Louis C.K. has officially made his stand-up comeback in the months since he performed his first unannounced set at the Comedy Cellar back in August. Over the weekend, leaked audio from a recent set, reportedly at Long Island comedy club Governor’s on December 16, was uploaded to YouTube. It’s the first time a C.K. performance has been available for non-club attendees to listen to since his Cellar drop-in sparked a debate over whether or not clubs should book or ban the disgraced comedian. At one point during the set, C.K. asked the club to adjust the sound on his mic, then followed it up by telling the audience — which received his act warmly and to much applause — “I love it here, I do. [This] fuckin’ place will book me — why would I complain?”
Near the start of the performance, C.K. delivered the previously reported joke about losing $35 million in a day:
So, what kind of year did you guys have? I bet none of you had the same year that I had … You ever have a whole bad year? Ever had an entire year that sucks 365 shit cunt days in a row? I mean fuck … I lost so much fucking money in a day. In one day I lost — I’m not gonna tell you how much, but it was millions and millions of dollars. Millions and millions. Just so you know, it’s at least four, because three is “millions and million.” So it was millions and millions — it was $35 million, I don’t give a fuck, fuck it. I lost $35 million dollars. You don’t tell people you have $35 million dollars, but you can tell them you lost $35 million, because that shit is hilarious.
In another bit that alluded to his sexual misconduct, C.K. delivered another previously reported joke about how, after getting into trouble, black people ended up being his true friends:
You know, people tell you that when you get in trouble you find out who your real friends are. And turns out it’s black people — that’s who you can really count on. But it’s a true thing: When you get in trouble you find out who your real friends are. But people say that like it’s a good thing. That’s not a good thing, that’s a horrible experience! Who the fuck wants to know who your real friends are? I liked having a bunch of fake friends and not knowing who was who. It’s a terrible thing. You’re like “That’s my real friend? Oh fuck. That’s not the one I would’ve picked at all.” “I’m with you!” “Oh, thanks a lot, that’s great. Fuck.”
C.K. went on to allude to the New York Times article about his sexual misconduct that was published in late 2017:
My mom still sends me articles about me like it’s scrapbooking. She’s still like “You’re in the New York Times!” Mom, that’s not a good fucking article. Don’t send me that.
Later in the performance, C.K. delivered some cranky “kids these days” material that also focused on nonbinary pronouns and the survivors of the Parkland shooting:
I’m a little disappointed in the younger generation, honestly. Because I’m 51 years old, and when I was like 18 to my 20s, we were idiots. We were getting high, doing fucking mushrooms and shit, and older people were like, “You gotta get your shit together,” and we were like, “Eh, fuck you!” And I was kind of excited to be in my 50s and see people in their 20s and be like, “They’re crazy! These kids are nuts!” But they’re not. They’re fucking neeeeh. They’re just boring, fucking telling, “You shouldn’t say that!” What are you, an old lady? What the fuck are you doing? “Neeeeh, that’s not appropriate!” Fuck you, you’re a child! … They’re like royalty. They tell you what to call them: “You should address me as ‘they/them’ because I identify as gender-neutral.” Okay. You should address me as “there” because I identify as a location, and the location is your mother’s cunt … They testify in front of Congress, these kids? What the fuck? 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 cause you went to a high school where kids got shot. Why does that mean I have to listen to you? How 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?
C.K. also did an extended bit on the word “retarded,” talked about spending time in France (“I thought I should leave the nation”), and at one point told the audience, “Fuck it. What, are you going take away my birthday? My life is over, I don’t give a shit. You can be offended, it’s okay. You can get mad at me. Anyway. So why do black guys have big dicks? Let’s talk about that for a minute.”
The original upload has been removed from YouTube, but you can listen to a new upload of the nearly hourlong set below while it’s still available:
While the audience in the clip sounds warm and receptive to C.K.’s act, writers and comedians on Twitter have responded differently to the leaked clip: