Louis C.K.'s Rebrand Is Old Crank


Louis C.K. is slowly and steadily making his comedy comeback, and he’s doing so with material that sounds like it’s written by a 12-year-old who took one stand-up class and uses the word “retarded” a lot.

In audio of a comedy set leaked on Youtube, the Daily Mail reports on C.K. trying out some truly low material, peppered with jokes about how much money he’s lost in the past year. It’s the lowest of the low-hanging fruit and it’s more boring than it is offensive.

In the set, he makes fun of Parkland students.

They testify in front of Congress these kids…What are you doing? You’re young you should be crazy, you should be unhinged. Not in a suit saying ‘I’m here to tell you…’ Fuck you… You’re not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot. Why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting. You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way and now I gotta listen to you talking.

And tells some glorious jokes about young people who have specific gender pronouns.

I’m so disappointed in the younger generation honestly because I’m 51 years old and I was 18 and in my 20s we were idiots. We were getting high doing mushrooms and shit…I was kind of excited to be in my 50s and see people in my 20s and be like these kids are crazy, these kids are nice…but they’re not!
They’re just boring. Fucking telling me you shouldn’t say that. What are you an old lady?…You should address me…as they/them because I identify as gender neutral. You should address me as there…because I’m a location…and the location is your mother’s cunt.

In telling the jokes he clearly knows are horrific, he says “What are you—going to take away my birthday? My life is over. I don’t give a shit.”

Here’s the thing, so often in the conversation about C.K. and whether he should be given stage time since the the New York Times reported on his sexual misconduct allegations, people act like C.K. has been banned from comedy, period. Clearly he has not been banned, since he has continued to do comedy sets.

What Louis C.K. has done with his continued freedom to perform is not build and grow from his mistakes, but dig his heels into them. It’s not a question of whether or not he’s allowed to perform, but if his work even deserves a stage at all at this point. And if he’s performing a set that sounds like I could hear it at my local bar, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. If C.K. “doesn’t give a shit,” maybe comedy clubs will learn that he should probably be “not giving a shit” in private.

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