Nine months after Louis C.K. admitted to sexual misconduct, he returned to the stage for a surprise set at NYC’s Comedy Cellar. Club owner Noam Dworman told The New York Times that C.K. took the stage Sunday night at 11 p.m. and performed for 15 minutes.
The sold-out show held 115 people, and he was greeted with a standing ovation. The 50-year-old Louie star was reportedly "very relaxed." One person did call the club later to complain about his appearance (he wished he’d known in advance so he could decide if he wanted to be there), but overall, the reception was positive.
He worked a "typical Louis C.K." set, riffing on racism and tips, and leaving out anything about the five women who said he had them to watch him masturbate. (He admitted to wrongdoing after the allegations came out).
Reception to the news on social media was mixed, with some saying he’d done his time, while others dragging him for attempting to revive his career.
Comedian Aparna Nancherla tweeted: "Louis CK getting a standing ovation for dropping in to a comedy club less than a year after admitting to sexual misconduct tells you all you need to know about how society applauds powerful men for doing less than the minimum of decency."
Elayne Boosler agreed, tweeting: "Louis CK, the comic known for ‘exploring reality,’ last nite performed ‘typical Louis C.K. stuff’ — racism, waitresses’ tips, parades.’ WTF?"
But Michael Ian Black stood up for him, tweeting: "Will take heat for this, but people have to be allowed to serve their time and move on with their lives. I don’t know if it’s been long enough, or his career will recover, or if people will have him back, but I’m happy to see him try."