Louis C.K., the comic whose career came to an abrupt halt five years ago after allegations of sexual misconduct, will play two shows in San Francisco in the first week of the new year. On Wednesday, Jan. 4, C.K. will play San Francisco’s Masonic Auditorium, and the following night, he will perform at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Both venues have a capacity of slightly more than 3,000.
Both shows have sold out, although a quick search of StubHub and other online platforms shows that resale tickets for the Paramount show start at $162, while a seat at the Masonic will set you back at least $192.
C.K. had built a career as an everyman, telling long, folksy stories that addressed social issues and skewered hypocrisy in a glancing, approachable way. After parlaying his success into Louie, a five-season FX show about a fictional doppelganger, C.K. was set to release his directorial debut, I Love You, Daddy.
But reports about his sexual misconduct accumulated, including from female comics like Tig Notaro and the ever-controversial Roseanne Barr. In 2017, around the peak of the #MeToo movement, The New York Times revealed that C.K. had exposed himself to several women in locked rooms. These allegations, he later admitted, were true.
I Love You, Daddy was pulled from distribution, and C.K. experienced a significant career setback. He resumed touring in 2019. His 2020 comedy special, Sincerely Louis C.K., was nominated for a Grammy.
C.K.’s two Bay Area dates, in a region known for its progressivism, may also demonstrate how so-called cancel culture is not absolute. Fellow comic Dave Chappelle, for instance, is known to flaunt his alleged cancellation as a way of eliciting roars of approval from his enormous fan base.
During a recent show at San Francisco’s Chase Center, Chappelle even poked fun at online cancel culture—capping off the evening by inviting Twitter CEO Elon Musk onstage, a move that earned a chorus of boos.
Astrid Kane can be reached at email@example.com