Here’s How Late Night Hosts Did (and Didn’t) Respond to the Louis C.K. Allegations
The world of comedy is network of people giving each other
jobs, promoting one another’s shows, and then giving each other
more jobs. Louis C.K. has long benefited from this system,
serving as a writer on shows that also employed many men who
ended up as late night hosts, who, in turn, helped him promote
whatever video he was selling for five bucks on his website.
So, how would the men who love Louis respond to the
allegations against him?
The answer is that they mostly didn’t. The clip above from
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is weirdly edited;
close to the very end he address C.K.’s cancelled appearance on
his show Thursday night, but the bit is cut off in the middle,
almost as though to deflect viewers from it. Eventually,
Colbert briefly brings up the accusations that Louis C.K.
forced women to watch him masturbate before turning it into a
joke about Keith Urban:
“For those of you tuning in to see my interview with Louis
C.K. tonight, I have some bad news. Then I have some
really bad news.”
“Louis canceled his appearance here tonight because The
New York Times broke this story today: Five women are
accusing Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct,” Colbert said.
“When reached for comment, Jesus said, ‘La la la la la, I
don’t want to hear about it, I was a big fan.’ Now, these are
disturbing allegations, and it’s just the latest in an
avalanche of allegations against powerful and prominent men:
Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Kevin Spacey.
And a lot of men look at this misbehavior, and they feel,
There’s nothing I can do. Well, last night, one man
stepped up to do it: country music star and soul patch safe
space, Keith Urban.”
According to the Daily Beast, Colbert’s first TV writing
job was on the Dana Carvey Show, where Louis C.K.
served as head writer. That was in 1996, so it’s been almost 30
years of fun for these bros.
On Late Night with Seth Meyers, C.K. was also a
throwaway gag, following comments about the allegations that
Roy Moore instigated sexual relationships with teen girls.
“Politics are so full of perverts and deviants. I’m so glad I
work in comedy,” says Meyers, before seeing an image of the
New York Times exposé and yelling, “Damn!”
Trevor Noah was far more explicit on The Daily Show,
following a story about how Facebook wants our nudes by saying,
“I thought this would be the most pervy story I’d see today.
And then Louis C.K. said, ‘Hold my penis.’”
“At this point, we’re going to need a new Oscar category this
year: best actor whose movies we can’t watch anymore. And you
know, in fact, at this point, now that I think about it, all
the women in Hollywood should win double Oscars for acting
like all the men were cool all along. Every single one of
them. This sh*t is insane.
“Like, it’s getting to the point whenever I see a beloved
celebrity’s name trending on Twitter I’m like, ‘Oh, please
tell me they’re dead. Please tell me they’re dead… Ah, damn
The Opposition with Jordan Klepper also addressed the
issue head on, folding Louis C.K.’s story in with Roy Moore.
Klepper references C.K.’s film
I Love You, Daddy and the reasonable
demand that we separate a man from his creations:
“Good lord. It’s a confusing time—so we should return to what
we know: good old-fashioned phrases people say when sexual
assault allegations arise. Phrases like, ‘You should separate
the man from the art.’ So please. When you are watching Louis
C.K.’s movie I Love You, Daddy, a film about an old
man dating an underage woman featuring a serial masturbator,
please. Don’t think of Louis C.K.’s accusers.”
Neither Jimmy Kimmel nor James Corden mentioned the breaking
news story. Neither did Conan O’Brien during his taping at the
according to the Daily Beast. Jimmy Fallon is currently in
following the death of his mother.
If we’ve learned anything in the weeks since the Harvey
Weinstein scandal broke, it’s that these stories aren’t going
away. In fact, it seems like there’s a never ending stream of
them coming from every aspect of our culture! Late night hosts
are never hesitant to drag the people they hate over the coals
when damning allegations make their way into the news cycle;
now it’s time for these guys to figure out how to also call out