On Sunday, footage of a leaked standup set by C.K. at the Comedy Cellar surfaced on YouTube. In it, he joked about gender identity and victims of the Parkland massacre.
“You’re not interesting because you went to a high school where kids got shot,” he said of the Parkland activists as raucous laughter echoed in the background of the recording. “Why does that mean I have to listen to you? How does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid out of the way, and now I gotta listen to you talking?”
He also took aim at people with pronoun preferences, joking that asking someone to address you a certain way is similar to assuming a royal title.
“They’re like royalty! They tell you what to call them,” he said. “‘You should address me as they/them because I identify as gender neutral.’”
The recording has since been removed from YouTube, but some audio snippets of the set are still on Twitter.
“I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want,” his statement read. “I will now take a step back to listen.”
Now the question arises: listen to whom?
In late August 2018 — less than a year after his apology — C.K. was back at the Comedy Cellar. Based on the leaked footage, he appears to be using his return to the stage as an opportunity to double down on the kind of broad, senseless humour favoured by right-wing provocateurs characterised by being adamantly anti-“politically correct.”