As you may have heard, there’s a bit of a weather event headed towards the Northeast—or, to put it another way, a “monster sandy franken storm Paul Bunyon shitcloud might start throwing trees at babies in Manhattan.” That’s how Hurricane Sandy was described by Louis CK, who was scheduled to do two sold-out shows tonight at New York City Center—shows that he has now, unsurprisingly, decided to cancel. But being Louis CK, he’s managed to turn the cancellation of two big shows into comedy.
Louie’s first email to ticketholders—who bought their seats directly from his site, so he could bypass the gouging fees from Ticketmaster and the like—went out last night. “AS OF NOW the shows are going to go on,” he wrote (and he clearly writes his emails himself; they’re rife with not only his distinctive comic voice, but the occasional spelling and grammar errors). “But I really don’t want you to have to weigh your personal safety against the 45 dollars you paid for the ticket.” So he offered a refund at that time to anyone who didn’t want to brave the streets.
This morning, he sent another email, which also went up on his website. “I thought about this very carefully,” he wrote, “and I really started to worry about making 4300 people come into midtown Manhattan on Sunday night, which is just when the stormatron 5000 is supposed to crush our empire. New York state has ordered the shutdown of all mass transit (subways, buses and commuter trains) as of 7pm Sunday night. I know that a lot of people are excited to come and they are fine with taking the chance but I really don’t want a pole to smash your face in because you saw some comedy.” So the show has been rescheduled for March 2nd, when previous tickets will be honored (“same seat, same everything”); the full refund is still available as well. “I’m eating a pretty staggering fee for cancelling the show,” he explains. “But I can take it. What I can’t take is the thought that there’s a CHANCE 4300 people will be in danger trying to get home from my stupid show.”
Those of us who are missing it can’t help but wonder if this is going to be a retread of the much-hyped, barely-there 2011 hurricane, and he’s aware of that too. “Listen,” he writes. “I know that probably it’s going to be a starry clear night and the trains are going to be just gliding up and down the tracks and a baby zebra is going to whinny as he trots by the City Center on a night that is going to break records for being placid and perfect for a night of comedy. And I’m going to feel like an asshole. And I know that some people had their plans set and are going to be pissed off at me. I know. But I also know that some of you are struggling with whether to come in or miss the show and this is the closest I can get to a solution. You don’t have to take a chance and you don’t have to miss the show. Just come see me in a few months.”
Fair enough. Hats off to Louie for handling a difficult situation with grace and humor. And, to our New York readers, we concur with his send-off: “Please stay safe from the frankenmummystorm.”