Indian American model and author Padma Lakshmi put on a comedy show to benefit the Voter Movement Project Oct. 24. And she mercilessly took down comedian Louis C.K. through it.
The show, “Padma Puts on a Comedy Show,” which she organized at Brooklyn, New York’s The Bell House, featured – as per her tweet – “comedians who are *not* Louis C.K.” Those comedians included Michelle Wolf, Roy Wood, Jr., Jo Firestone, Patti Harrison, Ziwe Fumudoh, Catherine Cohen, Larry Owens, Pat Regan, with hosts Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang.
Lakshmi, according to Vulture, opened the night with: “I’ll make this brief: F**k Louis C.K.”
Elaborating on her use of that one-liner, she later told Vulture; “To be honest, I just couldn’t think of any other jokes. It was that lame. I thought, ‘I’ll just say the same jokes that are short, and just warm (the audience) up for 30 seconds and then say thank you and get off. But maybe I’ll just use that little bit to say thank you, and just pivot and say, if it wasn’t for my ire about what happened, I would’ve never had this show tonight.’”
The thing that annoyed her the most about this particular case, she told Vulture, was that “he tried to stifle and bury the careers of various female comedians who called him out on his s**t.”
“And it’s just like, it’s so hard as a woman, as an actor, as a director, as a comedian, as a writer, to even get noticed. And then to have the courage and bravery to speak the truth, and be slapped down and punished for it in such a cruel way, really spoke to me,” Lakshmi continued.
“From where I stand, I know a lot of women who need jobs. I know a lot of queer people who are funny as hell. I know a lot of people of color who would make fantastic romantic leads,” she added.
The idea for the comedy night was born after C.K. – accused of sexual misconduct by several women – made a comeback to comedy with a surprise set at the Comedy Cellar in New York. Back in August, the “Top Chef” retweeted Kathy Griffin’s post in which the comedian wrote: “You know how many talented women and POC comics are knocking on doors trying to get some time in front of audiences or powerful people in this business? And Louis just gets to glide back in on his own terms?” Lakshmi responded by writing: “THIS. Why don’t we give our attention to people who are actually funny.” She also tagged a few comedians whom she loves.