Louis C.K. is one of the only new crop of people getting busted I actually sort of liked. But even then, I’ve had a bad feeling about his stuff for a long time (I don’t intend this as an “I told you so” in any way, it’s simply my attempt to process it openly).
I really enjoyed his first, short-lived show. I like raunchy humor, and the stuff about misogyny seemed to involve exposing it more than glorying in it.
But I stopped watching his next show, cold. I can’t remember if it was in the first or second season. What got me was an episode in which he was doing standup comedy and a woman in the audience said he wasn’t funny, and then he reacts by insulting her to her face with this torrent of totally over the top misogynistic invective, and the woman just sort of… takes it. Later, it’s implied by his friends that the woman “like-liked” him, and he might have been able to have sex with her if he’d just stopped insulting her out of his stupid wounded pride over his comedy reputation.
The interaction was all framed fictionally and in a very self-deprecating manner, of course. But the amount of screentime devoted to the insults was disturbingly excessive. It felt dishonest. Like, “This is bad! But let me wallow! Wallow wallow wallow! You, the audience, have permission to enjoy watching me wallow because the jokes not on you, it’s on me (but maybe it isn’t) anyway back to more wallowing!”
It made me feel like shit.
I never watched the show after that. I liked what he said, in general, when it came filtered over talk shows and social media and stuff, but I never watched his comedy again or felt any desire to rewatch it.
I’m really glad his new movie is getting cancelled. From the bare bones, it sounds like the ultimate distillation of everything that disturbed me about that episode.