Around the time Louis C.K. started selling his latest comedy special direct to fans as a download from his website, I figured I’d write something about it. I’ve always loved new models for people selling stuff. The last couple years are full of examples of entertainers, writers, media peeps, musicians, etc, creating their own platforms and distribution channels. Usually this results in a closer connection with fans, more advocacy for their work, and a lack of getting fucked with by established platforms and channels like record labels. So obviously this experiment by Louis would get a note here. And then day after day there were new links/points I wanted to include and it became a bigger thing and then I got sick and well, whatever. Here’s your Louis post. (Louis’s website doesn’t have permalinks on the news updates, so this is a bit tricky, but there are only 2 updates, so it’s not that tricky.
So the experiment worked. In about 12 days, Louis C.K. – Live at the Beacon Theater, has sold 200,000 copies and Louis has a million dollars. One of the compelling things about this whole thing is the transparency with which Louis is going about it. He feels a responsibility to the 200K people who gave him $5 to explain where the money is going: $250K is going toward the cost of the special, $250K is going to his staff as a bonus, and $280K is going to various charities. He’s keeping $220K for himself. As people keep buying and he makes another million, he’ll give more of it away.
David Carr talks to Louis a couple days after the launch.
O.K., so NBC is this huge company and they have all these studios and these satellites to beam stuff out, but on the Web, both NBC.com and LouisCK.com have the same amount of bandwidth. We are equals and there are things you can do with that. This has been a fun little experiment.
Here’s Louis on Nightline last night talking about being out of jokes and Tracy Morgan.
Louis is hosting the
Radio and TV Congressional Correspondentâ€™s Dinner, which I just linked to before realizing it’s not the White House Correspondent’s dinner. Test drive?
Here’s a quick rundown of previous specials.
Frank Chimero says Louis is funny because he talks about shame.
All the greats had their focus: Richard Pryor and Chris Rock had race, George Carlin had absurdity, and I think Louis has hit on some sort of subterranean undercurrent of emotion that I didnâ€™t realize might be swelling until I listened more closely: shame.
If you haven’t seen Everything’s Amazing & Nobody’s Happy, watch it here: