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Why I still Watch Louis CK

Why I still Watch Louis CK


When Bill Cosby’s Victims started speaking
out against him back in 2014, it completely ruined his comedy for me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch a
clip from his act or the Cosby show ever again without immediately thinking of sexual assault,
and that in combination with Cosby’s style, that squeaky clean wholesome family stuff
gives me such a sense of vertigo through the sheer contrast. The thought that America’s dad, that this
guy who wouldn’t use profanity and criticized sagging jeans was also the guy with a pocket
full of Quaaludes at the ready, I just can’t reconcile those two things in my head. Pudding pops and date rape drugs just can’t
exist in the same universe for me, one dissolves the other. Every joke Bill Cosby ever made feels like
a lie now. These days my problem is very simple, it’s
trying to find a place in my house where I can masturbate without somebody bothering
me, And that’s getting really difficult. This video isn’t about Bill Cosby though,
it’s about Louis CK and why I think his sex scandal will have a different impact from
Cosby’s. I’m still not quite sure what to think about
the scandal itself. Louis getting women to watch him masturbate
makes a very different impression on me than the stories about Harvey Weinstein and Kevin
Spacey straight up assaulting people. What Louis did strikes me as much more ambiguous
and, frankly, pathetic. If what he did was sexual assault, then it
was a weirdly passive-aggressive sort of assault, and at risk of sympathizing with the abuser,
it just made me feel more pity and embarrassment than outright anger. In any case, I don’t want to defend what he
did. What I do want to say, however, is that what
Louis CK did, that part of himself, is inscribed in his work. I don’t feel any of the cognitive dissonance
watching him now that I feel when I watch Cosby’s stuff, I don’t feel like I’m being
lied to. When we watch Louis CK, we’re getting the
real guy, hairy palms and all. Louis CK’s act has always been a show of both
exhibitionism and self-flagellation, it’s always been about getting an audience to laugh
at what a pathetic sad sack he is. I think that whatever it is inside Louis that
made him want to expose himself on stage is also what made him expose himself in front
of those women. I mean, I wasn’t there, but I can’t imagine
like it was some macho, aggressive thing. It just sounded like a sad joke from out of
his act, Louis sitting there awkwardly handling himself, strategically positioned in front
of the door to keep the women from just walking out. Putting himself in front of the door like
that, trying to prevent someone from leaving without having to actually physically restrain
them, stands out in particular to me. It’s like he had to bluff, using his own image
as a big intimidating man because he knew there was nothing he was prepared to do if
they actually tried to leave. That strange duality of not yourself being
an aggressive person and yet still passively enjoying the benefits of an intimidating image
is something that Louis has commented on before in his work. My favorite example comes from the show he
self-funded and released last year, Horace and Pete. Horace and Pete is about a family-owned bar
in Brooklyn, and I like to think of it as a sitcom turned inside out into a drama. It’s a show that critically examines a lot
of the social issues that power the laughs in a comedy like Cheers or All in the Family. I want to focus on Louis’ role in the show
as an actor. In Horace and Pete, Louis plays two parts:
He plays the lackadaisical, loser owner who inherited the bar and is having trouble keeping
things afloat, and he also plays his first character’s own father in an extended flashback
set in 1976. The son is very similar to the persona Louis
CK presents while up on stage. He’s melancholic and apathetic, he just kinda
tripped into his current job and his family situation, and while he’s not overtly aggressive
or malicious, he consistently hurts others through his ignorance and lack of willpower. Hi honey, I keep going to voicemail when I
call you and then you keep texting me, and I really don’t want to text with you, so can
you please not text and pick up the phone, okay? Thank you. When Louis plays the father however, he plays
a much more old school kind of abusive. As the father, Louis CK is just straight up
terrifying, none of this passive-aggressive stuff. He has no qualms about using physical force
to knock his family into line. I told ya to cut your hair. What’s kind of eerie is how well Louis was
able to play both roles, he projected the image of that old school abusive dad perfectly. That Louis was willing to play the abusive
father in addition to his normal dopey self shows us a certain self-awareness, I think. Louis is like the son in the show, he’s just
not the kind of person to brute force someone into doing what he wants. However, when those young comics looked at
him, they didn’t see the son, they saw the father, they saw a big guy with a lot of authority
in their profession, someone who had a lot of power to hurt them both physically and
socially. Louis CK might not be Harvey Weinstein, but
he looked enough like him to coerce a half-willing consent, and it’s this image that Louis used
to barricade the door. All of this is to acknowledge that Louis CK
is a flawed person. The reason I still respect him as an artist,
however, is because he was willing to own those flaws, both directly in the statement
he released and indirectly through his work. Louis CK’s great virtue as an artist is his
willingness to turn out the worst parts of himself in his comedy, it’s all there in his
work. I think there’s a real value in being able
to confront yourself like that, I think it makes for good art and it helps us to understand
the human condition a little better. Whatever happens to Louis CK because of this
scandal, I will still be there to watch his old body of work and anything new he develops
in the coming years. You said you regret it, why do you regret
it? You’ve said worse things and not taken them
back. Well, I don’t take it back, I regret it, there’s
a difference. I mean, if you went back and fixed all the
mistakes you made, you erase yourself. There’s no point to that.


