Louis C.K. makes movie comeback as director, producer and therapist. Seriously.

A man in a black sweater and his dog sit behind a desk
Comedian, actor, writer and director Louis C.K. sits for a portrait in his New York City office on Oct. 12, 2017.
(Michael Nagle / For The Times)

Disgraced comedian Louis C.K. continued to sweep his sexual-misconduct scandal under the rug Friday by announcing a new film project that he directed, independently produced and financed.

And, no joke, he plays a therapist in it.

In a Friday email blast reviewed by The Times, the embattled comic shared that he made a feature film called “Fourth of July,” which is set to hit select theaters July 1. It marks his first return to the big screen since being accused of sexual misconduct in 2017 at the height of the #MeToo movement.

Louis C.K. wins a 2022 Grammy Award for his comedy album “Sincerely Louis C.K.,” which he released on his website in April 2020.

The “Louie” star said he also edited and co-wrote the film with comedian Joe List, who stars in “Fourth of July” as Jeff, “a sober, anxious young jazz musician living in Queens, New York.”


List’s character goes to Maine for Fourth of July weekend “with the intention of confronting his hard-drinking, Boston-bred family, so that he can grow past his inhibiting anxiety and start a family of his own with his wife, Beth, who wants to have a baby. Beth is played by Joe’s real wife, the very funny comedian Sarah Tollemache,” C.K. wrote in the newsletter.

“I also act in the movie playing Jeff’s therapist,” C.K. said. The character makes brief appearances in the film’s trailer, which also was released Friday.

The “Baskets” and “Better Things” co-creator said he’ll debut the comedy and hold a live discussion on June 30 when it premieres at the Beacon Theatre in New York. He’ll also hold identical screenings with the cast in Boston and Chicago and solicited fans to “please contact the theater directly and ask for it” if they want the film to play in a theater near them.

“My partner in this movie, Joe List, is a very funny comedian. He has two specials on YouTube,” C.K. said. “We wrote this movie together early last year and shot it at the end of the summer of 2021 in New York City and in Lake George, New York where I also discovered that Joe is an excellent, funny and vulnerable actor.”

“For me, it was fun as all f— to direct and make a film again, and to work with Joe, the excellent crew and the amazing cast: Paula Plum, Robert Walsh, Robert Kelly, Tara Pacheco, Nick Di Paolo, Chris Walsh, Richard O’Rourke, Dorothy Dwyer, Lynne Koplitz, Tony Viveiros, Courtland Jones, Bill Scheft, and Allan Havey.” He also re-teamed with the music crew that worked on FX’s Emmy-winning series “Louie.”

C.K. further elaborates on the project in a director’s statement also posted on his website.

Louis C.K. had booked two shows in Kyiv before Russia invaded Ukraine. But they were canceled ‘because no one can fly there now,’ the comic said Friday.

The comedian has gradually been trying to mount a comeback since being accused of misconduct in 2017 by touring and releasing comedy specials on his website. The scandal itself unfolded in 2017 when a number of women confirmed longstanding rumors of inappropriate behavior. It also resulted in his 2017 feature film “I Love You, Daddy,” which he also directed and produced, being shelved after its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival.

He won a Grammy Award last April for his comedy album “Sincerely Louis C.K.,” his first major award win since the allegations affected his career. “Sincerely” was filmed in early March 2020 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C. — a stop on his comeback tour that began in fall 2019. The tour was set to continue into the late spring of that year before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the delay or cancellation of many live events.