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Louis C.K. returns to stand-up for first time since admitting to sexual misconduct

Comedian Louis C.K. returns to stand-up comedy for the first time since admitting to sexual misconduct against women in November. (Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Tribeca TV Festival)

Comedian Louis C.K. — whose real name is Louis Szekely — returned to stand-up comedy for the first time since last November, when he admitted to engaging in sexual misconduct with several women.

What's the background?

Last November, the New York Times ran a report revealing five women's stories about the sexual misconduct they purportedly suffered at the hands of the comedian over the years. The women provided accounts of bad behavior — all of them alleging indecent exposure and varying degrees of verbal harassment.

A day after the report emerged, C.K. issued a statement admitting to the crude behaviors brought forth in the women's allegations.

In his confession, C.K. said, "These stories are true. ... I have been remorseful of my actions and I have tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of my actions."

You can read his full statement below.

What's happening now?

A Monday report in the New York Times detailed C.K.'s first post-#MeToo appearance, which he made at New York City's Comedy Cellar around 11 p.m. Sunday night.

The appearance — which was delivered to a sold-out crowd of about 115 people — was unannounced.

According to Noam Dworman, the club's owner, C.K. was "very relaxed" and did an impromptu 15-minute comedy set chock-full of "typical Louis C.K. stuff."

"It sounded like he was trying to work out some new material, almost like any time of the last 10 years he would come in at the beginning of a new act," Dworman said.

Dworman told TheWrap that the comedian didn't address the #MeToo involvement during Sunday's comedy set, which the club owner said surprised him.

"I expect he will have to do that [at some point]," Dworman added.

The club's owner noted that C.K. was welcomed warmly and that the crowd gave the comedian an ovation before he'd even begun his set.

According to Dworman, just one patron phoned the club on Monday in negative response to C.K.'s appearance.

"[The patron said] he wished he had known in advance [about C.K.'s appearance] so he could've decided whether to have been there or not," Dworman explained. Other patrons, however, emailed Dworman to express their appreciation to have been able to see C.K.'s surprise performance.

For his part, Dworman seemed optimistic about welcoming C.K. back into the fray after his #MeToo confession.

"I understand that some people will be upset with me," he said. "I care about my customers very much. Every complaint goes through me like a knife. And I care about doing the right thing."

He added, however, that there "can't be a permanent life sentence on someone who does something wrong," but noted his surprise at C.K.'s in-your-face appearance.

"I didn’t think [C.K.'s reappearance] was going to happen as soon as it did. I had thought that the first time he’d go on would be in a more controlled environment. But he decided to just rip the Band-Aid off," Dworman said.

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