Hello. This is Louis CK again. I'm writing to let you know about a new funny thing that is available on my site, louisck.com. It's called "Todd Barry the Crowd Work Tour". I'm not in it. Todd is. This is the first thing produced by my site and sold there for another comedian. It's 5 dollars as always. and it's REALLY GODDAMN GOOD. Here's some things about it:
Todd Barry is a great comedian. He has always been one of my favorites. There is no one out there like him. There never has been. He's hysterically funny. I've known Todd for about 20 years.
About a year ago, Todd had this idea, to do a tour where all he would do on stage is "crowd work" which means casually engaging members of the audience in conversation and culling that for possible laughs and enlightenment. This is something many comedians have done throughout history, to pepper their mostly planned shows with a few moments of improvisational freshness and some sense of being in the moment and in the place instead of just reciting a show. Some comedians are good at it, some aren't (I'm not). Some are great at it. Todd is great at it. Sometimes Todd comes with me on tour and when we do shows together, I always have the houselights completely down but he has them about halfway up so that he can see who is out there and engage them.
Crowd work has a special feeling to it because you know the comedian has gone off their script, off their own brain insides, and reached out without knowing how it might turn out. It's a high wire act. Of course there are comedians who have rote and hackneyed ways to make this work, like a cheap magician. "where you from? Oh okay I'll talk slower then." But a great crowd work comedian just opens his or her mind up and takes in information and let's their curious and funny nature process the conversation in an inspiring, illuminating and hilarious way. It's something I've always loved watching Todd do through the years.
So, Todd's idea was to do a show that is all crowd work. No "jokes". No set material. Just go up there and start talking to whoever is willing and see what happens. It has a natural tension to it because Any second, the show could just go dry. But it never does with Todd.
Todd did a Crowd Work tour and it was a success. So he had the idea to do another one and film it, to create a standup special. I thought it was a great idea so I offered to produce it for him and to provide it on my site. We got Lance Bangs to direct it. Lance is a really great guy. If any of you have seen the Jackass movies, you've probably seen poor Lance throwing up while holding a camera.
So what we did was put Todd on the road. He started in San Diego and worked his way up the coast to Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage Alaska. Lance filmed all the shows and some of the travel in between and Todd worked with Gina Sansom, the editor (who did a great job), and put it together.
The result of all this is a really funny and compelling show. I've never seen anything like it. I don't think there is anything like it. It's not just a standup special with a guy on a big stage doing his well honed hour. In this show, you're watching a master at work with no material and it's just great. Really great. Every city he worked in changes the color of each performance because the crowd is the show and each crowd comes from a different metropolitan culture. You learn things from this show like what are people doing for a living these days. What are the hours of a professional tweeter? How much does a pipe layer in Alaska drink? Todd takes all of these people's lives and plays with them with his unique rhythm and great mind.
Anyway, you really really really should go to louisck.com and buy this show. It's five dollars. It's funny as shit. And shit is really really funny.
Thank you for your time. Oh, also, I'm hosting Saturday Night Live again on March 29th. Please watch.
Well hello. This is Louis CK writing to you again to let you know about new stuff coming on my website. Mostly I would like to tell you that starting tomorrow (Wednesday the 29th) at noon, (New York time) my first movie "Tomorrow Night" will be available for download and streaming for the usual five dollars. As always you can buy it from anywhere in the world with no digital restrictions.
I made this movie, meaning I wrote and directed it, back in 1998. I was a struggling comedian and TV writer at the time and I pulled together my savings and some of my fiends money to make this movie on black and white 16mm film. There are some great people in this movie. Steve Carell, JB Smoove, Wanda Sykes and Conan O'Brien are some that you might have heard of. Robert Smigel, Chuck Sklar, Rick Shapiro, Heather Morgan, Nick Diapolo, Martha Greenhouse, Greg Hahn, Carey Prusa and Joseph Dolphin, you may have heard of a little less but they are all terrific. In fact all these people are comedians and actors I had been working with and around back in the 90s and I wrote all of their parts for them specifically. To me, that's what this movie was for, to create performance opportunities for all my favorite funny people. And to photograph them with prime lenses on Black and White reversal film.
