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Disgraced comedian Louis C.K. is coming to Tampa

Reports of sexual misconduct derailed his career in 2017. His comeback attempt is bringing him to Tampa, with six shows set at Side Splitters Comedy Club.
In this 2017 photo, comedian Louis C.K. speaks during the FX Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Reports of sexual misconduct derailed his career that year, and now he's attempting a comeback, which includes booking shows in Tampa this coming week. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File
In this 2017 photo, comedian Louis C.K. speaks during the FX Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Reports of sexual misconduct derailed his career that year, and now he's attempting a comeback, which includes booking shows in Tampa this coming week. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File
Published Feb. 5, 2019

TAMPA — Louis C.K. is trying to re-start his career, and his next stop will be in the Tampa Bay area.

The controversial comic, who recently returned to live performances after a sexual misconduct scandal brought his career to a halt, has been booked for six shows this week at Side Splitters Comedy Club. He'll perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 9. Tickets are $30 and up.

In 2017, the New York Times reported the stories of five women who alleged C.K. had for years engaged in sexual misconduct, including masturbating in their presence. C.K. has admitted the stories were true.

In August, C.K. began making surprise appearances in comedy clubs, and shortly thereafter began selling tickets to billed performances around the country. Those, too, have not been controversy-free; leaked audio of a recent show featured instances of C.K. mocking the student survivors of last year's Parkland shooting.

RELATED: Parkland students to Louis C.K.: You used to be funny

In January, Side Splitters owner Brian Thompson told the culture website Vulture that he would have no problem bringing C.K. into his club because he "is going to sell tickets."

"Booking somebody doesn't necessarily mean you're condoning things they may have done or been accused of," Thompson told Vulture. "I believe in second chances and like to be open-minded about things. Certainly if I was one of the alleged victims I would hate to see his name on things. I'd hate to see him on TV and all. But the reality is he is a business, and if he still sells tickets, people will still book him."

The shows in Tampa will be entirely cell phone-free; fans will be required to deposit them in locked bags for the duration of the performance.

Contact Jay Cridlin at cridlin@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

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