Louis CK's career has been a long con -- and he staged his return in a monstrous, controlling way
"This wealthy, famous, connected man had so many chances — more than most people will ever get — and he f*cked them all up," says Maureen Ryan. CK's return to stand-up Sunday night "almost didn't surprise me," she says, "because that is Louis CK's thing: Having control. He made comedy specials and an entire TV series on his own and dropped them on his website. He had total mastery of those rollouts. Creative control is something a lot of artists long for. I don't have a problem with that. Here's what I do have a problem with: He controlled, in a monstrous way, the manner of his professional return — and then he used the word 'rape' in his set. For laughs. For a 'joke' about how rape whistles are 'unclean.'" Ryan adds that "a lot of the TV of the last couple decades has been designed to make us feel sorry for monsters and sociopaths.... One thing I and other critics have had to point out an infinite number of times is that these stories of predation, exploitation, assault and rape are usually told from the point of view of perpetrator — or maybe the (male) white knight whose motivation is saving or avenging a woman who is attacked. The survivors of the violence? Eh, who cares about them? So few do. So few. What a smart, cleverly arranged long con Louis CK's career has been. He skillfully built a world in which he — via Louie or his stand-up routines — 'excavated' faults and 'examined' the sh*ttiest parts of various attitudes, impulses and actions. But it was all really part of a long-term effort to get us to think, 'Hey, at least he's trying. He's giving it some effort.' He adopted a pose of brutal honesty so that he could seem like a good bro, a man who's working on being better than his worst moments."
- Louis CK reportedly made another surprise standup appearance Sunday night in Long Island before the Comedy Cellar
- "Fame — or infamy — can’t be contained by space and time," says Amanda Hess. "The audience for an intimate set is now the world. What (CK) says to the crowd he says to all of us. If we don’t like a television show, we can change the channel, but we can’t turn off our awareness of a media figure, not anymore. The thundering echo chamber built by mass and social media ensures that we’ll be conscious of his every move."
- Kathy Griffin tweeted of Louis CK: "The boys club closes ranks and protects its own"
- It's BS to assume nine months have exonerated him, reducing the #MeToo and Time's Up moment to a timeout
- What happened to the women Louis CK harassed?
- Another New York City comedy club would have Louis CK on: "I do believe in my heart of hearts, he is remorseful"
- The owners of one NYC comedy club are split on Louis CK's comeback: One is for it, the other is it's not the appropriate time
- Pete Holmes: "I'm still pulling for" Louis CK to evolve after his sexual misconduct scandal
- Pamela Adlon discusses her complicated connection to Louis CK, admits she had heard the rumors about his sexual misconduct
- Parkland victim's father responds to Louis CK with a powerful standup comedy set
- Tig Notaro offers gig to Pittsburgh comedian who refused to open for Louis CK