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Will Louis C.K. release a stand-up special before 2021?

Louis C.K. is a comedian known for his work in stand-up, television, and film. His stand-up comedy is critically acclaimed; in 2017, Rolling Stone listed him as the "#4 best stand-up comic of all time", the highest position they awarded to a living comedian.

Multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct as part of the broader Me Too campaign or "Weinstein effect". In November 2017, he released a statement corroborating the claims, saying that "these stories are true" and that he would "step back and take a long time to listen".

After withdrawing from public life for nine months, in August 2018 he performed an un-billed, 'surprise' stand-up set at New York's Comedy Cellar. In October, he performed at the Comedy Cellar again, but this time his name was advertised outside. And earlier this month, on November 8th, he appeared on stage at a venue in Paris, performing a set that reportedly lasted over an hour.

Although his first public appearance in August was apparently met with a "standing ovation", his surprisingly quick return has earned negative reactions from comedians, audience members and opinion writers alike. In spite of this outcry, C.K. has been steadily raising his public profile. This question asks the following:

Will Louis C.K. release a stand-up comedy special before 2021?

A "stand-up comedy special" is defined here as a piece of recorded media that fulfils the following criteria:

  • Total run time of at least 30 minutes

  • Stand-up comedy – that is, a single comedian performing to a live audience with the primary intention of making them laugh – is performed for at least 1/2 of the total run time (minus credits and intro)

  • At least 3/4 of the stand-up comedy appearing in the piece of media is performed by C.K.

Details: the recording has to be intentionally released by C.K. or his professional representation; the recording has to be accessible to 'laypeople' who don't work in the media industry; it has to be a recording of previously unreleased material; it does not necessarily have to cost money to view; the official release date in at least one jurisdiction has to be before January 1st 2021; and it can be in audio or video format, so a stand-up comedy album will also count as a "special" here. The criteria are intended to exclude "showcases" in which C.K. is one performer of many, documentaries or other formats featuring C.K. in which he performs a small amount of stand-up, re-releases of previous material, recordings in which C.K. opens for another comedian who is the main act, surreptitious recordings of live performances, and leaks or limited releases of specials before 2021 when the official release date is after 31st December 2020.


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