In August, Louis C.K. performed stand-up for the first time since the New York Times widely publicized the details of his sexual misconduct, including that he masturbated in front of unwilling women. C.K.’s venue of choice to begin his comeback was the Comedy Cellar in New York, where he dropped in for a surprise appearance and reportedly received an ovation. On that same stage, comedian Ted Alexandro recently cracked jokes about C.K., including one related to his own lackluster welcome from the audience: “Do I have to take my dick out? What do I have to do for you to cheer my arrival to the stage?”
The jokes about C.K. continued into the six-minute set. “What’s with this PC culture, it’s suffocating, right?” asked Alexandro. “Do you want to live in a world where a man can’t politely ask a colleague if he can take off all his clothes and masturbate to completion?” C.K. wasn’t the only comedian that Alexandro mocked, either—he also had plenty to say about Bill Cosby.
You have to wonder how the Comedy Cellar audience would have reacted if C.K. had performed a set like Alexandro’s weeks ago, one that had acknowledged the cultural conversation about #MeToo and C.K.’s own role in it. According to the New York Times, C.K.’s comeback set dealt with topics like “racism, waitresses’ tips, parades” but did not address the actions that caused him to stop performing for a short while. It wouldn’t have been out of the question for C.K. to address the elephant in the room, since masturbation and consent have been two of his go-to topics over the past decade. There’s a reason, after all, that Alexandro commends him, jokingly, for being a “performance artist.”
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