There's a new Jerry Seinfeld interview out, and for anyone interested in hearing a comedy icon's thoughts on the evolution of stand-up, it's an incredible read. In addition to bits about enlightening Chris Rock conversations and the central art of his work, Seinfeld was asked about the recent stand-up return of Louis C.K.
C.K. said "these stories are true" last November following the publication of a New York Times article detailing years of sexual misconduct, including masturbating in front of women. "The power I had over these women is that they admired me," C.K. said in his statement at the time. "And I wielded that power irresponsibly."
Asked by the Times Friday if it was too soon for C.K. to be back doing stand-up, Seinfeld said:
No. It’s the way he did it that I think people didn’t like. Some people didn’t like that he’s doing it at all. We know the routine: The person does something wrong. The person’s humiliated. They’re exiled. They suffer, we want them to suffer. We love the tumble, we love the crash and bang of the fall. And then we love the crawl-back. The grovel. Are you going to grovel? How long are you going to grovel? Are you going to cry? Are you going to Jimmy Swaggart? And people, I think, figured they had that coming with Louie — he owes us that. We, the court of public opinion, decided if he’s going to come back, he’d better show a lot of pain. Because he denied them that.
Later, Seinfeld said he "can't say" what C.K. should do. "You do whatever you want," he said. "If he does it wrong, he's going to suffer. And that's his deal." Asked if he personally had any objection to C.K.'s return, he said "the laws of comedy" are being made up as they go along. "Somebody said it's the first time that someone has misbehaved where all people ask about is, 'How's the perpetrator?' How's he doing?' They don’t ask, 'How's the victim?'" he said, also mentioning Sarah Silverman's recent comments on C.K.
Seinfeld also spoke on Roseanne Barr getting canned by ABC, Cosby, the mastery of the late Bernie Mac, social media ("I think, mostly, about the victims of these things, they've got so much more of a platform now than, say, five years ago. That’s all great."), and much more. Read the full thing here.