On Monday night's episode of The Daily Show, Louis C.K addressed the internet frenzy surrounding Daniel Tosh's rape joke at the Laugh Factory on July 6th. Based on a Twitter message that he later clarified, numerous reports claimed that C.K publicly endorsed the Tosh.0 host's controversial comments to a female audience member.
According to the woman's blog, Tosh contended that rape jokes are always funny, leading her to exclaim, rape is never funny.
Wouldn't it be funny if that girl got raped by like, five guys right now? Tosh allegedly responded. Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her?
Defending his tweet @danieltosh your show makes me laugh every time I watch it. And you have pretty eyes, C.K. insisted it was merely a comedian to comedian shout out. Unaware of the controversy that was brewing on the internet, C.K. was falsely believed to be rushing to Tosh's defense.
I was on vacation in Vermont, watching TV in a hotel room and Daniel Tosh's show, Tosh.0, comes on and it's making me laugh, it's a funny show...so I wrote a tweet, said the Louie star.
Two days later, I come home and read these bloggers and Hollywood reporters [saying] 'Louis C.K. Defends Daniel Tosh Amid Rape Joke Controversy.' I had no idea. He got in trouble for making some jokes about rape and I didn't know about it. So I'm a defender of rape, that's what everybody says now...I've been called a rape apologist cause I said hi to a guy.
But C.K.'s hands might not be as clean as he would have us believe - as the comedian himself has incorporated rape humor into his act. In his 2007 stand-up routine, Shameless, he joked that his he had a time machine he would go back and rape Hitler so that the dictator would suffer from low self-esteem and fail at conquering other counties.
I'm not condoning rape, obviously-you should never rape anyone, he continued. Unless you have a reason, like if you want to f--k somebody and they won't let you. In which case-what other option do you have?
In his 2008 special Chewed Up he talked about a woman being disappointed that he wasn't more sexually aggressive.
You think I'm just gonna rape you on the off chance that hopefully you're into that sh-t? Oooh, I'm getting kind of a rapey vibe from this girl, I don't know. I suspect she might enjoy being raped, maybe that's her thing. I don't wanna ask first and ruin it so I'm just gonna take a shot and rape her, what the hell? What's the worst that could happen after all?
In How To Make A Rape Joke, Jezebel's Lindsay West explains that C.K's joke is far less offensive then Tosh's comments.
Louis CK has spent 20 years making it very publicly clear that he is on the side of making things better, writes West. The oppressors never win at the end of his jokes. That's why it's easy to give him the benefit of the doubt that this joke is making fun of rapists-specifically the absurd and horrific sense of entitlement that accompanies taking over someone else's body like you're hungry and it's a delicious hoagie.