Somebody finally used comedy to address the current, most glaring problem in comedy.
After Louis C.K. returned from his roughly nine-month listening tour to tell rape-whistle zingers in front of a captive audience, a lot of women were justifiably upset–including many in the comedy community. As a counterbalance, Fast Company found some male comics speaking out against this too-soon return to the stage, showing their female peers they were not alone in this. Now, Ted Alexandro has gone a step beyond tweeting, devoting six minutes of a recent set to his thoughts on Louis C.K. and Bill Cosby.
“Thanks for clapping until I almost get to the stage,” Alexandro says at the beginning, in a clip he posted online this week. “What, does a guy have to be convicted of sexual assault to get an extended ovation?”
As if it weren’t clear enough to whom he was referring, he makes it explicit next: “What do I have to do, do I have to take my dick out?”
Over the next several minutes, he follows in the footsteps of comedians like Cameron Esposito and Hannah Gadsby in addressing this important cultural moment from the stage. Alexandro’s words carry an extra bit of heft because he is saying them on the very stage that Louis C.K. returned to last month: the Comedy Cellar. This legacy venue is more than just the place C.K. performed that night–it was his home base in Manhattan, and it served as a prominent setting in his FX show, Louie. Telling jokes about his proclivities here is like delivering a sermon about inclusivity at a Klan meeting.
Alexandro thoroughly lambasts our comedy icons who have become known as sexual predators, but perhaps more importantly, he mocks the people who see political correctness as a scourge and worry about the fallout for abusers.
“People go, ‘He’s lost everything, it’s not fair that men should lose everything in a flash,'” Alexandro says near the end of the segment. “And by ‘everything,’ I mean ‘hardly anything,’ and by, ‘in a flash’ I mean, ‘a decade later.'”
The laughs he gets aren’t uproarious but they sound relieved—and the loudest are from women.
A man in the comedy community is finally saying it.
Watch the full clip below.