Janeane Garofalo Defends Louis C.K.’s Return to Comedy in Heated Podcast Exchange

Janeane Garofalo stood up for her long-time friend Louis C.K. during a recent podcast interview. The heated discussion took place after C.K. made an appearance at New York’s Comedy Cellar in December. Garofalo believes that the comedian has suffered enough since admitting to sexual misconduct. In November of 2017, C.K. confirmed he’d masturbating in front of women without consent and apologized for his actions, which were well-known in the comedy world for a few years prior to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

During the interview, Janeane Garofalo speaks passionately about Louis C.K., while arguing with her interviewers, at one point even telling them to “leave Louis C.K. alone.” This wasn’t the response that the interviewers were expecting, especially since they were previously talking about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Things get heated pretty quickly with all three women talking over each other. Garofalo had this to say.

“There are so many issues we gotta be motivated on. He’s been my friend, and I stand by that, he’s been my friend since 1985, and I think he has suffered. And when he performs at the Comedy Cellar and people get all irate, if nothing else, care about his daughters… If nothing else, if you can find no compassion for him, which I think you should, think about how his daughters, who hear all of this stuff, feel. Why don’t you leave him alone for them if you’re so women-empowering?”

As for Louis C.K. specifically returning to the stage, Janeane Garofalo said, “If you don’t want to listen to him, get up and leave the room,” which is a valid argument, but the interviewers weren’t having any of what Garofalo had to say about C.K. One of the women says that a man shouldn’t “just whip their d*ck out in front of people because they can.” Garofalo insisted that they didn’t know what it was like to be in the public eye like C.K. She explains.

“You don’t understand what it is like to be a public pariah because it’s not happened to you, you don’t understand what it’s like to have people in the street yell things…”

Again, Janeane Garofalo’s response was not taken lightly by the interviewers who maintain that it was Louis C.K.’s choice to be in the public eye. The women continued to argue back and forth, with Garofalo’s opinion on the matter clearly being the unpopular view, which is just as true on the world stage. Even some of C.K.’s peers have started to criticize the comedian after his controversial new set leaked. In the end, Garofalo says that we might not know all of the facts. She had this to say.

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“Also I don’t think you know the full story. I don’t want to get caught up in this because clearly you take a strong position on this. And it doesn’t win me any friends – it’s like talking about Israel. But I do believe when you’re a friend with someone, and if you think that they have suffered, I don’t believe in kicking a person when they’re down.”

Janeane Garofalo noted that she knew that her stance was unpopular and thinks that she will see some backlash for expressing her views on Louis C.K. and the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Garofalo’s opinion on “questioning the questioners” wasn’t exactly well-received by her interviewers either. That being said, C.K. has definitely made it hard to be a friend, loved one, or even a fan of his. You can listen to the whole interview with Janeane Garofalo over at Bust.