On booking Louis C.K. in 2019

We’re now two years removed from The New York Times article that finally put names and facts to the long-standing rumors about comedian Louis C.K. and his alleged proclivity for exposing himself to younger female comedians without their consent.

CK issued an apology (of sorts), and stayed out of the limelight for about a year before stepping back onstage at The Comedy Cellar and other comedy clubs around the country.

Many hot takes and debates ensued among comedy fans. This is not the part where I deliver my hot take.

But now that CK is back to sending messages to his email newsletter list, and on formal tours (he performed two shows Sunday night a theater in Dubuque, Iowa; will be performing in Israel and multiple European cities over the coming weeks, then to Detroit for a weekend in December, then 2020 finds him starting the new year with theater dates in Akron, Reading, Mobile, New Orleans, and then six shows that already have sold out at the Houston Improv.

After CK performed at Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto, club owner Mark Breslin was happy to write about it for The Canadian Jewish News. (Hat tip to Vulture) Breslin wrote: “Why would I put my business in jeopardy? Why would I risk the public shaming that would surely accompany this decision? Because over the past year, I’d conducted an unscientific market survey to see what people thought of C.K. and I found that a lot of people felt he had been treated unfairly.” He also boasted selling 2,400 tickets for eight shows in four hours: “I’d played my part in his career resurgence, and felt great about it.” Breslin also falsely claimed that CK had received consent from the women he masturbated in front of, which prompted one of those women to deliver a counterpoint.

Julia Wolov, one of the two performers who found themselves trapped in CK’s hotel room during the 2002 U.S. Arts Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colo., wrote: “We never agreed nor asked him to take all his clothes off and masturbate to completion in front of us. But it didn’t matter because the exciting part for him was the fear on our faces. Just as it must be very exciting for Breslin to be one of the only comedy clubs to book Louis C.K. and write about it in the Canadian Jewish News.”

While CK tours, Wolov said she and other women have suffered in silence, and even more since coming forward. “How would you feel about them getting consistent hate mail from Louis C.K. supporters who tell them to kill themselves?”

Turns out coming forward publicly as a victim of sexual assault doesn’t make you rich or famous, just infamous. That’s truly adding insult to injury.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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