Louis CK officially returned to the comedy circuit this week, but women are being anything but silent about it.
Up until now, comedian Louis CK had only returned to the stage surrounded in secrecy, making surprise appearances at the New York club and The Comedy Cellar.
But this week the well-known venue openly advertised his set for the first time since the disgraced comedian admitted to multiple sexual misconduct allegations. It’s been a year since CK was accused of masturbating in front of several women or while on the phone.
But before taking to the stage on Monday 29 October, two brilliant female protestors let him know exactly what they thought of his comeback. They held up cardboard signs, one of which read: ‘When you support Louis CK, you tell women your laughter is more important than their sexual assaults and loss of their careers.’
The other read: ‘Does this sign make you uncomfortable, Louie?’
One of the protestors, Jennifer Boudinot, couldn’t believe it when she first spotted his name outside the venue.
“Frankly, I was furious,” she told The New York Times. “Every female comedian he has harmed deserves a place on the Comedy Cellar stage one hundred times before he should be allowed back on the stage.”
Like his previous set, CK made light references to his behaviour. According to the NYT, he started off by asking: “So what kind of year have you guys had?”
He then continued: “They tell you that when you get in trouble you find out who your real friends are. It’s black people, it turns out. They’ll stick by you.”
CK then made the same joke from his last surprise stand up set about the financial struggles he has faced since the allegations were first made in November 2017.
“I need to make jokes because I need an income,” CK said. He told the crowd that he lost $35 million (£31 million) “in an hour” as a result of the original report on his misconduct.
“Hard things, you survive them or you don’t,” CK said. “I think even hell you can survive. Hell is not that bad. I’ve been there.”
Since his quiet return to the comedy scene, multiple female comedians – including Aisling Bea, Mae Martin, Aparna Nancherla and Siobhan Thompson – have all spoken out against CK’s return.
Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman has since released a statement in response to the backlash: “We’ve taken a lot of criticism for surprising people with his unannounced performances. I’m afraid now we will be criticised for the opposite.”