Parkland Dad Creates 'Stand-Up' Retort to Louis C.K.'s Mocking of School Shooting Survivors

Manny Oliver's son, Joaquin, died along with 16 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018


The father of a Parkland, Florida, school shooting victim has created a poignant and heartbreaking video retort to comic actor Louis C.K.’s reported mocking of student survivors working to change gun laws after the murders last year of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the two-minute video, Manny Oliver, whose son Joaquin Oliver died in the attack, adopts the familiar pose of a stand-up comic, standing alone at a microphone in the spotlight on a bare stage before an unseen audience. Prior to his brief “performance,” he is shown posting bills that promote the show as “The Murder of Innocent Children Comedy Night.”

“Shooting in a city near you,” the poster says. “It will be a gun barrel of laughs.”

Joaquin Oliver/Instagram

Louis C.K. is not mentioned by name. But Oliver clearly is reacting to reports that, after admitting to sexual misconduct, the comic took a swipe at the teenage survivors during a stand-up set on Dec. 16 at Governor’s Comedy Club in Levittown, New York, calling the teens “boring” and questioning why their opinions matter, according to Variety.

Oliver’s solemn response in the video: “Recently I heard these great lines from a comedian. He said, ‘If you want people to forget that you were [masturbating], just make a joke about kids getting shot.’ ”

He adds, “And I thought, jokes about kids getting shot? I can do that.”

He continues: “You heard the one about the kid that walks into school on Valentine’s Day? Skinny kid, wearing headphones, just dropped off by his dad. And he says ‘I love you’ and gets out of the car, and walks into the school, and then gets shot to death a couple of hours later.”

The comment is followed by the sound of a drum rimshot and cymbal crash.

A rep for Louis C.K. did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.

“You guys ever heard dead baby jokes?” Oliver goes on. “I got a dead baby. His name was Joaquin Oliver, who was going to be 18. But now he’s dead.”

“And that’s not a joke,” he says, before walking in silence off the stage.

The New York Comedy Festival and The Bob Woodruff Foundation Present the 10th Annual Stand Up for Heroes Event
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The video was produced and posted by ChangeThe, which Manny and Patricia Oliver founded in their son’s memory to “empower our next generation so they can fight for their values, have their voices heard, and impact change for their future,” specifically using “urban art and nonviolent creative confrontation to expose the disastrous effects of the mass shooting pandemic.”

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“Joaquin was a dreamer,” Oliver said in a March 2018 interview with Univision TV anchor Jorge Ramos. “He was a fighter. He loved sports, he loved music, and I’m sure that if he had the good fortune of being a survivor, he would be the first one joining the fight led by these young people.”

Louis C.K.’s comments on the Parkland students elicited earlier rebukes.

“Louis C.K, although taking jello shots & eating mushrooms might have been ideal for you when you were 18, that is not the luxury that we have after having to see our friends and classmates in caskets because of preventable gun violence,” Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Kyra Parrow wrote on Twitter.

In an audio recording of his Dec. 16 set, Louis C.K. said, “Testify in front of Congress, these kids, what the f—? What are you doing?,” according to CNN. “‘Cause you went to a high school where kids got shot, why does that mean I have to listen to you? Why does that make you interesting? You didn’t get shot. You pushed some fat kid in the way and now I gotta listen to you talking?”

A YouTube clip of the set has since been deleted.

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