Jimmy Kimmel Says ‘Ultimately, the Audience Decides’ on Comedy Comebacks Like Louis C.K.

Jimmy Kimmel. Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for truTV

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel has partnered with Caesars Entertainment to open a new comedy club in Las Vegas next year, but that’s not the most interesting bit of news from his interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote it. Later in the chat, Kimmel was asked about the backlash the Comedy Cellar has received recently for providing a venue for Louis C.K. nearly a year after he admitted to multiple allegations of sexual assault. The two unannounced stand-up sets started with a performance at the end of August which was then followed by another one earlier this week.

“If we get into the business of sanitizing every comedian and doing a thorough background check before they walk through the door, it’s going to be a very empty stage,” Kimmel said on how he might approach a situation like the C.K. controversy at his Vegas club. “I think people tend to focus on the one or two people who walk out of a situation like that. Ultimately, the audience decides whether someone is welcomed back.”

Kimmel was also asked if he plans to put extra thought into making sure his club features diverse lineups. “Comedy is very democratic. The people who are great, rise to the top; the people who are good, rise to the middle; and the people who aren’t good, don’t make it. We want to get a lot of very funny people, and we want to give new comics an opportunity to work,” he said. “I don’t focus on their gender or their skin color. I’d never want a woman to think that the reason she’s booked to be on stage at a club is because she’s a woman. The reason she’ll be booked to be on stage is because she’s funny.”

Kimmel Says ‘Audience Decides’ on Comebacks Like Loius C.K.