Louis C.K. Receives Standing Ovation For Surprise Performance at SkankFest 2019

Louis C.K. Receives Standing Ovation For Surprise Performance
Louis C.K. attends FX and Vanity Fair Emmy Celebration at Craft on September 16, 2017, in Century City, California. Rich Fury/Getty Images

Louis C.K. made a return to the comedy stage over the weekend when he surprised fans with a performance at Skankfest 2019, an annual festival in Brooklyn, NY organized by the Legion of Skanks podcast. The disgraced comedian, who is slowly working on making a comedy comeback following reports of his sexual misconduct in 2017, received a warm welcome when he arrived at Brooklyn Bazaar on Saturday.

In a TMZ video released on Monday, shocked fans thunderously applauded C.K. as he took the stage and offered him a standing ovation.

Had to be there. #skankfestnyc pic.twitter.com/kVHzjOoypR

— Luis J. Gomez (@luisjgomez) June 23, 2019

C.K. wasn't billed to perform during the festival, but festival promoter Luis J. Gomez told TMZ he worked for months to get the Louie star to perform. He said he managed to convince C.K. at the very last minute.

C.K. told jokes for about 20 minutes before SNL cast member Michel Che took to the stage. C.K. reportedly made jokes about masturbation and mocked the scandal that nearly ended his career.

The comedian and actor was at the epicenter of a sexual harassment scandal during the height of the #MeToo movement in 2017, during which hundreds of women accused Hollywood power players like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Les Moonves and several others of sexual misconduct. A New York Times bombshell, released on November 9, 2017, included the accounts of five women, including fellow comedians, who claimed 51-year-old C.K. exposed himself and masturbated in front of them.

C.K. confessed to the explicit acts in an open letter the following day. "These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my d**k 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 d**k isn't a question. It's a predicament for them," he wrote.

He continued: "The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have been remorseful of my actions. And I've tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I'm aware of the extent of the impact of my actions."

Nine months following the debacle, C.K. made his first quite return to the stage with a surprise performance at the Comedy Cellar in New York in August 2018. He performed a second time at the same venue that year in October.

Despite the praise he seemed to garner during his set on Saturday, his comedy comeback wasn't so welcomed on social media. See a few reactions to his surprise performance below.

we’re like 3 months away from someone announcing a pilot of louis ck’s being greenlit

— Novembitch Li'l 🌳 listen to @onbeliefpod (@karengeier) June 24, 2019

If Louis CK had jerked off in front of someone without consent, then realized what he had done was shitty, attempted to make amends, and — and this is key — never done it again, I wouldn't have a problem with him!

— Lux “Ethereal Bisexual” Alptraum (@LuxAlptraum) June 24, 2019

Louis CK is a remorseless charlatan. Sorry, but I don't know of another way to put it. https://t.co/q0fdJAi8y9 . (via @SopanDeb)

— Alexander Nazaryan (@alexnazaryan) June 24, 2019

Some folks are mad that Louis CK got a standing ovation. I get it. But Louis CK, a man with multiple HBO specials and a once thriving career, got a standing ovation at Skankfest. Read that last sentence again. Relax. Then laugh. Relax. Then laugh some more.

— Rae Sanni (@raesanni) June 23, 2019

When Louis CK took the stage at Skankfest yesterday, I started whooping and hollering. I honestly cried a little. What a triumph. "You'll always be safe here," I whispered. I kissed my Louis CK doll on the lips

— steve desiena (@sdesiena) June 23, 2019

Louis CK sucks and I have no idea why his standing in comedy is being relitigated or why he is a hill anyone would die on

— Shannon Strucci (@plentyofalcoves) June 24, 2019

Do people realize there are tons of comedians in the world besides Louis CK

— Melissa Stetten (@MelissaStetten) June 23, 2019

All these standing ovations that Louis CK gets preforming almost makes you believe that the vast majority of people still like him. It's almost like people go see comedy to see....comedy.

— Capt. Jort (@codypiper) June 23, 2019

Like we all know there's a ton of money to be made by starting podcast and saying feminism is caused by autism but we all thought it was easy and immoral and decided not to, right? It just seems easy as hell to become the #1 comedian according to incels lol

— Jeremy Kaplowitz (@jeremysmiles) June 23, 2019