Reader Comments

  1. Regarding my sources for Louis CK blocking the door, it's a lot more dubious and convoluted than I originally thought it was when I published this video. It relies on a blind item that was published back in 2012 and was only later retroactively tied to the accusation of Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov in the New York Times. It's still likely that Louis blocked the door when he had his encounter with Goodman and Wolov, and I'll stand by it until either he or they explicitly deny it happening. However, I shouldn't have just accepted it as given in the video without giving any explanation or citing my sources. I'll try to fix that right now.

    http://gawker.com/5894527/which-beloved-comedian-likes-to-force-female-comics-to-watch-him-jerk-off?comment=48089921#comments
    In 2012, Gawker published an anonymous piece about a comedian they describe as "our nation's most hilarious stand-up comic and critically cherished sitcom auteur" trapping a young female comedy duo in his hotel room after the Aspen comedy festival to watch him masturbate, using his body to block the door.

    "https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/arts/television/louis-ck-sexual-misconduct.html
    The Gawker article wouldn't mean much if it didn't bear uncanny resemblance to the statement by Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov published by the New York Times in November, 2017. Goodman and Wolov, a comedy duo, describe Louis CK taking them up to his hotel room after the Aspen comedy festival and proceeding to masturbate. The Times article doesn't mention anything about Louis blocking the door, but it matches every other detail mentioned in the Gawker article. It's undeniable that the Times and Gawker were referring to the same incident, although it is possible that Gawker invented the detail about Louis blocking the door to make it seem more like he forced them to watch despite them clearly not wanting to.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/arts/television/louis-ck-statement.html
    And of course, we know that the accusations about Goodman and Wolov are true because Louis CK later admitted as much to the New York Times the next day.

    Like I said, it is possible Gawker just invented the detail about him blocking the door. Even if he didn't do that, however, I think my video still has an important point to make. Louis said in his statement, "At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them." This shows that even if he didn't literally barricade the door, Louis knew he was still relying on the power of his position and his image to pressure the women into staying. It's still the same dynamic of being the son from Horace and Pete on the inside and the father on the outside.

  2. I agree with your assessment of Louis. He is indeed a flawed, but redeemable person. If you have a chance, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my critique CK. I take a bit of a different perspective, but I think our opinion of Louis is on common ground. Thanks so much, and hope to hear from you soon! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUrOuiuH5DE

  3. You do not know Louis CK then. Not one bit. The two personas are not Louis- public personality and Louis- private life. Louis had an abusive father. He's playing himself as the son and him as the way his father could have behaved in certain situations. To the point he avoids him at all casts whenever possible. Now, since I'm hearing door-blocking from you only: you are not helping. Unless you show your source for that information, there is no reason to take your perception seriously.

