Over the weekend, word broke out that Louis C.K. had made a couple appearances at Dave Chappelle’s summer comedy series. At the time it wasn’t clear if C.K. had done sets or if he was simply there as a non-performing guest. But now Entertainment Weekly has word from an anonymous attendee that he did, in fact, perform at least one set, and that it wasn’t, well, the best.
The source said C.K. — whose career was all but obliterated nearly three years ago after revelations emerged of his past sexual misconduct with multiple women — was the “secret headliner” on the night that also included Michelle Wolf and Mo Amer, as well as copious social distancing. After Chappelle gave him a brief introduction, referring to him as “somebody whose comedy I admired for his whole career,” C.K. performed for 20 minutes, and at least at the beginning the reaction was, the source said, “mixed-to-positive.”
“He was not really on his game and he got some hecklers about halfway through,” said the anonymous patron.
At one point C.K. started doing “silly, non-distinct” impressions and asked the audience to give him suggestions. One person near the back chimed in, saying, “How about the toilet seat you jerked off on?” That got some attention.
“People were like, ‘Oh, crap. That was brutal,’” recalls EW’s source. “And then he had a pretty good comeback, which was, ‘I don’t do my best material on these shows.'”
It was said that C.K.’ set “generally felt like [he] was either phoning it in or workshopping half-baked material,” according to EW. He even had a notebook in his hand. He also steered clear of controversial material, unlike the notorious leaked 2018 set in which he mocked trans people and even Parkland shooting survivors.
Ever since the revelations about his misconduct emerged, Chappelle has supported C.K., even defending his right to mount a comeback in his Sticks & Stones special, saying, “They ruined this n*****’s life, and now he’s coming back playing comedy clubs and they’re acting like if he’s able to do that that’s going to hurt women. What the f*ck is your agenda, ladies?”