Dear Louis C.K., This Is Disappointing

Louis C.K. apparently decided that, after Daniel Tosh has been the subject of harsh criticism for saying it would be funny if a feminist heckler got gang raped at his show, Tosh is in need of his support. “Your show makes me laugh every time I watch it,” he tweeted. “And you have pretty eyes.” Given C.K.’s long record of comedy that’s self-reflective about privilege and smart about gender—though I do think he’s fallen down both comedically and politically in his attacks on Sarah Palin, and his episode of Louie where he goes after a heckler played by Megan Hilty can be jarring—this is particularly disappointing. Given the reaction I, and other folks, have gotten from comedians today, and a rash of unfortunate attempts at humor that have devolved into bashing women, I kind of think women who care about comedy need C.K.’s championing them more than Daniel Tosh does. And I’m feeling less disappointed by not pulling the trigger on tickets to see him live on this tour.


I wanted to pull this from commenter Matt Thompson below, because I think it’s right on. He writes:

Frankly, I find it bewildering that Louis sees it as his duty to salve the possible hurt feelings of big-time comics, usually with television shows on basic cable, every time one of ’em says something dopey out in public and gets criticism from said public. This is similar to me to the whole kerfluffle surround Tracey Morgan in Nashville last year when he went on that homophobic spew. Even though Tosh is apparently bold enough to wish gang-raping on a heckler, he apparently is going to break down into uncontrollable weeping and rending of garments unless someone reminds him that, yes, he is funny and loved.

And the whole “they’re just comedians, so just laugh at the funny man” spiel is such a weak defense. Yes, everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinions, and yes, they’re just comedians, but come on. Should they be immune to all criticisms because of that? Are we, the public, only here to give them adoration, and never a hearty “hey, fuck you, jackass” when we think appropriate? That doesn’t seem like fun at all.

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