Janeane Garofalo defended her longtime friend Louis C.K. during an intense podcast conversation with feminist magazine Bust. “If you don’t want to listen to him, get up and leave the room,” Garofalo says at one point in the Poptarts podcast. “You are acting like Mussolini has walked into the room, and it is not. This is a human being.”
The hourlong conversation, recorded shortly after on of C.K.’s first comeback appearances in December at New York’s Comedy Cellar, starts friendly enough (listen below), with hosts Emily Rems and Callie Watts discussing various topics with Garofalo, including the latter’s professed asexuality and her first marriage.
Garofalo began to disagree with the co-hosts over the “empowerment” of women in porn — the comic wasn’t buying it — but the interview got more passionate after the topic turned to #MeToo and Garofalo’s insistence on “questioning the questioners.”
Then one of the co-hosts brought up C.K., and things really took a turn. Garofalo said, “Leave Louis C.K. alone.”
“There are so many issues we gotta be motivated on,” Garofalo said at one point. “He’s been my friend, and I stand by that, he’s been my friend since 1985, and I think he has suffered. And when he performs at the Comedy Cellar and people get all irate, if nothing else, care about his daughters…If nothing else, if you can find no compassion for him, which I think you should, think about how his daughters, who hear all of this stuff, feel. Why don’t you leave him alone for them if you’re so women-empowering?”
The co-hosts weren’t buying that, and, as one said, men shouldn’t “just whip their dick out in front of people because they can…When I’m in a room and you have a bigger position than me, you don’t just get to wag your dick at me because you can.”
Responded Garofalo, “You don’t understand what it is like to be a public pariah because it’s not happened to you, you don’t understand what it’s like to have people in the street yell things…”
“He chose to be a public person, and he chose to take advantage of that,” said one of the co-hosts.
“Also I don’t think you know the full story,” Garofalo said before noting, “I don’t want to get caught up in this because clearly you take a strong position on this. And it doesn’t win me any friends – it’s like talking about Israel. But I do believe when you’re a friend with someone, and if you think that they have suffered, I don’t believe in kicking a person when they’re down.”
When one of the co-hosts — as with any intense conversation, there was some overtalk — suggested “you can still be friends with someone” and acknowledge their wrongdoings, Garofalo snapped, “Did I say I didn’t acknowledge what they did?”
Garolfalo and the hosts found some points of agreement — including that C.K., who admitted to the sexual misconduct accusations of five women who said he masturbated in front of them — shouldn’t be lumped into the same category as accused rapist Harvey Weinstein.
And while the conversation returned to a friendly tone, it clearly was not an easy one for Garofalo, who said her stomach “started turning over” when the co-hosts brought up C.K. “The amount of vitriol that’s going to come back to me about this, it’s going to be painful.”
Listen to the podcast here.