Louis C.K., in a scene from his FX series “Louie.” (Eric Leibowitz/FX)

Why? His rep told a CNN reporter Friday, apparently without elaboration, that the comic “just didn’t want to do it anymore.” But by dropping out, he may have sidestepped a fledgling controversy over his gig. Fox News host Greta Van Susteren blogged Thursday that she would urge journalists to boycott the dinner because of C.K.’s “filthy language about women,” and Sarah Palin in particular.

Indeed, Louis C.K., whose morose brand of humor can be both very dark and very blue, was a risky choice for a dinner that frequently hosts the president or vice president and several members of Congress. The RTCA gathering — recently rebranded as the “Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner” — is a popular but somewhat less coveted ticket than the rival White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Entertainers in recent years have been less-famous stand-up comedians, and the hiring of C.K., now riding high with his successful FX sitcom “Louie,” drew more than the usual buzz for the event.

So. . . . who’ll take his place? No word yet. Dinner chairman Jay McMichael of CNN — the first photojournalist to host the event in its 68 years — said in an emailed statement that C.K.’s exit “does not change our plans to provide an unforgettable night for our members and guests” and promised “a great evening. . . with plenty of surprises.”

An expanded version of this blog post, Louis C.K. and the peril of Washington media dinners, appears in print Monday, March 12 and online here.

Read earlier: Whole lotta speeches at Congressional Correspondents’ dinner, 3/31/11

Updated Saturday morning