  4. I've never been and probably will never be more excited to see Louie on stage after all that. If it's going according to plans it should be fucking legendary.

  5. the only solid story i heard is that he got somewhot close to a women and asked wether he could ask her a question. she said "yes". he then asked "can i jerk off in front of you?". she was somewhat confused but said "no.". so whos got a problem with asking questions? its quite rare that someone will tell you "by the way it would be fine for me if u would jerk off in front of me" so u basically have to ask. he could have give more warnings like asking more questions that hint further and further to the ultimate questions but that doesnt even make a difference in judging his action. he asked for consent. she denied. end of story. no big deal. love him… wake me up when u found evidence, got him convicted and he has to endure some penalty.

    the thing is u have a justice system and when they find he was guilty he will get a penalty and thats it. dont act like u are in charge of the executive, the judiciary and the legislative.
    there is a reason why decent ppl tend to split these powers

  6. Only in today's ass backwards society could a gang of feminists (who want superior rights not equal rights) take down a guy like Louis CK for…touching HIMSELF.

  7. Of course you still watch him. Hollywood has been full of pedophiles since the beginning of time. Yet, everyone still wants to go there and be the shit. You are brain washed into it.

  8. I hope Louis makes a comedy special about this whole hurdle. Might be a challenge to find a producer, but I hope It's going to happen. We love Louie because he's fucked up. I'm praying that his career isn't over.

  9. 15 years ago Louis CK was nothing like Harvey Weinstein, he'd been comedy for a while at that point but length of time in comedy does not equal success, money or power. It comes for everyone at different times. Louie was a fucking schmuck back then, a talented schmuck many people will admit, but he hadn't done anything noteworthy and didn't have power over anyone. Thats whats so stupid about this whole thing.

  10. He only did it in front of women who agreed to it. I mean that's not sexual assault. That's like suing a theme park because a roller-coaster scared you, even know you knew the consequences.

  11. When I first heard about the scandal (dont @me), i thought it was kinda funny and definitely something Louis would do.

  12. Cosby drugged and raped people, Louis CK did not.

    What Louis CK did was so so so low down on the scale that it does not even register, they are trying to make an issue out of literally nothing. The story here is not Louis CK's conduct, the story here is what a bunch of whining victim playing mongrels the modern day people have become.

  13. Thanks for this video. Hopefully, we gona get more staff from him later on!
    Are there some private versions somehow of the movie he almoust released?… If somehow we could get our hands on it…..

  14. That's pretty twisted reasoning.  You think what he did was unforgivable but because he's transparent in his art, you figure it's okay to embrace?  If the art accurately reflects something contemptible that makes it acceptable?  Whereas Cosby's work, which does not condone the sort of behavior of which he is accused, cannot stand alone but has to be discarded as hypocrisy?  Sounds like you value the work more than the people, which to me is totally backward.  If I thought Louis did something really wrong I'd be all the more sickened by his openness about it.  Ed Gein famously had told people openly that some articles in his home were made of human skin.  When it turned out he was a serial killer, the correct reaction is not to say "Well, those craft works he made from skin at least is an honest illustration of his flaws."  It's to be repulsed all the more by them.

  15. Louis CK mocked Donald Trump in his Horace and Pete show – so his unusual sexual kink is being used
    to crucify him in a million different parasitical gossip sites which conflate drugging and raping someone
    to seeking consent then masturbating. Typical tactics in Trump America. Roy Moore and Al Franken are
    NOT the same, by any stretch of the imagination.

  16. but, but it's called ACTING! It's called COMEDY!
    Is it believable? Is it funny?
    Then it shouldn't matter that you think it's fake.

  17. He's funny, that's the only reason you really need. Never judge the art through the artist.
    I would have watched Stalin if he were this funny.

  18. Sexual assault is sexual assault. People who defend assaulters are a huge part of the problem.

    Come at me, you Nazi Sympathizers.

