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Comedian Louis C.K. to perform in Jerusalem in August

The provocative jokester has said he’ll come to Israel to raise money to pay for his self-funded series ‘Horace and Pete’

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Louis C.K. performs at the 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, November 5, 2014, in New York (Brad Barket/Invision/AP)
Louis C.K. performs at the 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, November 5, 2014, in New York (Brad Barket/Invision/AP)

It’s not a joke this time. Comedian Louis C.K. is coming to Israel to perform on Thursday, August 18, at Jerusalem’s Payis Arena.

The tickets, ranging in price from NIS 280 to NIS 730, went on sale at 6 p.m. Monday at the Louis CK website.

The provocative comedian is known for not shying away from any subject, be it sex, religion, pedophilia, politics, incest and other controversial topics. He was a writer for comedian Conan O’Brien and “The Chris Rock Show” (for which he won an Emmy as part of the writing team).

In April, C.K. told radio shock jock Howard Stern that he would come to Israel to perform in a large venue such as a soccer stadium to “get as much money over there as I would here at home.”

According to several recent news pieces about the comedian, he’s broke because “Horace and Pete,” his self-financed TV show, distributed on his own website, has not earned what he expected.

C.K. told Stern that his plan was to spend two million dollars of his own money on the first four episodes before financing the remaining six with profits made from the first episodes.

Will he take on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as he did in a 2015 “Saturday Night Live” routine, when he compared his two daughters to the warring sides? Hard to know.

C.K.’s appearance in Jerusalem is a big deal for the municipality, which built the Payis Arena at a cost $111 million to bring big-name acts to the capital.

The Arena has 11,600 seats, as well as 18 seating galleries and 16 executive boxes, and is “the most advanced, state-of-the-art venue of its kind in the Middle East,” Mayor Nir Barkat said when it opened.

It’s the kind of stadium where, the authorities hoped, even Beyoncé could perform, if the pop star ever came to Israel. (No news on that yet.)

Promoters have said that it’s hard to convince bigger names to come to Jerusalem, where residents have fewer funds for concerts and shows than residents of Tel Aviv.

Clearly Louis C.K. is not worried.

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