Louis C.K.’s Off-Color Joke in Israel Proves He’s Still Tone Deaf and Problematic

Louis C.K. was one of the biggest comedians in the world for many years, beloved by fans for his particular brand of sarcastic and exasperated humor. When the #MeToo era was in full swing in 2017, Louis C.K. was one of the many entertainers who was busted by accusations of sexual harassment.

For the past several years, he has been lying low and only playing select shows around the world. Still, his recent comedy set in Israel might just prove that Louis C.K. isn’t ready for a comeback.

Keep reading to learn how Louis C.K. became famous, why he was canceled, and what he said in Israel that has people in an uproar.

When did Louis C.K. get started in comedy?

Louis C.K. performs onstage at The New York Comedy Festival.
Louis C.K. | Monica Schipper/Getty Images for New York Comedy Festival

Louis C.K. was born in 1967 and developed an interest in comedy when he was very young. Following his high school graduation, he started working in public access cable television and began directing comedy short films.

Eventually, he turned his interest to the world of standup comedy and started performing in comedy clubs around Boston. Louis C.K. developed a reputation as a fast, funny comedian and even worked with big-name stars like Jerry Seinfeld and Denis Leary.

The comedian took a break from performing to focus on filmmaking for a time, but eventually returned to standup comedy in 2005. From there, it was a quick rise to the top for Louis C.K. and he began to record hugely popular standup specials.

He reached an even wider audience in 2010 with the debut of his FX show Louie. The show won numerous awards and earned C.K. kudos as an actor as well as a writer/comedian. He would go on to appear in several more films over the next few years, including American Hustle and Blue Jasmine.

Louis C.K. has won numerous awards for his work, including six Primetime Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award in 2012. 

Why was Louis C.K. ‘canceled’?

The rumors regarding Louis C.K.’s alleged sexual abuse started as early as 2015 but it wasn’t until late 2017 when the New York Times published a story that featured interviews with five women. All five women claimed that they had been sexually harassed by Louis C.K., providing details of the incidents in vivid detail.

The response was fairly immediate, with an upcoming film of Louis C.K.’s suffering from a canceled premiere and delayed-release and several of the film’s stars refusing to promote the film. In addition, several more women (including several in the entertainment industry) spoke out and relayed their own stories of harassment at the hands of Louis C.K.

As the weeks went on, the comedian was dropped from even more projects and prominent comedians, including Judd Apatow, condemned his behavior. As for the comedian himself, initially, Louis C.K. refused to address the scandal but almost seemed to quietly fade away, out of the spotlight. 

Louis C.K. recently made a disturbing joke

Louis C.K. began making some comedy club appearances in late 2018, over a year after the sexual abuse scandal first surfaced. While some comedians supported his right to continue working in comedy, others thought that he might not have atoned for his actions enough.

Louis C.K. has continued to work, mainly internationally, and is currently in the midst of a worldwide comedy tour. During a Thanksgiving show in Israel, C.K. reportedly made a joke about the Holocaust to the startled crowd.

According to Page Six, C.K. told the audience that he would “rather be in Auschwitz than New York City.” For many, this type of joke serves as proof that C.K. isn’t ready to be accepted by mainstream audiences again. There’s no doubt that he has no intention of watering down his comedy, even after everything that has happened.