Louis C.K. is pushing the limits. The comedian, 50, returned to the stage for a surprise set at New York’s Comedy Cellar on Sunday, August 26. It was his first big set since he admitted to sexual misconduct in November, causing many fans to take to Twitter and voice their disgust over his return to comedy. However, two women inside took it a step further, opening up about the “uncomfortable” joke he told on stage.
“It felt like he was being thrust upon the audience without telling them,” a woman in the audience who was there to see another comedian told Vulture of his unexpected set. “The audience was very loud when Louis C.K. walked in. They were clearly supportive and surprised when he showed up, but there were a number of women sitting in the front row.” Her friend added: “There were at least four to five females that I could see, and three or four of them were not having it. They were just looking at him, deadpan, straight, not having it.”
Both women said his material was similar to his usual jokes, including one that made them cringe. According to them, the comedian used the phrase “clean as a whistle,” which led to a joke about how rape whistles are not clean.
“When he said ‘rape whistle’ people were laughing, and I was just sitting there like, ‘Oh my f—k. This is so uncomfortable and so disgusting.’ Everyone around me was laughing,” one of the audience members said. “That was just depressing.”
Noam Dworman, the owner of the comedy club, told The Hollywood Reporter that he was given no notice about the comedian’s arrival, as C.K. dropped by unannounced. “He just walked in and went on. That’s it. No advance warning,” Dworman said. “We’re not the first place he appeared. He did a spot at Governor’s [of Levittown], which is a comedy club in Long Island, apparently before he came here. I found this out late in the day. And it was a very, very light crowd and he apparently wasn’t happy with it and he decided on a spur of the moment to come to the Comedy Cellar.”
The owner added that he did receive one complaint via email from an audience member, but other than that, the comedian was “warmly” accepted and given a “real ovation.”
In November, C.K. spoke out after being accused of sexual misconduct by five women. “These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was OK because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true,” he said in a statement at the time. “But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.”