Louis C.K. has made multiple surprise appearances at New York’s Comedy Cellar over the past two months, but his first publicly advertised show attracted an unusual crowd for a comedy club: protestors. According to The New York Times, two women, Jennifer Boudinot and Lana McRea, showed up outside the club with signs voicing their concerns. They were protesting the comedian’s return to the stage after he admitted to multiple accounts of sexual misconduct in October of 2017.
“When you support Louis C.K., you tell women your laughter is more important than their sexual assaults and loss of their careers,” read one sign. Another one read: “Does this sign make you uncomfortable, Louie?”
C.K.’s “comeback tour” has been the subject of much discussion, with many #MeToo supporters outraged at the brazenness of the comedian returning to business as usual less than a year after his misconduct was made public. “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,” Boudinot told The Times.
Fellow comedians have defended C.K., including Jerry Seinfeld, who said he deserves a second chance, but conceded that he isn’t going about it the right way.
C.K. performed twice on Monday, at the 9:30 and 11:30 show, and it was the first time the Comedy Cellar advertised his performance. The show included much of the same material he has been workshopping over the last two months, including assertions that he needs an income, since he lost $35 million “in an hour” when the misconduct allegations against him went public.
Asking the crowd what kind of year they had, C.K. reportedly joked: “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.”