On August 5, comedian Louis C.K. joined the lineup for the secreative Dave Chappelle & Friends: An Intimate Socially Distanced Affair (also known as Chappelle's Summer Camp online) in Yellow Springs, Ohio, for an evening of stand up comedy. C.K.'s inclusion in Chapelle's lineup of funnymen caught many by surprise, and according to EW, who spoke to some of the people who attended the event, the controversy surrounding C.K.'s behavior towards women in the past cast a shadow over his stand-up routine.
"It was a mixed-to-positive reaction at the beginning. He was not really on his game and he got some hecklers about halfway through."
While the comedian has attempted to restart his career since the 2017 scandal involving accusations of misconduct leveled against him by women he worked with, it is clear the public has no intention of letting him off easy. According to the source, C.K.'s set at Dave Chappelle's secret showcase was interrupted by a heckler referencing the allegations against the comic.
"[C.K.] was doing "silly, non-distinct" impressions of random people and asked the roughly 250 attendees to give him suggestions. "From the back, some guy was like, 'How about the toilet seat you j****d off on?'" the audience member says. "People were like, 'Oh, crap. That was brutal.' And then he had a pretty good comeback, which was, 'I don't do my best material on these shows.'"
While the response got some laughs, the general tone of C.K.'s material was half-hearted, with the comedian referencing a notebook during his performance, giving the impression that he was practicing his new set on a test audience. Previously, C.K. had released his first standup special since 2017 on his website titled Sincerely Louis C.K.
Naturally, many were surprised to find that C.K. was the secret headliner at Chapelle's post-quarantine show, but the two have long been on friendly terms, and Chappelle introduced the latter as "somebody whose comedy I admired for his whole career" and said "a lot of you will recognize him." Chappelle's sentiments were in line with his previous voicing of support for C.K. last year.
"Louis C.K. was a very good friend of mine before he died in that terrible masturbation accident...He didn't do anything you can call the police for. They ruined this n-'s life, and now he's coming back playing comedy clubs and they're acting like if he's able to do that that's going to hurt women. What the f- is your agenda, ladies?"
Even taking C.K. out of the equation, the evening was fraught with a certain amount of tension, since everyone who attended the event did so at the risk of infection. But Chappelle's team had gone to great lengths to observe the rules of social distancing and safety. Seats were assigned in twos, with everyone sitting 10 feet apart. Temperature checks and Hand sanitizer stations were plentiful, and workers were there to make sure people actually cleaned their hands. The comics took to the stage one at a time, and were separated from the audience by a fence. This story broke at Entertainment Weekly.