Louis C.K.’s return to the comedy world for the first time since admitting to sexual misconduct last fall is causing a strong reaction online. While many are critical of a potential C.K. comeback (read Caroline Framke’s Variety column “We Don’t Owe Louis C.K. Anything”), others are voicing support for the comedian. “Saturday Night Live” cast member Michael Che used his Instagram account to defend C.K.’s return, responding to the negative reaction by asking rhetorically, “OMG! Can you believe that guy went on with his life?! Yes, I can.”
“What’s interesting to me about these articles against Louis C.K. performing again, is how important fame is to people,” Che said. “A lot of what I read says that C.K. shouldn’t get to be a ‘famous’ comedian anymore. Because to them, he’s still winning. Isn’t that strange?”
Che continued by taking issue with the belief that C.K. “got off easy” just because he was allowed to perform a comedy set. C.K. made a surprise appearance at New York’s famed Comedy Cellar on August 26 and performed a 15-minute set. The comedian received a standing ovation from the relatively small sold out crowd before he even started with his routine.
“[Louis C.K.] can be shamed, humiliated, lose millions of dollars, lose all of his projects, lose the respect of a lot of his fans and peers, and whatever else that comes with what he did, but since he can still do a comedy set for free at a 200 seat club a year later, it means he got off easy,” Che said. “THAT’s how coveted fame is.”
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Che explained that “just because it looks to you like someone is ‘getting off easy’ cause they still have the perks you would kill to have, doesn’t make it so.” When one of Che’s followers responded to his thoughts by asking if Che thought C.K. deserved a second chance, the “SNL” star responded that C.K. has the right to make comeback regardless of what he thinks.
“I haven’t talked to him in a while,” Che said. “I don’t know any of his accusers. I don’t know what he’s done to right that situation, and it’s none of my business. But I do believe any free person has a right to speak and make a living.”
C.K. was accused of sexual misconduct by five women last November. The comedian admitted the accusations against him were true, writing in statement, “These stories are true…I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them.” C.K. has remained out of the spotlight since November.