Louis C.K. stirred the pot with his pedophile monologue on Saturday Night Live. Credit: Saturday Night Live
One tweet called it the “unfunniest, most offensive SNL monologue ever.” Another monologue viewer tweeted that her “heart aches for humanity” after watching it. Deadline.com said it was “bound to go down in Saturday Night Live history as either the most infamous one-night-stand in the 40-year-old franchise’s history — or right up there in the pantheon of incendiary, taboo-busting that includes Lenny Bruce, Sarah Silverman, George Carlin and Richard Pryor.”
We’re talking about last month’s monologue from comic Louis C.K. that according to London’s Daily Mail “left Saturday Night Live viewers confused and uncomfortable after a lengthy joke about child molestation.”
Louis himself had this to say when even his live, SNL audience started to squirm and groan: “How do you think I feel? It’s my last show probably.”
At last count, the routine had been viewed by more than 1.6 million people on YouTube and had, not surprisingly, generated a tsunami of tweets — some defending the comedian, others appalled that he had gone too far.
The most offensive part came in the middle of a bit that began with his memories of a French child molester who lived in his neighborhood (Louis C.K.’s Pepe LePew accent is pretty hysterical), and went on to mull the irresistible appeal teenage boys must hold for pedophiles. “There is no worst life left available to a human than being a caught child molester,” Louis observes. “And yet they still do it.”
I won’t spoil it by revealing the phrase that’s caused all the uproar, but the comic delivers it with his trademark verve. His ability to expose the prejudices and uncomfortable musings many of us keep strictly to ourselves, poking fun at our self-inflated sense of political correctness, is what makes his work so fresh, daring and funny, especially coming from a guy who looks the very picture of Dad-next-door normality.
Even Louis breathes a big sigh of relief at the end of the monologue, which started off on the edge before tiptoeing over it. “I’m not racist but I do have mild racism,” he declares early on, before delving into a riff on the ways that white people emit their personal racist observations without ever really questioning it.
In comedy clubs throughout America there are bottom-drawer comics attempting to shock people with slurs, insults and slews of four-letter word rants. Louis C.K. holds a mirror to himself, reflecting it back on all of us.
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