Hey, are we still talking about Louis C.K.’s terrible comedy set? Because I have one or two thoughts.

I know I’m a little late to the outrage party about Louis C.K., but I kinda, sorta have a reason. A little behind-the-scenes Foolish Watcher action: I am not at home right now, and knowing that I was going to spend New Year’s Eve day skiing, I wrote yesterday’s post on Sunday night. As soon as I was done writing it, audio of a recent Louis C.K. recent standup set leaked onto the internet in which he makes fun of transgender teens and Parkland shooting victims. I, tired and irritated, chose to not include it on yesterday’s post because I wanted to go to bed and not have to think about this motherfucker’s exhausting bullshit.

In the intervening time, everyone has made their thoughts about C.K.’s set known, including Parkland victims and their families:

Other comedians and comedy writers:

And some people who just had the wrong take altogether:

Let’s address this last tweet first, because Goddammit, David Axelrod, you’re smart enough to know that criticism is NOT censorship. Pointing out that someone said something offensive and saying that you are offended by it, is not the same thing as preventing that person from saying it in the first place. Through criticism the market is deciding, you dum-dum. Louis C.K. is absolutely free to perform at whatever venue will have him, but he’s not entitled to a stage if everyone agrees his comedy is gross and no one wants to pay to hear his offensive comedy stylings. That’s how the market works.

That said, there will always be people willing to pay to hear this new brand of nonsense of Louis C.K.’s, and, in fact, that is what he is doing with this set: making sure that he still has a core audience who will patronize him. He knows he’s lost me — a fan who saw him in the early days in small comedy clubs and later in large auditorium at the height of his popularity — and so he’s pivoting. Instead of taking the time away from the limelight to do some introspection and maybe come up with material that explored the ramifications of his own behavior, he’s decided to do the easier thing: cater to the anti-P.C. crowd, the one group who will still have him without requiring any sort of painful self-examination on his part. Louis C.K. has begun his embrace of the dumb bigots who claim they hate “Hollywood elites,” but are all too gleeful to adopt as one of their own a former figure of the liberal left so they can sneer at the rest of us that we are being too sensitive as to be offended by jokes that punch down on transgender kids and teenagers who witnessed their friends gunned down in front of them, and turned their fury and fear into a brave political movement.

And I think that’s why there is so much talk and emotion being expressed about this set: the criticism is the eulogy of Louis C.K. by his former admirers. This outcry is the acknowledgment that the man who publicly appeared on stage as a feminist ally really was, in fact, the monster who was privately abusing several women, and — more importantly — the collective acceptance that he can’t be redeemed, that he can’t be saved because he refuses to save himself. It’s a loss, but a loss that is better understood if we accept that Louis C.K. never really was the man we thought he was in the first place.

In Other TV News

Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman will appear in the premiere episode of The Bachelor this season because they are apparently “big fans” of the franchise. I need to figure out some way to get Mullalley to blog this season because she clearly gets it:

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oh wait, why are nick and i in a photo with the new #Bachelor Colton Underwood? because we’re on the m’f’in’ SEASON PREMIERE on Monday, January 7 #8pm PEOPLLLLLLE. it doesn’t matter. did i secretly tell the villainess not to be the villainess, it’s not worth it? I MIGHT HAVE. did she appear in any way affected by my words? SHE DID NOT. look, is Colton, who i didn’t really get before, incredibly tall and godlike in person, like a @prattprattpratt superhero? YES, HE IS. do i now get it? YES, I DO. listen, the main thing is, we’re on it, we got to talk to colton and a bunch of the girls, we got some inside scoop from the producers (🤐), and it’s NOT A BIG DEAL. everybody be cool. @bachelorabc #seasonpremiere #january #7 8pm/7c @coltonunderwood

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Mike Fleiss confirms what everyone already knew: they chose Colton to be The Bachelor because of the whole virgin thing, duh.

An entomologist has named three recently-discovered beetles after Daenerys’ dragons. GOOD FOR HIM.

Here’s why it seems like there are so many series based on podcasts lately, and why you’re likely to see even more.

