Jerry Seinfeld Doesn’t Think It’s Too Soon for Louis C.K. to Come Back

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Jerry Seinfeld Doesn’t Think It’s Too Soon for Louis C.K. to Come Back

Throughout the last few weeks, we’ve watched as Louis C.K. has attempted his own comeback after admitting to sexual misconduct less than a year ago. And as more and more of his colleagues have weighed in, the more it has become apparent how ill-equipped some mainstays of the comedy industry are to deal with it.

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, Jerry Seinfeld discusses the place the industry finds itself in today. Ever the middle-of-the-road guy, Seinfeld surprisingly reveals that he doesn’t think it’s too soon for C.K. to be performing again. But there is a catch:

It’s the way he did it that I think people didn’t like. Some people didn’t like that he’s doing it at all. We know the routine: The person does something wrong. The person’s humiliated. They’re exiled. They suffer, we want them to suffer. We love the tumble, we love the crash and bang of the fall. And then we love the crawl-back. The grovel. Are you going to grovel? How long are you going to grovel? Are you going to cry? Are you going to Jimmy Swaggart? And people, I think, figured they had that coming with Louie — he owes us that. We, the court of public opinion, decided if he’s going to come back, he’d better show a lot of pain. Because he denied them that … If he does it wrong, he’s going to suffer. And that’s his deal.

Though he’s trying to play both sides here, Seinfeld is wrong about why people are mad about C.K.’s return. The issue still remains that C.K. is a man who admitted to sexually harassing five women—women whose careers in comedy were ruined. Should C.K. be given the opportunity to return at all? Shouldn’t these opportunities be given to someone who didn’t admit t0 sexual misconduct?

Naturally, Seinfeld is thinking about this from the entertainer’s point of view, and, possibly from the point of view of someone who dated a 17-year-old when he was 39. And he’s not the only middle aged man ready to accept C.K. back into comedy. According to reports, Chris Rock showed up at one of C.K.’s Comedy Cellar gigs this week. “Chris walked in when Louis was on and left right after. He was laughing at all of his jokes,” a witness told Page Six.

Yes, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld are comedy legends, but their perspective isn’t exactly the important one when it comes to analyzing C.K.’s return. Let’s instead look at another detail from that Page Six report:

Like 10 people walked out. One yelled a slur, something like ‘F - - k you’ or something. He just ignored it. A few more people walked out midway through, [but] they may have been waiting for their check.

Those are the people who matter.

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