Louis C.K. has finally resurfaced for the first time since becoming one of the earliest entertainers caught up in the Me Too scandal. The comedian took the stage at New York City's Comedy Cellar on Sunday night for an unannounced set that may be the first step of a comeback for a career that looked potentially finished.
According to reports from The New York Times, C.K.'s stand up made no reference to the Me Too movement nor the allegations that he faced, instead riffing on what Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman referred to as "typical Louis C.K. stuff."
"It sounded like he was trying to work out some new material, almost like any time of the last 10 years he would come in at the beginning of a new act."Reports say that C.K. received a warm welcome from the sold-out crowd, receiving a standing ovation before even beginning his surprise set. Dworman did say that he received one call on Monday from an audience member who objected to C.K. being at the show and did wish that he knew in advance that the comedian would be performing.
While C.K.'s first step back into the public light was well received, a single set at a comedy club is a far cry from the highs he was looking at before the allegations.Not even a year ago C.K.was one of the most successful and respected comedians in the industry. He had a critically-acclaimed television show, Louie, served as an executive producer for several shows on the FX network, had an upcoming Netflix special, and was about to launch the first film he had directed in 16 years, "I Love You, Daddy." All of that disappeared, along with C.K.'s management and publicist, after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced dating back as far as the late '90s.
Five women accused C.K. of masturbating in front of them, making requests to do so, or doing so over the phone. His accusers cited C.K.'s successful reputation and the workplace culture of the time as reasons the comedian was able to get away with such acts.
C.K.'s response to the accusations was to release a statement that admitted to all of the accusations and apologized for his actions.
"At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my d**k without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your d**k isn't a question. It's a predicament for them."Since then C.K. has remained out of the public sphere, until Sunday night.