Louis C.K. performed two sets at the famed West Village club the Comedy Cellar on Monday night, the New York Times reports. Unlike C.K.’s two previous surprise performances at the club, this time, the disgraced comedian was scheduled to appear in advance.
During his performance, the Times reports that C.K. referenced the sexual misconduct scandal that prompted him to keep a low profile after admitting that he harassed female colleagues. According to the portions of the set quoted, C.K. seemingly positioned himself as someone who has suffered as a result of the November 2017 Times story in which five female comedians accused him of sexual misconduct, including exposing himself and asking if he could masturbate while in workplace settings. C.K. admitted at the time that “these stories are true.”
“So what kind of year have you guys had?” C.K. told the crowd Monday night. “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.”
C.K. then joked about the financial cost of his sexual misconduct scandal.
“I need to make jokes because I need an income,” Louis C.K. said before adding that he lost $35 million “in an hour” as a result of the Times breaking the story on his misconduct. We reached out to C.K. to clarify what exactly that $35 million entailed, but following the scandal HBO severed its business relationship with the comic, TBS dropped a cartoon he was developing, Universal fired him from The Secret Life of Pets 2, and C.K.’s film I Love You, Daddy was dropped by its distributor.
“Hard things, you survive them or you don’t,” C.K. said. “I think even hell you can survive. Hell is not that bad. I’ve been there.” The rest of his set was apparently less personal. From the Times:
The rest of his set veered from raunchy to observational. There were no hecklers. He often consulted his notes, and mentioned that he had worked on the material “all year.” He asked the audience if anyone ever wondered how many sexual partners their mothers had and he discussed how much he enjoyed ice cream.
Two protesters were on hand to try and deter people from entering the show, but were ultimately unsuccessful. C.K. was said to have been received warmly with only a few walk outs during his performances.