Are you ready for the Louis C.K. come­back tour?

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - Jeff Edel­stein Colum­nist Jeff Edel­stein is a colum­nist for The Tren­to­nian. He can be reached at jedel­stein@ tren­to­, face­book. com/jef­freyedel­stein and @ jeffedel­stein on Twit­ter.

I can prac­ti­cally write the open­ing to Louis C.K.’s first time back on stage, which I’m pre­dict­ing will hap­pen around Septem­ber of 2019.

“So, as it turns out, I’m a real f ****** a ****** ,” he’ll start to ner­vous laugh­ter.

And due to his comic tim­ing, bril­liant writ­ing, and bru­tal hon­esty, by the time the cred­its roll on his all-pro­ceeds-go-to-char­ity, In­ter­net-only show, he will have made a suc­cess­ful re­turn to the world of com­edy.

Don’t be­lieve me? Well know this: Mike Tyson cur­rently has his own cartoon. He also had a suc­cess­ful one-man show on Broad­way. He wrote a New York Times best­selling book. He por­trayed him­self in “The Hang­over.”

Please note Tyson did all of these things af­ter serv­ing three years for rape. Ac­tual, hon­est-to-goodness, rape.

My point here? We have a ten­dency as Amer­i­cans to for­give and for­get. I’m not judg­ing this part of the Amer­i­can psy­che, but it is cer­tainly present. And for some­one like Louis C.K., I’m pretty sure we’re go­ing to go that route.

I know it’s raw, I know it’s still early in the game, but I’m telling you: Louis C.K., along with other high-pro­file Hol­ly­wood scum­bags like Kevin Spacey, are go­ing to get another chance if we’re suf­fi­ciently en­ter­tained by them.

It’s al­ways been this way. Michael Jack­son was ac­cused of some pretty hor­ri­ble things, and he’s prac­ti­cally a de­ity in death. John Len­non beat the crap out of women. Woody Allen is still mak­ing movies. The list goes on.

Heck, and if we let the list seep into our other form of en­ter­tain­ment — pol­i­tics — the list keeps go­ing. But be­cause we ac­tu­ally vote on these peo­ple, the “for­give and for­get” thing hap­pens a lot quicker and more de­ci­sively. In fact, we’re liv­ing through it as we speak. Roy Moore, the U.S. Se­nate can­di­date from Alabama, will al­most cer­tainly win his De­cem­ber elec­tion de­spite be­ing ac­cused of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing teenage girls. And while we in New Jersey can smugly say that wouldn’t fly here, al­low me to present to you Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump, the man who has been ac­cused by over 20 women of sex­ual as­sault, the man who is recorded on tape ad­mit­ting to sex­ual as­sault, say­ing things like, “I bet­ter use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kiss­ing her. You know, I’m au­to­mat­i­cally at­tracted to beau­ti­ful — I just start kiss­ing them. It’s like a mag­net. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do any­thing.”

Trump’s ac­cusers and the tape came out be­fore the elec­tion. Didn’t mat­ter. Nearly half of Amer­ica voted for him.

And to­day? Even the most fer­vent Trump haters have moved on from this. (But let’s be real for a mo­ment: If Trump didn’t run for pres­i­dent and con­tin­ued with “The Ap­pren­tice,” the show would be over right now and Trump would be in the same position as Louis C.K. and the rest of the gang. Just another pow­er­ful man brought down by his in­sis­tence that he could treat women like they were part of his per­sonal porno stash.) (And let’s be even more real: Per­haps this mo­ment in time, with all these vic­tims com­ing for­ward, is more a proxy war on the Trump pres­i­dency than any­thing else. Dis­cuss.)

Now here’s the thing: These guys didn’t in­vent sex­u­ally mis­treat­ing women, and they won’t be the last id­iots to do so.

But we will for­give them, even­tu­ally, if they re­ha­bil­i­tate them­selves. Or if they’re suf­fi­ciently tal­ented. Lis­ten: I don’t want to be on the wrong side of his­tory here, but if we for­gave Mike Tyson for forcible rape, we’re go­ing to for­give Louis C.K. for whip­ping out his gig­gle stick in front of women who would’ve pre­ferred he didn’t.

Times change, and we change with them. Hope­fully, this cur­rent round of sex­ual mis­con­duct, sex­ual as­sault, and out­right rape al­le­ga­tions among the rich and fa­mous will force a change. I don’t want any woman — or man — to be made to feel “less than” by those in power.

But to sit in judge­ment of all these peo­ple is short-sighted, if his­tory is any guide. Yes, what they did was wrong. But we for­give and for­get if we so de­sire, and for the life of me, I can’t fig­ure out if this is a great or ter­ri­ble Amer­i­can trait.

We will make the de­ci­sion if these peo­ple work again, and I’m not bet­ting against it.


The New York pre­miere of Louis C.K.’s con­tro­ver­sial new film, “I Love You, Daddy,” has been can­celed amid swirling con­tro­versy over the film and the co­me­dian.

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