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Disgraced comic Louis C.K.’s tour will stop in Spokane

Aug. 4, 2021 Updated Thu., Aug. 5, 2021 at 8:51 a.m.

Louis C.K. appears onstage at Comedy Central’s “Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs” in 2015.  (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Louis C.K. appears onstage at Comedy Central’s “Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs” in 2015. (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Disgraced comic Louis C.K.’s attempt to rehabilitate his career will make a stop in Spokane this fall, a decision that is facing criticism.

The First Interstate Center for the Arts announced Tuesday that C.K.’s 24-city tour, which starts this month in New York, will include shows at the Spokane theater on Oct. 9 and 10. FICA is operated by the Spokane Public Facilities District.

“Hello Person that you are being right now,” C.K. wrote in an email announcing the tour. “I am writing to you today because I am going to be touring around the United States of America performing stand-up comedy in theaters in several different cities.”

C.K.’s career took a dive in 2017 following revelations of sexual misconduct . C.K., whose real last name is Szekely, confirmed allegations that he had masturbated in front of several women without their consent.

“These stories are true,” C.K. said in a statement in 2017. His response said he asked permission to expose himself before he did.

“It’s disappointing that the First Interstate has booked a man whose behavior is indicative of sex addiction,” said Mariah McKay, founder of the Spokane Independent Metro Business Alliance. “He has exhibited predatory behavior. The First Interstate booking him sends a message to women. Their security doesn’t matter.

“What C.K. did was a threatening action. Women aren’t safe with him. Women left the entertainment industry due to his actions. His failure to take full responsibility is deeply disappointing.”

After the misconduct was revealed, his film “I Love You, Daddy,” which he wrote, directed and acted, was pulled just before its national release. It was uncertain if he would be able to return to the stage in a significant way, especially after revelations about other entertainers like comedian and actor Bill Cosby.

First Interstate for the Arts entertainment director Matt Meyer is looking forward to C.K.’s Spokane debut.

“We don’t condone what he did, but don’t people in America deserve a second chance?” Meyer said. “To compare the two (Bill Cosby and C.K.) is unfair. C.K. is playing New York, Chicago and Boston. He has three dates in Kansas City. We have the opportunity to bring him into a small, intimate setting. Ten years from now, he could be playing arenas again.”

McKay questions why FICA would book C.K. given the wealth of other talented comedians.

“I’m sure he will attract fans here since there is a toxic masculinity in the Pacific Northwest,” McKay said. “Does the First Interstate have to book this guy? … There are so many talented newer acts. Why do they insist on bringing back the same crusty, discredited talent? Let’s move on. Spokane deserves better.”

C.K. became a celebrated comic through his HBO series “Lucky Louie,” as well as the FX series “Louie.” His array of standup specials made the six-time Emmy Award winner a star. C.K. already was a polarizing figure courtesy of his raw, caustic comedy, which often was personal, before the revelations of misconduct.

McKay hopes comedy fans pass on supporting C.K.

“I hope the tickets go unused and rot in the dustbin of history,” McKay said.

The shows, however, will go on.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing your faces as I tell some rather impolite jokes and stories,” C.K. said via statement.

Tickets for C.K.’s shows at the FICA are $32, $52 and $77.

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