  19. Your use of the English language is utterly wonderful. The fact that I agree with the content is not really important; I just enjoy listeng to English spoken well properly

  20. From what I've seen online most people are able to see the difference between real monsters and men who need help, And understand that what they are doing is wrong. I still like Louis and watch his comedy bits, Unless there comes out a story that he raped someone (And it is proven) I'm gonna watch his stand ups.

  21. The entire "scandal" is a joke. I support this guy 1000%. I hope he releases / sells his movie and his stand-up from his site, like he's done before. I'll buy it. Because it's probably excellent, and for just the principle of it. Fuck these talentless people who are trying to tear this man down.

  22. Cosby had Quaaludes but in the 60s 70s and 80s people used them to come down off coke. If you are sober and take one it has a different effect than when you are ramped up on coke. Most of the women Cosby is accused by were models or actresses at the time when cocaine was Hollywoods drug of choice.

  23. I was not surprised when the allegations came for Louis ck. I kinda knew in my subconscious yeah this guy can do something like this.

  24. Regardless of how innocent CK might seem when compared to Cosby, what he did is still unacceptable. The man is brilliant. That is undeniable. So, then, perhaps he knew that the best defense for himself would be to just admit it.
    Therefore, I don't accept his admittance as any sort of justification.
    Keeping in mind that this whole situation were to be absolved if women were to just admit that what he did isn't that big of a fucking deal.
    He was wrong. He was evil… according to women standards.
    Cause we already got women teachers, in a "place of power", taking advantage of a student. Female teachers fucking young boys is nothing new and is not perceived as a crisis, yet, an adult male masturbating in front of two grown, unwilling women is worse than child rape.
    We need to seriously rethink our morals.
    Keep in mind that I personally don't like CK. He was my hero, and then he supported Hillary. And then he rape/jacked himself off in front of women over a decade ago.
    Actually, forget it. It's worse that he's a Hillary supporter. Fuck him.
    But, uh, y'now. Don't be jacking it like that, bro.

  25. I'm still a huge Louis fan. I've always loved him and everything he's done. Except his comedy, never really liked that. But I've always loved the masturbation.

  26. What a disgusting apology and defense of sexual assault. So in your view, if the assault can be viewed as "pathetic" then that's totally OK with you. You're also totally skipping over the fact that Louis called these women liars by denying their claims for years and consistently lied to both his friends and the public about his actions and to this date has never apologized for it. He's disgusting, and so are you.

  27. Lewis CK ASKED for consent, and it was given. I think feminists are really just being controlling & manipulative by taking things too far and moving the goal posts.

    If my boss asked me for sex outside work hours, I'd say no, but I wouldn't consider it harassment.
    Feminists are either being power hungry or they expect men to be mind readers.

  28. If he asked them if they wanted to fuck nobody would give a shit. People don't like guys getting their freak on. If he had a vag all the guys would think it's so hot and all the gals would be saying don't sex shame her. pfft.

  29. I'm still willing to watch him too, but I think there needs to be a deeper argument. I completely agree with everything you said, but at the end of the day he still did what he did. I think that anyone should be able to compartmentalize those things within themselves. Would you dismiss any criminal just because they own up to it? I agree that you have to respect him for that, but that can't be THE reason why I would still watch him, personally. For me, I think it's the simple fact that WE ARE ALL BAD PEOPLE. It's the simple fact of life that you can't compare him to other people, because most people have done things this bad or worse. They just haven't been caught. Or rather, WE just haven't been caught. Of course, I'm not suggesting that we have all sexually assaulted people, but I think that Louis crime doesn't exactly count as sexual assault, and definitely doesn't count as rape, as horrible and pathetic as it was.

    People are so self righteous and so afraid of loosing their reputation that they don't share the bad parts about themselves. And maybe that's for the best. But I can tell you that most people I know in my life including myself don't hold themselves to a standard any higher that Louis given the right (or wrong) circumstances. We all have horrible thoughts and ideas. We all have terrible self control. Basically what I'm saying is; he who is perfect cast the first stone. Unless of course Louis is proven guilty somehow. Then he should probably do time in prison.

