A bootleg audio recording of Louis C.K.'s offensive new standup material has provoked more condemnation of the disgraced comedian since it was uploaded to YouTube on Saturday. The 49-minute recording, which was reportedly taken at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown, Long Island on December 16th, includes mockery of non-binary gender identity and survivors of school shootings.
On the subject of transgender teens, C.K. can be heard saying, “They're like royalty. They tell you what to call them - ‘You should address me as they, them, because I identify as gender neutral.’ Oh okay, okay. ‘You should address me as there, because I identify as a location, and the location is your mother’s c***.'”
The joke came during a "kids these days" riff comparing C.K.'s reckless, drug-fueled youth with what he perceives as unearned self-seriousness on the part of today's youth. Calling the younger generation "boring," C.K. mocked school shooting survivors and said he doesn't understand why "everybody gets upset when there’s a shooting at a high school, I don’t see why it’s worse than anybody else dying, I don’t."
To anyone who knows Louis CK, please deliver this message for me. My daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting. My son ran from the bullets. My wife and I deal with loss everyday. Why don't you come to my house and try out your new pathetic jokes? https://t.co/tZI9ThSciR
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) December 31, 2018
despite his vow, about a year ago, to "step back and take a long time to listen," seems like he views his (entirely self-inflicted) downfall as license to now behave however he wants.
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) December 31, 2018
As if anticipating the backlash the jokes would provoke, C.K. told the audience that after his career imploded following numerous revelations about his sexual misconduct, he has nothing left to lose. "What are you going to take away, my birthday?" C.K. asked. "My life is over. I don’t give a shit."
His set also included material about “retarded” people and a gay slur referring to his doctor as “an old f—— Jewish f-ck."
i mean he's like a RW comic now. hes milo pic.twitter.com/QYOGI7TrGa
— unfollow @HoarseWisperer the racist (@jackallisonLOL) December 31, 2018
C.K. spent almost a year off stage after numerous women accused him of sexual harassment and misconduct. He issued a statement in November 2017, admitting, "These stories are true ... The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly." He also declared, "I will now step back and take a long time to listen."
But C.K. began making unannounced standup appearances this fall, eliciting further protest and criticism for his defensive, self-pitying tone. This new material does not seem to be helping his stab at a comeback, if that's even what he's even trying to do here.
This hacky, unfunny, shallow routine is just a symptom of how people are afraid to feel empathy. It’s much easier to laugh at our most vulnerable than to look at their pain directly & show them love and concern. Louis CK is all fear and bitterness now. He can’t look inward. https://t.co/aQVG0rk87y
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 31, 2018
If this really is Louis CK "joking" about the Parkland students...well, I didn't know why he was "back," but he should never be back again. https://t.co/t0ZEEn6XXi
— Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) December 31, 2018
If for some reason you're still curious, well here's the full set from Long Island.
UPDATE: The owner of the comedy club reportedly had this to say about C.K.'s performance:
Just talked to James Dolce, owner of Governor’s Club where Louis C.K. performed: "It's comedy. You know who you’re coming to see. The people who were upset about it probably weren’t at the show. He got a standing ovation. He brought the house down. He’s a genius."
— Kevin Fallon (@kpfallon) December 31, 2018