Was Louis CK's "woke" brand a ruse all along?
The recently surfaced Louis CK standup act mocking Parkland students and transgender people -- as well as Asian and black men -- and the bizarre Kevin Spacey "Frank Underwood" Christmas Eve video "complement each other so eerily that the second feels like the campy cartoon subtext of the first," says Matt Zoller Seitz. "Frank Underwood is a fictional character whose defining trait is bottomless duplicity. So, apparently, was Louis CK’s 'woke' brand, back in the days before the New York Times published multiple, corroborated accounts of his tendency to masturbate in situations where such behavior is frowned upon (i.e., in public spaces and workplaces, and in the presence of women whose consent was largely hypothetical)." He adds: "It strikes me as a mistake to look at this routine, then ask what happened to the Louis C.K. who responded to the scandal with a semi-apology that at least seemed somewhat chastened, and that ended with a pledge to listen and learn going forward. I doubt we’re ever going to see that guy, if in fact there was ever a chance of him existing — and why would there be, considering that everything we’ve learned since the indecency investigation broke leads to the inevitable conclusion that 'woke' CK was just an amazing simulation? This latest routine was a doubling down, recasting the comedian as a casualty of political correctness whose true crime was speaking his mind, yada yada yada. It’s a gimmick that doesn’t fly in mainstream entertainment anymore, but that can prove lucrative in the right-wing entertainment biosphere, which subsists on gripes that America has gotten too durn politically correct, to the point where a fella can’t even say 'retarded' anymore. There’s no cross too small that a participant in this culture can’t find a way to nail himself to it."
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- Ricky Gervais defends CK's standup material: "You can joke about whatever the f*ck you like"
- Judd Apatow calls CK's Parkland routine "hacky, unfunny, shallow"
- Andy Richter, who worked with Louis CK on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, slams the "hackiness" of his new act
- Ricky Gervais has complicated feelings on cancel culture, says he finds comfort in The Office haters
- John Mulaney says he cut ties with Louis CK's controversial ex-manager Dave Becky in November 2017
- Pamela Adlon's most personal season of Better Things is a triumph over Louis CK's ugliness
- Pete Holmes: "I'm still pulling for" Louis CK to evolve after his sexual misconduct scandal