Entertainment

Owner speaks out on this week’s Louis C.K. Raleigh Improv show

Louis C.K. in an August 2017 file photo taken during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Louis C.K. in an August 2017 file photo taken during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

In the current world of comedy club bookings, it doesn’t get much more controversial than Louis C.K.

And yet, here he comes.

The comedian, actor and writer who lost his FX series “Louie” after sexual misconduct allegations from five women were revealed in November 2017, is booked at Raleigh Improv on Wednesday. The owner of the club said in an email on Monday, “we don’t censor artists.”

The critically acclaimed TV show “Louie” was created and written by and starred C.K., who also saw his stand-up career fizzle after the allegations were made public. C.K. admitted that the allegations were true.

C.K. kept a low profile until last year, when he performed an unannounced show in August at New York’s Comedy Cellar. Then last month, C.K. drew criticism after he was recorded at a Long Island comedy club making jokes about his own sexual misconduct and mocking Parkland high school students. During the same set, Vulture reported that he made racist jokes about Asian men and did an extended bit on the word “retarded.”

Requests from The News & Observer for comments about C.K.’s Raleigh Improv booking were directed to a public relations firm in Los Angeles. Improv Comedy Clubs provided a statement:

“We see comedy as the final frontier and we don’t censor artists. We trust that our audiences can decide for themselves what their limits are. We understand that not everyone will agree with our decision and we respect their right to protest. We also respect Louis CK’s right to perform.”

Tickets to the Raleigh Improv show are listed at $35-$85.

Raleigh Improv, which is actually located in Cary, is part of a chain of Improv comedy clubs across the country owned and operated by a company called Levity Live. According to its website, Levity Live owns seven Improv clubs, including the one in Cary.

The original Improv was founded by Budd Friedmann in New York in 1963.

Other comedians coming up on the Raleigh Improv schedule include Arsenio Hall, Gilbert Gottfried, Rita Rudner and Tracy Morgan.

Brooke Cain is a North Carolina native who has worked at The News & Observer for more than 20 years. She writes about TV and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and answers CuriousNC questions for readers.

  Comments