Louis CK is determined to stay on brand, continuing a surprise comeback tour in which he forces unwitting audience members to watch him perform. The disgraced comedian, who admitted to masturbating in front of numerous women without their consent, recently surprised another crowd at the Comedy Cellar in New York. But one courageous woman was not having it: During a quiet moment in the set, she took the opportunity to heckle CK. According to her tweet about the incident, the woman and her boyfriend were asked to leave by a staff member. The Cut caught up with this local hero to get the full story, and like any good badass, she has no regrets.
As she tells it, when the Comedy Cellar announced that Louis CK would be performing a surprise set, Klaire Randall thought “it had to be a joke.” Randall says she didn’t know too much about CK, though she was familiar with the allegations against the comedian and had read his non-apology. “I just knew it generally all seemed skeezy, and that it’s wrong for anyone who uses their power to make women feel uncomfortable,” Randall says.
She went on to explain that she was in the front row, facing the stage and near the piano. As CK walked out, Randall says she proceeded to give him the finger, “but I don’t think he noticed.” Unfortunately, she and her boyfriend were seated in an area where it wasn’t easy to leave–a concern that has been raised repeatedly in stories about CK’s surprise sets. Randall explains that her discomfort was compounded by CK’s material and the audience’s reaction to it:
Meanwhile people thought his set was hilarious, laughing and cheering throughout the whole thing. His jokes started out like “my life is hard now, I had a bad year, feel bad for me.” There was nothing like “hey I ruined my own life by masturbating in front of women.”
Randall felt moved to do something about the situation. “I just knew in my heart that I couldn’t sit there and be complacent throughout this set,” she says before explaining what happened next:
Ten minutes or so in there was a little bit of a break, and he walked over toward the piano near where I was sitting to look at his notes. And in that moment I just yelled “get your dick out.” I wasn’t thinking at the time that it would become news, I wasn’t trying to make him mad or get laughs from the audience, I just knew that I could not sit in that room and let him think he had an uninterrupted stage. I’d had one Yuengling, It was my first drink of the night so it definitely wasn’t liquid courage, and I’m definitely not someone who would be known for heckling.
He looked shell-shocked. He looked directly at me, full eye contact and said ‘WHAT!?’ I repeat myself like, “get your fucking dick out.” At that point, the crowd was jeering, there were a few boos coming from a few people. And before I knew it, a Cellar staff member came over at our table and put a hand on my boyfriend’s shoulder. He said “you can’t heckle the comedians,” and motioned toward the door. We already wanted to leave, so were happy to stand up and walk out on our own.
“All I could think at the time was that I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I had this opportunity to publicly call out an abuser to his face and I just quietly sat there,” Randall says. “I was just thinking about every woman I know who has been sexually assaulted, sexually harassed or bullied,” and although she did something that required serious guts, Randall doesn’t seem to consider herself much of a hero. She says “The real heroes are all the women who are brave enough to come forward about allegations and take sexual abusers down.”
Someone buy this woman a drink.