  30. You know what fuck those cry baby bitches I have no sympathy for dumb hoes sorry. This is a feminist attack on men, they are the terrorists!! I love Louis CK and never guna stop watching his material!! Fuck you bitches

  31. I hope Louie is just writing and writing. So in 10 years he can pull a Chappelle and make a come back. All wounds need time to heal. Even Societal wounds.

  32. You eloquently said that which was in my mind. What I would give to be able to put words together like the author of this post. People, in general, do not realize there is good and bad in everyone. You just have to get to the point where the bad outweighs the good to write someone off. There are women in the comedy world and that have worked with Louis that seem to love him. Sarah Silverman comes to mind. Pamela Adlon has worked with him on two different shows. She does not seem to have any problems with him. I do hope he is not run out of the business. If nothing else, I would subscribe to his web-based content.

  33. I don't think his career should be ruined for those allegations, unless he raped or physically assaulted someone then report it to the cops. If all men in Hollywood are losing their careers for indecent sexual behavior (not rape or sexual assault) then all women who used their sexuality to get ahead should also lose their careers.

  34. Mmm, it's actually much harder for me to enjoy his work post-scandal. The fact that what he did and what he joked about ran parallel just seem to make many of his perverted jokes unwatchable (one of my favorite skits that I now cannot watch without feeling disgusting was his "defending masturbation" one that he did with Greg Gutfeld).

    Before the scandal, you imagined Louis as a guy who's a bit messed up in the head but who's ultimately just a sympathetic, good person just trying to navigate this world. After the scandal, his jokes make him seem unashamed of his perversions to the point that it's almost as if he's showing off how much he can get away with his perverse actions. So it's become too much.

    I think with Cosby, his comedic character and his real life behavior feel distinct in a way that may make his comedy more digestable. Personally, I can't even look at Cosby anymore.

    It's just so disappointing to have to watch people you liked go down like this.

  35. "If you went back and fixed all the mistakes you made, you erase yourself." – Louis C.K.
    I watched that interview, and that line stuck with me so deeply, I wrote it down. I still look at it from time to time.

  36. Everyone has forgotten that Mike Tyson is a rapist. Public outrage has nothing to do with justice. All networks and studios had to drop Louis thou, because employing him would be perceived as condoning his sexual misconduct. Its is not a democracy , its public tyranny from the fickle horde. Still, nothing to do with justice. Louis C.K could well be a total bastard, but that has nothing to do with this. Some people get away with murder and rape, others don´t. Why? Besides skin color. And please dont be a butthurt male saying its all SJWs fault. You're are not Louis Ck, Weinstein or Cosby so get over yourselves…the (socially) dominant sex has the privilege to be able to think (of themselves) as individuals but still don't, all the time. "US MEN ARE BEING ATTACKED!" Fuck off.

  37. Why is his name pronounced like Louie instead of Louis like it’s spelled? What happened to the s sound in the name?

  38. I understand what you mean about the Cosby Show being ruined for you, however, to say that the show is a lie is to miss really important truths about life. People aren't 1 dimensional. A person can do terrible things but still have very poignant and intelligent ideas/thoughts about various topics in life. In the case of the Cosby Show, it's thoughts about family life in a wealthy African American household. He, and his writers presumably, made a lot of interesting points/observations about all the topics they touched on in the show and I don't understand how all those observations are suddenly lies because Bill Cosby turned out to have done some terrible things. It's hard for humans to wrap their minds around it, but people can do terrible things and still have very intelligent thoughts and ideas. People don't like it, but that is the straight up truth.

  39. "why i still watch louis ck"?
    Like he went through rapes and murder.
    The title sounds like the premise for something bigger than it actually is, when in fact, nothing happened.

  40. Why wouldn't you if you were already a fan? Even if you're a Bill Cosby fan, why would you stop enjoying his comedy? His personal life failures have nothing to do with his comedic talent.

  41. Why would you stop watching him? I wouldn't even if he had murdered and ate babies, for gods sake, i cant care less about his private life and so should all of you in youtube.