Tomorrow Night is a bizarre little indie film and it gets pretty weird. It was a labor of love for me. It's how I learned to direct and there are some wonderful performances in it. The crew included some folks that still work with me today on my FX series "Louie" including director of Photography Paul Keostner and production designer Amy Silver.
Tomorrow Night screened at the Sundance film festival as well as other festivals from Seattle to Sweden. But it never got distribution. Any black and white movie is tricky to get a market for and this one is particularly strange. But it's funny and it's well worth watching. That's what I think, anyway. It certainly isn't for everyone.
In any case, Tomorrow Night has been sitting in storage in film cans for 15 years. No one has ever seen it. There are no tapes of it or even clips of it anywhere.
This year, I decided to get it out by putting it on my website. I had an excellent digital transfer made from the negative. The sound is the original Mono mix which is fitting for the style of the film. Be prepared to sit through people dialing rotary phones, which takes a while. The pace is sometimes slow and deliberate. Sometimes crazy. But it's exactly the movie I wanted to make and I'm proud of it. I'm putting it on my website with the hopes that I can continue this way of distributing stuff. I'd also like to pay back some of the people who helped me finance the film. I'd also like people to finally see it so that the performances can be awarded with applause and laughter. I'd also like to make a profit from it so I can use the proceeds to make a new movie and release that on my website as well. Wouldn't that be something? Ok, so buy it tomorrow. and tell your friends to do it also. Or don't. It's really only partially up to me what you do with your time and money.
Also, my latest HBO standup special "Louis CK - Oh My God" is available for the same 5 dollar download. You can't get Oh My God on video anywhere else (unless you have HBO and want to watch it there) I put it up a couple of months ago and we had some website traffic issues but we have completely rebuilt the site and it's far, far stronger than before (yes that's 2 fars) so if you tried to downloaded and had trouble, please try again now.
Once again, TOMORROW NIGHT will be available tomorrow at noon (I know that sounds funny) at louisck.com for 5 dollars. You can pay with paypal, amazon payments and odwalla or whatever that other one is. I think Odwalla is the company that makes fruit smoothies.
Thank you for receiving this email. If you hated it, or you hate me, feel free to unsubscribe. Keep in mind that I am personally informed whenever anyone unsubscribes and I cry very hard every time it happens.
Well. Hello. This is Louis CK.
Before I start wasting your time let me just get to the point which is that my latest standup special, Louis CK: Oh My God is available on my website, along with a bonus extra long version, for the usual 5 dollars.
For more details and I have your time horribly wasted, read on...
Hi. So. it has been a while since I last wrote to you.
A lot has changed since my last email to you. Firstly, you'll be glad to know, I lost seven pounds! I know! And all it took was absolutely no dedication or commitment to losing any weight. And it paid off.
Now that I knocked that out of the park, I'm setting my sites on more goals. Such as "none of my habits changing in any particular way". I think if I really buckle down, I can make that happen.
All of this is part of my new approach to life. I call it "believing in myself". Sounds weird, huh? Well it's really very simple. I believe that I exist. And that I'm going to pretty much keep existing and being the pretty much same guy, with the same qualities and skills ive always ha or lacked, especially when averaged over time, no matter what happens.
For instance. I BELIEVE that I'll alway be a little but late for most things. I BELIEVE that if my work habits were 4% worse, I'd be homeless right now. I BELIEVE that I am often sleepy. See? It works!
I'm writing to you today to let you know that "Louis CK: Oh My God" which is my latest standup special, which aired on HBO in the spring and won an Emmy for best writing of a variety special. (I'm not trying to brag. I'm just trying to get you to buy the thing. By bragging.)
