Michael Ian Black Defends Louis C.K.'s Return. Internet Explodes

KC Bailey  FX

The comedian returned to the stage Sunday night at New York's Comedy Cellar, which was heavily featured on his show "Louie".

The owner of the Cellar, Noam Dworman, told the Times the comedian performed a 15-minute set on racism, waitresses' tips and "typical Louis C.K. stuff". "It sounded just like he was trying to work out some new material", said Dworman.

The Cellar has a tradition of surprise comedy guests, and Dworman said one member of Sunday's audience called the club Monday to express unhappiness over the lack of notice of C.K.'s appearance.

And so, after what were undoubtedly the world's most introspective ten months, Louis C.K. made a decision to surprise a possibly unwilling audience by claiming the stage in front of them, forcing them to watch him perform.

The performance is the first time CK has appeared and performed publicly since admitting to the misconduct allegations levelled against him by five women last November, which came at the crest of the #MeToo movement.

The admission resulted in the comedian losing his production deal with FX Network, as well as the cancellation of his film I Love You, Daddy.

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Following the allegations, Louis C.K. admitted sexual misconduct, saying: "I have to reconcile it with who I am".

But, he added, "there can't be a permanent life sentence on someone who does something wrong".

"I didn't think it was going to happen as soon as it did", he told the newspaper.

'I had thought that the first time he'd go on would be in a more controlled environment. "None of these men - that we know about - have talked publicly about undergoing counseling, made large donations to RAINN, done anything to understand the power dynamics they were part of", wrote Jezebel's Anna Merlan.

If C.K. accuser Rebecca Corry's account is any indication, the most severe punishment is reserved for the victims who speak out against abuse, not the powerful abuser themselves. CK's return to the stage will be seen as an early test of whether audiences are willing to forgive him for his misdeeds.

"Will take heat for this but people have to be allowed to serve their time and move on with their lives", Black said.

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