So far Louis C.K.’s comeback tour has received, shall we say, a mixed response. Many have asked whether it’s been too soon for the comic — who last year confessed to masturbating in front of several women without their consent — to return to public life. Many of those people have answered that query with a firm “yes.” Still, fairly constant criticism hasn’t kept C.K. from doing his thing regardless — or kept clubs from booking him. Of course, they tend to be “surprise” sets, where he appears on stage in front of unsuspecting audiences who may not have come if they’d known he’d be there. Eventually, someone in one of these audiences was bound to turn on him. And so, finally, one has.
Late Sunday night, one Klaire Randall went to New York City’s Comedy Cellar, only to find herself ambushed with a surprise Louis C.K. set. During one quiet part, she decided it was time to attack. She heckled him, shouting “Get your d*ck out!” According to Randall, she was then immediately told by Cellar management to leave; Cellar claims she left on our own accord. Either way, she tweeted about it.
Randall was subsequently contacted by The Cut, who let her tell her own story. She said she and her boyfriend were in the front row, making it very hard to leave.
“The first thing I thought when they announced Louis’s name was was that it had to be a joke,” she wrote. “I was pissed off. I looked at my boyfriend and we had this moment of can we get up and leave right now, or do we sit through it and give this guy a chance?”
Randall says the crowd laughed and roared during C.K.’s set, though she was unamused: “His jokes started out like ‘my life is hard now, I had a bad year, feel bad for me.’ There was nothing like ‘hey I ruined my own life by masturbating in front of women.’”
So she decided to strike.
Ten minutes or so in there was a little bit of a break, and he walked over toward the piano near where I was sitting to look at his notes. And in that moment I just yelled “get your dick out.” I wasn’t thinking at the time that it would become news, I wasn’t trying to make him mad or get laughs from the audience, I just knew that I could not sit in that room and let him think he had an uninterrupted stage. I’d had one Yuengling, It was my first drink of the night so it definitely wasn’t liquid courage, and I’m definitely not someone who would be known for heckling.
He looked shell-shocked. He looked directly at me, full eye contact and said ‘WHAT!?’ I repeat myself like, “get your f*cking d*ck out.” At that point, the crowd was jeering, there were a few boos coming from a few people. And before I knew it, a Cellar staff member came over at our table and put a hand on my boyfriend’s shoulder. He said “you can’t heckle the comedians,” and motioned toward the door. We already wanted to leave, so were happy to stand up and walk out on our own.
Since then Randall has found herself a bit of a folk hero.
All I could think at the time was that I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I had this opportunity to publicly call out an abuser to his face and I just quietly sat there. I was just thinking about every woman I know who has been sexually assaulted, sexually harassed or bullied in some way or another. And to see the rest of the audience just be so excited and legitimately happy that he was there was scary. Because I knew that everyone else was on his side.
(Via The Cut)