"Louis CK Oh My God" is available on my site for 5 dollars, for that, you are entitled to the following:
1. You can download the special, as it aired on HBO "drm free" all over the world as many as 3 times.
2. Or you can stream it 2 times.
3. You can download an audio version of the special.
4. You can download or stream a longer version of the special. This is basically a rough cut with more jokes in it.
All that for 5 dollars. I mean, it's only a lot if you like my comedy. If you don't like me or my jokes, then it's just a 5 dollar nightmare.
The video of this special is only available on my site. So if you want To own your own version, this is the only way to have it. The extended version had only ever been seen here. So ... That too.
As always I'd like to urge you not to steal or share this video so that I can continue to offer stuff on my site in this friendly and cheap way without losing my ass in the process. I don't want to lose my ass. I have a great, great ass.
So that's mostly it. Please go to louisck.net to buy oh my god and for more information. Oh, also, we now accept Paypal, amazon payments and Dwolla.
Okay. That's it. Please enjoy your life. And please be always curious about other people.
Hello. Just a fair warning that the below announcement is unnecicarily long, mis-spelled and the crucial information, regarding tickets to my shows in London, stockholm and Oslo, is way down toward the bottom. But its easier to write this disclaimer than to edit the whole thing. Even this disclaimer is too long. Oh well. Here begins the actual announcement...
I hope that, as you are reading this, you are well in health and spirit. I hope that you are having fine luck and that you feel positive and joyful about your life.
Of course I suppose that not all of you that are reading this are feeling well, lucky or happy.
Seeing as my email goes out to about a quarter of a million people, the odds that all of them are having a terrific day are very low. I would say at least thirty two thousand four hundred and sixty two of you are just having the worst day ever.
The kind of day where, when someone smiles at you, you really want to punch them right in their stupid mouth. And here now youre getting an annoying email from that comedian you used to like, but enough already with that guy anyway.
Well, in any case.... Hello. To all of you.
Im writing for a reason which will mean nothing to any of you who don't live in the British Isles or Scandanavia.
Im writing to let you know that im coming to London on march 20th and march 21st to do some live shows. Im playing the O2 arena on Wednesday, the 20th of March and the Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday the 21st of March. Tickets for these shows are available right now on louisck.net.
I'll be performing in Oslo, Norway at the Oslo Spektrum on Friday, the 22nd of March. Tickets to that show are available at 11:00 Oslo time also on louisck.net
I'm also coming to Stockholm, Sweden on the 23rd of March where I will be at the Globe Arena. Tickets to that show are available also on louisck.net but not till 12:00 NOON Stockholm time (2 hours from when this is posted).
-The reason for this staggered release of tickets, as you probably know, is a very strict Swedish law that requires all things that happen in Sweden to happen 2 hours after the same thing happens in London and 1 hour after it happens in Norway. So sorry if this is awkward. It's really out of my hands.
Lastly (jesus you must hate me by now) i would like to mention that my FX series LOUIE will be airing in England and other parts of the UK. The FOX network, Tuesdays at 9pm.
For those of you who are not in the region of the world that is addressed above, i am really really very kind of barely not at all sorry for wasting your time. But i wish you all well. Isn't that nice of me?
I just wanted to let you know that I am adding a bunch of cities and shows to my tour this year, to extend it into february, at which time ill be shooting my new standup special for HBO. The new cities on the tour are: Philadelphia, Newark, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Phoenix. As before you can only buy tickets for these shows on my website. So please go over there and get tickets. The tour ends in Phoenix where I will shoot 4 shows over 2 nights for the hbo special. We have added 2 shows in Phoenix on saturday the 16th.
Ok so that's it. Ill see you all on the road.
pretty much sincerely,
Phoenix ticket holders- we have some news. We are postponing the December 22nd shows until February 15th-. These shows will all be filmed for my upcoming HBO special. I have chosen the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix for this big event and am excited to perform for you in February. All 12/22 tickets will be honored on Feb 15- you do NOT have to print out a new ticket. Just show up with a ticket that says December 22nd and it will get you in on Feb. 15th and ONLY on Feb. 15th. The ticket will only be good for the showtime that you already bought (early show is for early show, late show is for late show). Please contact email@example.com with any questions…See you in February.
