LOUIS C.K.’s comeback set included a joke about rape whistles — which did not sit well with some stunned audience members, a report said.
“It felt like he was being thrust upon the audience without telling them,” one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Vulture, about the disgraced comic’s unannounced return to the stage at the Comedy Cellar in New York City late on Saturday night — his first since late last year, when he admitted to masturbating in front of several women with whom he’s worked, according to Page Six.
The woman audience member’s friend, who asked to be identified with the initials S.B., added: “I could see three or four [women] were not having it. They were just looking at him, deadpan, straight, not having it.”
C.K.’s set was similar to his usual material — but one joke about the phrase “clean as a whistle” which built up to a joke about how rape whistles are not clean was particularly shocking to them, the women said.
“When he said ‘rape whistle’ people were laughing, and I was just sitting there like ‘oh my f**k.’ This is so uncomfortable and so disgusting. Everyone around me was laughing. That was just depressing,” said one woman.
“The audience was mostly made up of couples of “a lot of aggressive men … and very quiet women,” the women said, adding that the vibe was one “that doesn’t allow for a dissenting voice … You’re considered a bad sport if you speak out.”
C.K.’s reception was generally warm, the women said, with one man even shouting that it was “Good to have [C.K.] back.”
“The audience was very loud when Louis C.K. walked in. They were clearly supportive and surprised when he showed up,” S.B. said.
But at the end of his set, “It was way quieter for sure. There was a huge difference in that volume or in those number of claps.”
Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman told the Hollywood Reporter the comedian showed up unannounced and that he didn’t know about the surprise performance until later — but said the outrage over his return shows it’s “a dark period for discourse in this country.”
“[Dworman] says we can’t [have a discourse] properly,” one of the audience members said. “How do you think the women in that room felt? It’s just really frustrating.”
This article first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.
Originally published as Louis CK ‘made rape jokes’ during comeback