By now it’s clear how Louis C.K. plans to get his career back on track after admitting to masturbating in front of unwilling women: by just acting like nothing ever happened. The disgraced comedian did another surprise drop-in at the Comedy Cellar on Sunday, just over a month after he did the same thing in his first performance since admitting to sexual misconduct last year.
Page Six quotes a source who says that C.K. didn’t acknowledge the scandal directly, but did say that he had basically been taking a break. So he’s talking about his ruined career, which was destroyed by predatory actions that he openly admitted to, like it was his own conscious decision to take it easy for a bit, like his movie getting pulled and his TV show getting shelved and his cartoon voice-over gigs getting cancelled were all actually part of a vacation, more or less. He’s trying to just hand wave all that away with words, and is counting on people like Noam Dworman at the Comedy Cellar and other comedy industry gatekeepers to help him out with that.
It might be working, unfortunately. According to Gothamist, who has listened to audio of C.K.’s appearance, whatever boos greeted the comedian were “were drowned out by the cheers and clapping.” Two audience members did walk out, Gothamist reports, and were granted refunds, as Comedy Cellar owner Dworman said would be the policy after C.K.’s first surprise return.
C.K. obviously wants to get back to work. It says a lot about the people willing to help him do so when he still hasn’t really said or done anything to make up for what he did to his victims. A club can book C.K. if they want, but they should announce it in advance and be willing to accept whatever consequences come from that support. Letting C.K. go on unannounced like this, without any warning to the audience and any advanced notice for victims of assault and harassment in the crowd, or even just anybody who doesn’t wish to listen to an admitted sex creep tell jokes, just shows basic contempt for that club’s customers, C.K.’s victims, and all victims of sexual harassment or abuse. At this point it’s clear that anybody who supports those victims should stay away from the Comedy Cellar.
Garrett Martin edits Paste’s comedy and games sections. He’s on Twitter @grmartin.