Louis C.K. has a history of delivering controversial Saturday Night Live monologues. In 2015, an extended bit about pedophiles — "From their point of view, it must be amazing, for them to risk so much” — led to an expected backlash on social media.
Having told us how he really feels about “lying sack of shit” Donald Trump during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert earlier this week, there wasn’t much left to say about the 45th president of the United States when C.K. took the stage at Studio 8H for the fourth time.
Instead of going political, C.K. opened on Saturday night with a joke about racist chicken. “Why did the chicken cross the road?” he asked. “Because there is a black guy walking behind him. And he was nervous. He was new to the city, this chicken, and he was like, ‘I feel like he is following me.’ But then he thought if I cross the road, then if he crosses the road, he’s definitely following me. So he crosses the road. And the black guy went home, he's just living his life. And the chicken is like, ‘I’m such a racist.’”
“By the way, this joke is not racist,” C.K. insisted. “Don't be afraid. This is not a racist joke. The chicken was racist.”
After a few more animal-centric jokes, including one about wanting a pet goat so that he could have “a trash can that I can make love to,” C.K. closed out his nearly 10-minute set with a long bit about how he feels entitled to certain things as a white man when he stays in fancy hotels.
He told a story about staying in a hotel and calling the front desk to complain that he hadn’t received his laundry back in less than 24 hours as promised, “like it's in the Constitution that you get your laundry.” When they told him they didn’t have it, he said he “got really mad” and said, “Listen, ma’am, first of all, you can hear in my voice that I’m white.”
“And by the way, I'll defend that right now,” C.K. said as the audience began to groan. “Because look, it's wrong that white people get preferential treatment. It's wrong. But as long as they do, what's going on at this hotel? I'm supposed to get the best because I'm white, which is awful and wrong, but where is it right now?”
As it turned out, after he had gotten the manager on the phone and demanded a “white investigation” into the whereabouts of his laundry, C.K. realized that he never gave the laundry to the hotel in the first place.
And just like that, without actually uttering the words “white privilege,” he explained everything you need to know about it.