The decade's most triggering comedy
Louis C.K., the comedian whose career imploded after he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple woman, has clearly had enough.
In a wild set at a Long Island comedy club on December 16, an audio tape of which has hit the internet, the disgraced comic doubled down hard, joking about crippled people, “retards,” Auschwitz, transgenders, the milquetoast youth of today, even the school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead.
C.K. lamented that survivors of the Parkland shooting testified in front of Congress. “These kids … What are you doing? You’re young, you should be crazy, you should be unhinged. Not in a suit saying ‘I’m here to …’ F**k you. You’re not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot. Why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way and now I gotta’ listen to you talking,” C.K. said as the crowd howled with laughter.
The liberal website Slate went bananas. “Audio of a New Louis C.K. Set Has Leaked, and It’s Sickening,” they headlined their story. “It would be tacky for a comedian who had not spent years whipping it out in front of unwilling co-workers to complain about people trying to explain to him what’s appropriate and what’s not. For Louis C.K. to write and tell those jokes would require a breathtaking, Kevin Spacey–level lack of self-awareness, and there was a time that self-awareness was C.K.’s brand. So what the [f**k] is going on here?” they wrote.
Some on the internet were equally incensed.
“Making fun of the Parkland’ survivors/activists sure is a bold way to begin rebranding after sexual assault allegations. Yikes,” wrote one person on Twitter.
“There was always part of me that was hoping he’d turn things around, put out a better apology, and make a huge comeback… but I think that part of me just died listening to this,” another said.
“OMG, I just.. .I’m so embarrassed that I used to think he was funny. This isn’t even doubling down. He just went full on monster,” said a third.
People even objected to the audience laughing.
“Why were people in the audience laughing? He was mocking child survivors who watched their classmates get slaughtered?” one person wrote on Twitter.
Slate also said “the single most disheartening thing about the bootleg recording is that Louis C.K. isn’t the only voice on it. An audience member, either the person who made the recording or someone who was sitting nearby, is audible throughout, giggling, snickering, and roaring in laughter.”
But that’s what comedians do. Since the days of Lenny Bruce, comedians have gone way out there, sometimes wading into waters that no one should brave. The best will make us ponder things we’ve never thought about, while the worst are just crude and infantile. Where C.K. comes down in that lot is an individual decision, because in America, comedians of all levels have the freedom to say their piece and people can decide whether or not to pay them homage.
For the record, C.K. went a lot further. The comedian also mocked young people for using gender-neutral terms and demanding everyone else do, too.
“They are just boring. F**king telling, ‘You shouldn’t say that.’ What are you, an old lady? What are you f**king doing? ‘Nyeah, that’s not appropriate.’ F**k you! You’re a child!” he said. “They’re like royalty, they tell you what to call them. ‘You should address me as they/them, because I identify as gender neutral.’ Oh, OK. OK. You should address me as “there,” because I identify as a location. And the location is your mother’s c***. It doesn’t have to be that nasty, but it can be,” he said.
He also joked about Auschwitz. “I live in New York. I f**king hate it now. I loved New York for 20 years. Now I’d rather be in Auschwitz, honestly. I mean Auschwitz now,” he said.
And C.K. made light of his “whole bad year.” “So what kind of a year did you guys have? I bet none of you had the same year that I had. You ever had a whole bad year? Did you ever have a year that sucks 365 s*** c*** days in a row? Did you ever have a time that it so sh**** that it starts to get funny?”
He said he lost lots of money after women accused him of masturbating in front of them against their will.
“I lost so much f**king money. In a day. In one day I lost, I’m not going to tell you, but millions and millions of dollars. So you know it’s at least four, because three is millions and millions. It was $35 million. I don’t give a f**k, I’ll tell you.”
You can hear his whole set below, but as you can tell from the asterisks above, it gets real raunchy.