And this is an interesting piece about the upcoming escalation in the streaming wars. I’ve actually been wondering about this very issue: how many different streaming services are people really going to be willing to pay for? I subscribe to Netflix and Hulu, and receive Amazon Prime because I love free Amazon shipping. But I am not going to be subscribing to DC Universe or Warner Brother’s new services, and those new Star Wars series are really going to have to be something special for me to even consider Disney’s streaming service. As more and more media companies decide they want to hang onto their own content rather than license it to Netflix, will the audiences follow? Anyway.

Andrew Zimmern said some dumb things about Chinese-American food and people were really mad about it. (To his credit, I know what he was trying to get at — I prefer “authentic” Chinese food to chain Chinese food like P.F. Changs, too, but his critics do have a point.)

Weird: a bootlegged film — described as one of the “year’s best horror films” — showed upon Amazon Prime when it was not supposed to. It was taken down, but questions remain how it got posted in the first place.

Kathy Griffin is claiming that Leslie Jones was in talks to co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve special with Anderson Cooper, set to replace Andy Cohen. I mean, maybe? But the Anderson/Andy pairing is kinda iconic now, so I sorta doubt this and think she’s just trying to stir up trouble.

The Iranian TV chief has been fired after neglecting to censor a sex scene in  … ~checks notes~ … a Jackie Chan movie? Do what now?

Get well soon, Jimmy Osmond!

Mark Your Calendars

  • Stranger Things finally has a return date: it comes back on Netflix on July 4.
  • A new Ripley’s Believe it or Not! series is coming to the Travel Channel later this year and Bruce Campbell is going to be the host!

  • Big Little Lies second season will come to HBO in June, maybe, according to Nicole Kidman.


Hector Xtravaganza, Pose consultant and drag ball icon. Ryan Murphy wrote a lovely tribute to his collaborator on Instagram:

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Almost two years ago, I sent Hector Xtravaganza the pilot script for POSE, written by myself, Brad Falchuk and Steven Canals. Hector was a huge influence on the development of the script; in many ways he was the Grandfather of the house scene (and that is how he identified). So many scenes in the script — including the opening Royalty museum heist — were actually inspired from stories he told me, always with a glimmer in his eye. His verdict on the script, which got his seal of approval: "I'm ready. Let's go make magic." And so we did…eight episodes worth. Hector was heavily involved in the creation of those ballroom scenes. Carefully watching, always gently correcting, always enthusiastic. As a director, his direction of ME and what I was doing was invaluable. Along with Sol, Luis, Freddie and other survivors and champions of the 80s ball scene, he wanted — demanded — that the show come correct. The thing that struck me about Hector, always, was his kindness. He was perhaps the greatest SURVIVOR I had ever met. And he had survived so much…the HIV crisis, decades of discrimination, poverty, indifference, violence, time. And he did it with a smile, an uplifted heart and always the hope that things would one day get better for himself and his community. And with POSE, perhaps, things were indeed on the upswing. He loved acting and wanted to do more of it…that door had opened for him. How I wish we had the time to make more of his dreams come true. Like so many hundreds if not thousands of people, I loved him. And I have been honored to know him. He may not be here anymore to walk/judge a runway…but his legacy will strut on for all time. RIP, my friend Hector. How lucky and blessed I was to have met you. You will always be one of my heroes.

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Don Lusk, Animator for Disney and Hanna-Barbera (at 105!)

Don McKay, Actor better known for stage roles

Kader Khan, Bollywood actor


A Series of Unfortunate Events: The third and final season of the dark children’s series is here. Netflix

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo: HERE TO MAKE YOU CLEAN YOUR DAMN HOUSE AND CRY. Season premiere. Netflix

Doctor Who New Year’s Day Special: This is what happens when the Doctor is a lady: no more Christmas specials, only New Year’s Day specials. 7 p.m., BBC America

All of the College Football: blllllaaaaaaaaah 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:45 p.m., ESPN

Rose Bowl Parade: Flowers. 10 a.m., ABC & NBC

Lethal Weapon: Mid-season premiere. 7 p.m., Fox

The Gifted: Mid-season premiere. 8 p.m., Fox

TUES. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Conners
The Kids Are Alright
Splitting Up Together
The Rookie
NCIS: New Orleans
CW The Flash
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
FOX Lethal Weapon
The Gifted
NBC Ellen’s Game of Games
This is Us
New Amsterdam

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