Louis C.K. makes surprise stop in Saugus on Saturday, addresses allegations
Comedian Louis C.K. performed at a Saugus comedy club Saturday night, his first apparent set in the Boston area since he was accused of sexual misconduct last year, the club’s owner said.
Mike Clarke, the owner of Giggles Comedy Club, told the Globe Sunday that the comedian’s act was unscheduled. Louis C.K., who is from Newton, started his set by briefly addressing the misconduct, asking the audience how their year was going before acknowledging that his has been fraught, Clarke said.
In November 2017, the comedian admitted to allegations of sexual misconduct made by several women, after their accounts of him masturbating in front of them were published by The New York Times. The revelations led to FX Networks ending their association with him, and the canceled release of the comedian’s film, “I Love You, Daddy,” which he wrote and directed.
Clarke told the Globe on Sunday that Louis C.K. “was just in town visiting his family and called me.” He added that the comedian “was well received” by the nearly sold-out crowd, which had gathered to see headliner Lenny Clarke, who is also the club owner’s brother.
Mike Clarke said no customers heckled Louis C.K., and no one walked out during his act.
“I have to admit, I was a little cautious,” Clarke said, adding that he asked the comedians scheduled to perform if they were OK with the idea.
Christine Hurley, who took the stage after Louis C.K. Saturday night, said she supported his victims, but wasn’t necessarily opposed to performing after him: “I mean, that’s my job,” she said in a phone interview Sunday evening.
“I don’t agree with what he did, but I am not a political person,” she said.
Introduced by Lenny Clarke, Louis C.K. took the stage at Giggles at approximately 10 p.m., the club owner said, and performed for 15 to 20 minutes, mixing in new jokes as well as familiar material. Mike Clarke declined to comment on specific details about the jokes, out of respect to the comedian, he said.
“He’s a good friend, he’s a good guy, and I believe people deserve second chances,” he said. “He did a great job last night.”
Hurley said she has performed with the comedian in the past and that he has always been respectful to her.
“Maybe he should take some more time, but I am not the judge of that. All I know is how he is to me,” she said. “I know he feels terrible.”
Louis C.K., who had a notebook when he performed, was gracious and humble, and his jokes were “very well written,” Hurley said.
“It was regular Louis . . . definitely didn’t play it safe,” she said. “Some [jokes] missed.” When that happened, he would acknowledge it by saying, “Well, that wasn’t very good,” before moving on, she said.
“Some bits were funny,” she said, but he also “struggled with a few.”
Hurley did not elaborate on the topics Louis C.K. discussed.
She also described the crowd as “very polite” toward him, and noted that “he didn’t get a standing ovation.”
“I think he deserves some redemption, but he has to work for it, and he has been,” she said.
Meanwhile, rumors of Louis C.K. performing at The Comedy Studio in Somerville on Sunday night had also bounced around social media. But Rick Jenkins, the club’s owner, said late Sunday afternoon that he had not been in touch with Louis C.K.
When asked if he would let Louis C.K. perform if the comedian showed up unannounced Sunday night, Jenkins said he did not know.
“We haven’t had any contact with him as of now,” Jenkins said.
There were no tour dates listed on Louis C.K.’s website as of early Sunday evening.
Globe correspondent Elise Takahama contributed to this report. Alejandro Serrano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.