producer John Levenstein‏. He continued in a more serious tweet: “There’s no practical way to stop Louis CK from performing. He’s too rich. If the gatekeepers ban him, he could buy his own club like he buys a boat. It will be the audience’s job to not support him. But for that to happen, he needs to announce his appearances and never “drop in.”

Last November, C.K. was accused of sexual misconduct by five women. Among the accusers in a New York Times article were comedy duo Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov, who said they were invited by the comedian to his hotel room after their show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, in 2002. According to the report, when they arrived at his room, C.K. asked Goodman and Wolov if he could take out his penis.

C.K. released a statement shortly after the story was published, saying, “these stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was OK because I never showed a woman my d-  without asking first, which is also true.”

Read more reactions to C.K.’s stand-up appearance:

louis ck stand-up tweet