As 2018 settles into the dust and we enter a post #MeToo age, now is the time for men to come forward and apologise. Now is the time for them to learn from their mistakes and work with their communities to better themselves and other men. To quote a now-dead comedian, now is the time for them to “step back and take a long time to listen.”
Alternatively, you can show up unsolicited to events and make jokes about school shooting survivors.
For those of you who missed it, Louis CK was probably the biggest comedian in the world. His TV show launched the current wave of “sadcoms”, and his stand up specials were hailed as revolutionary. Critics lauded his work as “feminist”; in his stand-ups, he portrayed himself as the bumbling yet brave white man who pointed out that it sucks that women have to deal with the near constant threat of rape. Truly revolutionary and never done by any stand up of any gender ever.
Not that any of his woke points or his IMDb page matter. In late 2017 allegations surfaced that Louis CK, woke liberal comedy bro, would routinely corner women and masturbate in front of them. Not only was this objectively disgusting, but it ended up negatively impacting the upcoming stand-up careers of these women. Being a woman in comedy is hard enough without the biggest name in the game wanking in front of you. Once the allegations came to light, Louis apologised—not without mentioning how admirable he was for doing so—and disappeared for literally less than a year. In Autumn 2018, rumblings were afoot about how Louis had started to do unsolicited comedy sets on unsuspecting audiences.
How very unlike him; to do something that nobody asked for without permission or care of consequences.
Ignoring the fact that there absolutely could have been sexual assault victims in the audience, or just people who didn’t want to financially support Louis CK, why was he doing low stakes comedy clubs? After his creepy-looking film I Love You Daddy got shelved, his shows got canned, and his contracts were swiftly cancelled did he not get the hint that we didn’t want him? Was he practising for a big area tour? Nobody asked for this! Surely he’s still getting residual money? It’s not like society left him on the cold streets of Victorian London begging for soup—he was the biggest name in comedy, he’s fine!
Just as the year was about to end without any more shitshows, audio leaked of his new set and it was baaaaaaaad. In the world’s longest two minutes and two seconds, Louis rails against gender non-conforming teens and school shooting survivors. Yeah, that’ll show them. By punching down on trans and nonbinary kids and literal school shooting survivors and railing against people being “too sensitive,” he’s not just attacking the aforementioned groups. He’s attacking the women who were “too sensitive” when a powerful man in the biz jacked off in front of them; he’s attacking the people who were rightfully upset about his race jokes. He’s attacking everyone who’s dismantling the power structures of the straight white cis man, because he’s had a taste of life without power. Instead of apologising and paying comeuppance, he’s lashing out and attacking everyone who’s “too sensitive”.
“You should address me as they, them. Because I identify as gender neutral. Okay, you should address me as ‘there’ because I identify as a location. And the location is your mother’s cunt. It doesn’t have to be that nasty but it can be.”
I mean really, have you fallen so low that the best punchline you’ve got is “your mother’s vagina”? Really?
“Because you went to a high school where kids got shot? Why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way and now I’ve got to listen to you talking?”
Yeah, that was the goal of the Parkland survivors’ rallying—for a crusty white guy who looks like the human equivalent of eczema to find them interesting. Sorry guys, gun control activism is cancelled. He goes on about how teenagers and young adults should be out having fun and “getting finger fucked” and doing jello shots instead of bettering society. No comment was left about how consensual he’d prefer the finger fucking to be.
Yeah, we’d love to be out having fun but people are dying dude.
Much to the dismay of comedy fans, it appears that Louis CK now stands for Conservative Knobhead. His “””””””””jokes””””””” sound like deleted Ben Shapiro tweets. There’s no wit or craft to miscellaneously making fun of disenfranchised youths who are trying to survive in this hellhole. If he wanted to at least try to claw back his revolutionary status, he could have taken this opportunity to do some real introspection and dig deep on toxic masculinity, male privilege and rape culture. He could have done a stand up set about learning from one’s mistakes and how difficult, but important, it is to grow as a human being. Even after the allegations hit he had an audience of right-wing bros who would defend him to the ends of the earth; this was a perfect opportunity to use some of the feminist points from earlier in the decade and educate his remaining fans. And before you chime in and say that doesn’t sound funny, point out one joke in the leaked audio. One joke. Oops, there are none. Being funny clearly isn’t a concern of his anymore. Looks like being a good person never was.
Louis CK will continue to get hired in comedy clubs. He’ll probably never hit the dizzying highs of his old life, but at this rate, he’ll start to show up on Fox & Friends, and he might get a recurring segment on a right-wing podcast. If he wants back in the sitcom business, maybe he can team up with Roseanne Barr and Tim Allen and make the world’s worst thing. Maybe he and Ricky Gervais will go on tour laughing at trans kids and saying the N-word while high fiving each other. While not as bright as it used to be, the future of Louis CK’s comedy career at least exists. We’ll never know about the future comedy careers of some of his victims.
Between this, Aziz Ansari going off about political correctness and Kevin Spacey’s terrifying video, can we please keep failed comebacks in 2018?