Louis C.K. Returns to Comedy Cellar One Month After Controversial Comeback Show
A source tells The Hollywood Reporter that the comedian received a "warm greeting" from the crowd.
Louis C.K. returned to New York's Comedy Cellar for another surprise set late Sunday night, a source confirms to The Hollywood Reporter. In response to a Page Six report that patrons weren't happy with C.K.'s performance, the source says that the controversial comedian was met with a "warm greeting" from the crowd.
"The crowd was very enthusiastic," the onlooker tells THR, adding that two patrons did, however, take advantage of the comedy club's new "Swim at Your Own Risk" policy and ask for refunds. In a since-deleted tweet, one apparent attendee wrote, "I saw Louis CK at the Comedy Cellar last night, and I’m happy to report that his new material is just as bad as the old."
Each Comedy Cellar show ticket now comes with a disclaimer: "If an unannounced appearance is not your cup of tea, you are free to leave (unobtrusively please) no questions asked, your check on the house."
Adds the source of the two patrons, "They left politely."
The disclaimer was added after C.K. first appeared for a surprise set in late August, effectively ambushing patrons who could have been triggered by his appearance.
According to audio of C.K.'s intro and outro from Sunday night, obtained exclusively by THR (listen in the video player above), the crowd can be heard cheering and clapping loudly for the star during extended applause. "You've been very kind," he is heard telling the crowd to close out his set, which took place close to midnight. "Thank you very, very much."
"The reception this time was more enthusiastic. His set was better all-around," says the source.
But C.K. still did not acknowledge his #MeToo controversy, which exploded last fall. After he failed to address the sexual misconduct allegations that were leveled against him during his August performance, both C.K. and the Comedy Cellar were widely criticized over the attempted comeback.
C.K. was accused by five women of masturbating in front of them in a New York Times story written by one of the journalists who wrote the first exposé on sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein in November. C.K. later admitted to the allegations. While the comic made an appearance at the Olive Tree Cafe restaurant above the Comedy Cellar in February, C.K. was largely shunned by comedy clubs since the allegations made headlines.
Last month, THR spoke to Comedy Cellar owner Noam Dworman about C.K.'s unexpected August performance. Asked if he would allow the comedian to return, Dworman said at the time that the idea made him "uncomfortable," even though he said he only received one customer complaint about C.K.'s surprise appearance.
"Nobody should ever confuse that with how I feel about what someone has done badly," he said in part, later adding, "I don't know what the standard is, and that makes me uncomfortable."
Dworman, who apologized to unhappy customers, did not receive a heads up about C.K.'s August performance and it's unclear if he knew the comedian would return to the Comedy Cellar on Sunday night.
After the first performance, Dworman admitted that giving C.K. a platform is a "tough" situation.
"Somehow I don't think he's going to be back tomorrow, but when he decides that he really wants to go into this with two feet, I'm hoping that he'll talk about it with me so it can be done in a way that people feel it's not dismissive of the seriousness of what he's accused of," Dworman said at the time. "Not just what he's accused of, but I think people feel that he's become a synecdoche — everything is contained within him. And if he comes back, everyone who has been accused is absolved. I don't think that's the case, but I think that's part of the reason people are reacting so viscerally."