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Louis CK returned to stand-up after sexual misconduct allegations, played Comedy Cellar


Louis CK gave a surprise performance at NYC’s Comedy Cellar (where the beginning sequence of his show Louie takes place) on Sunday night (8/26), one of his first performances since admitting to allegations of sexual misconduct. NY Times reported on Louis’ set:

He appeared around 11 p.m., said Noam Dworman, the owner of the Cellar, the Greenwich Village club with a long tradition of surprise appearances by famous comedians. Dressed in a black V-neck T-shirt and gray pants, he did a 15-minute set that touched on what Mr. Dworman called “typical Louis C.K. stuff” — racism, waitresses’ tips, parades. “It sounded just like he was trying to work out some new material, almost like any time of the last 10 years he would come in at the beginning of a new act.”

Mo Amer, another comic who was on the bill Sunday, said that for the crowd, “it was like a wow moment.” He, too, said he had no idea that Louis C.K. would return that night but that his material was “like, classic Louis, really really good.”

Mr. Dworman said Louis C.K. “was very relaxed,” and the audience, a sold-out crowd of about 115, greeted him warmly, with an ovation even before he began. (Mr. Dworman was at home asleep, but club staff texted him about the appearance, and he later watched a tape of it, he said.)

One audience member called the club on Monday to object to the surprise set, the owner said. “He wished he had known in advance, so he could’ve decided whether to have been there or not,” Mr. Dworman said. But several other patrons responded to a standard email follow-up from the club to say they were happy they caught the show.

Dworman also told the Times, “I understand that some people will be upset with me. I care about my customers very much. […] [But] there can’t be a permanent life sentence on someone who does something wrong.” Read more here.

In the wake of the allegations this past November, The Orchard scrapped the release of his film I Love You Daddy, HBO pulled all of Louis’ programming from their streaming services, and FX severed ties with him.

This past May, Comedy Cellar also hosted a few surprise Aziz Ansari sets, following allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Update: This article previously stated that the Comedy Cellar set was Louis’ first performance since admitting to the allegations, though he made at least two other appearances beforehand.

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