Louis C.K. First Photos from Comeback Gig ... Hit the 'Burbs Before NYC

8/31/2018 1:00 AM PDT

Photos from Louis C.K.'s First Actual Stand-Up Set in NYC Suburb

EXCLUSIVE

Before Louis C.K. shocked an NYC audience with his return to stand-up, he warmed up off the beaten path by crashing a Long Island comedy club where he got a standing O ... and TMZ got photos from the gig.

The disgraced comedian hit the stage last Sunday at Governor’s of Levittown out on Long Island. Club owner James Dolce tells us Louis did about 10 to 15 minutes of material ... but no one, including Dolce, had any clue C.K. was dropping in for the set.

In the photos from the Governor's gig, you can see Louis whipped a notepad out of his pocket ... clearly refreshing himself on the new material he was trying out that night.

This set came just a few hours before Louis drove into NYC to surprise the crowd at the famed Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. While there's been much debate about whether it's too soon for him to return after admitting to sexual misconduct last November -- Dolce says it was clear how the audience felt at his club. 

They loved it. Some fans even waited for photos after the show, but Louis had bolted for the Big Apple.

Dolce says he feels like Louis has paid his price, and deserves a 2nd chance ... adding he's welcome back at any of his clubs. Some comedians agree with that sentiment ... while others simply do not