It’s Official: Louis C.K. Must Be Stopped

It’s Official: Louis C.K. Must Be Stopped

While I’d never heard of Louis C.K. before yesterday and am still unclear as to who he might be, there’s no doubt that his so-called humor inflames me to the point of angina.
Neal Pollack
By

I’m so angry about some jokes Louis C.K. made during an inconsequential 40-minute set at a small Long Island comedy club that I can barely see straight. For 48 hours, I’ve been staggering around the top floor of my family home, searching for my glasses, white-knuckled with rage at the state of contemporary comic entitlement.

While I’d never heard of Louis C.K. before yesterday and am still unclear as to who he might be, there’s no doubt that his so-called humor inflames me to the point of angina. This man, a clear and present danger to society and all who live in it, must be stopped.

For those who say that C.K.’s humor is “edgy,” I say you’ve never seen the edge. I was close personal friends with Lenny Bruce and used to work the Village clubs with him and other comics like Midge Maisel. While Bruce never said anything particularly coherent, he always ranted against the squares and the cops. He punched up, or at least sideways.

Rodney Dangerfield used to actually punch himself in the face at the end of every set. That took courage. Louis C.K., on the other hand, makes fun of teenagers, who don’t deserve mockery. George Carlin once said that he’d never joke about kids because they’re precious angels sent from heaven. How true that is. Unlike C.K., he never joked about Asian men, who have no public platform and can’t possibly defend themselves. I’m outraged!

As for calling people “retarded,” that hasn’t been acceptable for decades, unless you’re talking about Donald Trump. We all have some sort of disability. For instance, I recently suffered a terrifying attack of gout at a Bocuse D’Or event in Barcelona, which left me temporarily unable to digest shellfish. Would Louis C.K. debase me for my swollen feet and mangled colon? Yes, because he’s a heartless b-stard immune to very real human suffering.

When I was coming up in this world, actions had consequences. If you said something offensive or jerked it in front of people, you paid the price, personally, financially, and professionally. But now, apparently, our so-called freedoms include the freedom to say things that are annoying, grumpy, and cluelessly racist in front of a willing audience of cheap goombas in a strip-mall comedy club. Do I want to live in that America? Only if they raise the ceiling on the estate tax to $15 million.

According to the press reports that I haven’t read, the last few years forced Louis C.K. to publicly wrestle with the loss of his professional reputation and personal dignity, of which he always had so much. Nothing shouts high status more than being the overprivileged creator of an experimental sitcom about a horny loser dad.

That’s all gone now, washed away in the biggest penis-related public shaming since Philip Roth published his controversial novel, “Return Of The Masturbating Puppeteer.” C.K. deserves everything that’s happened to him, and I hope it happens to him more.

The only possible path to redemption for Louis C.K. would be a comedy special called “I’m Sorry I Did Everything And I’ll Never Do It Again.” It worked for my old friend and colleague Richard Pryor when he released his special “Yeow! I Set Myself On Fire With Cocaine!” Chris Rock did it too with his famous routine, “I Live Next Door To A Rich White Dentist In New Jersey.”

Louis C.K. must write an acceptable remorseful routine and perform it on national TV in front of a panel of judges that includes Hannah Gadsby, Roxane Gay, Michelle Goldberg, and Simon Cowell, who has his hands in everything. At that point, our healing can begin.

This is 2019, according to the glowing orb on my wrist that keeps me young. We must no longer make fun of black people, or Asian people, or women, or gay people, or white people, or young people, or poor people, or rich people, or people from other countries except Belgium, or Democrats. Humor died when Mel Brooks died. We will never laugh again.

This essay will be included in my forthcoming collection “Respect The Survivors: Heroic Transgendered Heroes and Also Other Heroes In The Age Of Guns.” It will contain no laughs, as mandated by law, but many insights. I encourage Louis C.K., whoever he is, to read my seminal (but semen-free) work, and to understand.

Now, let us not discuss him again. Until the next time we discuss him.

Neal Pollack, The Greatest Living American Writer, is the author of many semi-bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction. He also cohosts the podcast Extra Credit on Audible.com with his teenage son Elijah. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.

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