The Louis C.K. redemption tour hasn’t gone as smoothly as the embattled comedian would have hoped. His film I Love You, Daddy, may never see the light of day, and rehabilitating his image through stand up has brought out protesters and those skeptical that he has made amends for his years of sexual misconduct.
And then there’s the swing to the alt-right real of comedy as of late, where he made fun of the Parkland High School shooting survivors and people who choose to identify with nonbinary personal pronouns. Still, it’s through stand up appearances that C.K. intends to normalize his presence in the entertainment industry after a much-deserved exile.
His insistence to continue a public-facing career, however, has been met with continued criticism and outright protests, including from people who attend his shows. That was the case again this week, and it actually led to violence at a club in San Jose.
According to Datebook, C.K. took the stage in San Jose on Wednesday night and was greeted with both fans and protesters who would rather the Louie creator go quietly into the proverbial night. That includes a group of anti-C.K. protesters, at least one of which was met with violence.
About 30 protesters, many from the San Jose-based Enough is Enough Voter Project, clustered on the rainy sidewalk in front of the comedy club, chanting “Shame!” and “San Jose, not Man Jose” as ticket-holders walked into the sold out 8 p.m. show. A man in a separate protest group of two people, shouting into a bullhorn across the street, was punched in the face by another man who appeared to enter the club afterward.
“We were out here protesting doing our thing,” said the injured protestor, who identified himself as George and declined to give a last name. “And the guy saw me, came up … and he was like ‘Oh yeah, well I think if you’re out here you’re a f—ing p—y.’ And I was like, ‘Whoa dude, OK, screw you.’ And then he went for me. He punched me in the face. He tried to punch me a couple times in the head, and that happened right as the cops started rolling up.”
The protester had cuts on his face and police interviewed him, but there was no indication any arrests were made. Meanwhile, C.K. actually acknowledged the incidents that led to his undoing on stage on Wednesday. According to The Daily Beast, he started his set by saying “I like to jerk off, and I don’t like being alone.” That was just the start of the “edgy” humor, as C.K. reportedly made a joke about the terrorist attacks of September 11 as well.
“I got on a plane once,” Louis C.K. said, according to the Daily Beast report. “And this couple comes up to me as we’re boarding. There’s an empty seat next to me, and this woman says to me, ‘Would you mind moving so my husband and I can sit together?’ And he’s behind her and he’s like (motions — no). I didn’t know what to do. I don’t wanna upset him. But I don’t wanna sit with his … wife. So I just got off the plane.
“And then the plane took off. And it hit the World Trade Center.”
According to others who were at the show, C.K. received a standing ovation at the end of his set.