  42. I will still watch Louis C K, because jerking off isn't a crime and if every guy that showed a woman his dick was a criminal, 90% of us would be in jail. Though i think his behavior was gross and in poor taste, it is not the same as what Weinstein did, not even close. Plus, he's funny as fuck.

  43. Thank you for this perspective. I feel the same way and will be there to watch it when he comes back. Tell you what though: the come back, assuming it happens, will be the single most courageous act of overcoming humiliation that we have ever seen. He will HAVE to confront his public image and the discomfort people experience in attempting to reconcile with the darker shades of who he is in his quasi-private life. If anyone can do it he can, but the effort to build up his bits, experimenting in small comedy clubs and facing the aggressive wrath of people who would never ever in a million years do anything so creepy (although the reality is they probably all have quirks that would be very disturbing and yes, probably just as creepy in many cases – just without exposure and the honesty to let it seep into everyone's conscious awareness) will inevitably be incredibly challenging. Amazing – with all the weight that word carries in reference to the jokes he made about it. In short, he will be forced to dig into the core of what comedy IS. He will have to bring catharsis to the stuck energies of the deepest possible existential discomfort and turn them into a work of genius.

  44. In the words of Bill Burr, "does his punishment really fit the crime?" Thank you for this video. I think you really nailed it. Also his apology helped me draw the same conclusion. He admitted he had a problem and that takes a strong person.

  45. I agree. Ill always watch whatever louie puts out because he is the best at portraying the complexity and truth about the human condition of this age. He is an artist and a flawed man. It's creepy what he did and a violation to the women. His art however is great. I support his art because its good. So good in fact id say better then 90% of whats available. To banish him and his art makes no sense to me at all. Women have been abused sexually since ever and its good society is changing in this regard. He's nothing like a harvey weinstein tho. To view him as such is bitter and mean spirited.

  46. Wait wait? He never blocked the door, nor did he force any of those women, nor did he try to touch them or assault them or refrain them from leaving. He asked they said yes, end of story. Was what he did inappropriate, disgusting and wrong? yes. Was is Sexual HARASSMENT or ASSAULT? nope. Oh and he's still hilarious, I'm waiting for his next show, he's awesome.

  47. Looking forward to his comeback. Jerry Seinfeld said , that when ever he will show up, people's first thoughts will be about his allegations and what he did. I beg the differ. In my eyes he is one of the most brilliant down to earth minds that is available in the media these days. I respect him and enjoy his work. Nobody in the stand up industry has ever made me laugh the way he did.. Maybe Ricky, but that's a different comedy i dig as well. All forgiven from real fans Louie !

  48. The people who watched his actions were not tied up with eyes forced open, unable to glance away. They were not minor children and actually are full grown adults with resources to cope and mitigate any perceived negative impact on them. Funny how the entertainment community has evolved from Roman Polanski to Louis C.K.

  49. Louis CK is just another old and bloated douche bag. He just happened to have a brief time in the spotlight with his "comedy" and his loud mouthed freckled faced tirades against anyone who wasn't like him. It just happened that he was able to tap into a fan base of mutually frustrated average white America for a brief time. He has contributed nothing of real worth to comedy. He has cancelled himself.

  50. So did everyone unsubscribed after this video? I'm just curious why every video on this channel has super high views until this video then dropped to a couple hundred views

  51. Where is the citation of blocking the door coming from? While if you enter a room penis-wielding it could be construed as blocking from what I've gathered there was always consent (initially). I enjoyed your video though, very well thought and balanced argument and overall respectful to Louis – I think we would all appreciate a fact check on the door blocking aspect however – seems very non-Louis. I keep an eye out for new Louis every day he is a rare gem of comedy and hes got me through some tough times, he misstepped with what he did but it was extremely minor and he responded in an honest, upfront and apologetic manner. I work in media and have seen him slagged by my own outfit which was tough to bare, Louis is a good man and a hilarious artist – anyone who cant see that is riding the headhunting bandwagon for props. We live in a very strange time.

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