Dear New York ticket holding folks....
Okay. I thought about this very carefully and I really started to worry about making 4300 people come into midtown manhattan on Sunday night, which is just when the stormatron 5000 is supposed to crush our empire. new york state has ordered the sutdown of all mass transit (subways, buses and commuter trains) as of 7pm Sunday night.
I know that a lot of people are excited to come and they are fine with taking the chance but I really don't want a pole to smash your face in because you saw some comedy.
So i asked the City Center (where the shows are supposed to happen) if we could find another date for Sunday's shows and they gave me March 2nd. The City Center, being really cool, has agreed to let us do the shows on that night and your tickets that you now hold will be honored on that night. the same seat, same everything. If you can't come on that night, we will either do another show soon after that, or find another show for you in the area in the future. Or you still have the option to get a full refund for your ticket. If you already asked for a refund, we can reinstate your ticket if you want to go to one of those shows.
Listen. I know that probably it's going to be a starry clear night and the trains are going to be just gliding up and down the traks and a baby zebra is going to whinny as he trots by the City Center on a night that is going to break records for being placid and perfect for a night of comedy. And I'm going to feel like an asshole. And I know that some people had their plans set and are going to be pissed off at me. I know. but I also know that some of you are struggling with whether to come in or miss the show and this is the closest I can get to a solution. You don't have to take a chance and you don't have to miss the show. Just come see me in a few months.
If it's any consolation, I'm eating a pretty staggering fee for cancelling the show. But I can take it. What I can't take is the thought that there's a CHANCE 4300 people will be in danger trying to get home from my stupid show.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you want to do, and ask any question you have.
So that's that. Cancelled. Rescheduled. Please forgive me. Please be safe.
Your dumb friend
UPDATE: It's been really great hosting Tig's show on my site as a prerelease.
And now she's going to make her show widely available through iTunes and other outlets.
If you already bought it here, it's still available to you for any downloads remaining on your account. Otherwise, go to iTunes.
Go, Tig. Live.
Greetings to the people and parts of people that are reading this. Hi. This is Louis. I'm a comedian and you bought a thing from me. Well, I'm writing to tell You that there is a new thing you can buy on my website louisck.com. It's an audio standup set by not me but another comedian named Tig Notaro. Why am I selling someone else's comedy on my website?
Well, Tig is a friend of mine and she is very funny. I love her voice on stage. One night I was performing at a club in LA called Largo. Tig was there. She was about to go on stage. I hadn't seen Tig in about a year and I said how are you? She replied "well I found out today that I have cancer in both breasts and that it has likely spread to my lymph nodes. My doctor says it looks real bad. ". She wasn't kidding. I said "uh. Jesus. Tig. Well. Do you... Have your family... Helping?". She said "well my mom was with me but a few weeks ago she fell down, hit her head and she died". She still wasn't kidding.
Now, I'm pretty stupid to begin with, and I sure didn't know what to say now. I opened my mouth and this came out. "jeez, Tig. I. Really value you. Highly.". She said "I value you highly too, Louie.". Then she held up a wad of note-paper in her hand and said "I'm gonna talk about all of it on stage now. It's probably going to be a mess". I said "wow". And with that, she went on stage.
I stood in the wings behind a leg of curtain, about 8 feet from her, and watched her tell a stunned audience "hi. I have cancer. Just found out today. I'm going to die soon". What followed was one of the greatest standup performances I ever saw. I can't really describe it but I was crying and laughing and listening like never in my life. Here was this small woman standing alone against death and simply reporting where her mind had been and what had happened and employing her gorgeously acute standup voice to her own death.
The show was an amazing example of what comedy can be. A way to visit your worst fears and laugh at them. Tig took us to a scary place and made us laugh there. Not by distracting us from the terror but by looking right at it and just turning to us and saying "wow. Right?". She proved that everything is funny. And has to be. And she could only do this by giving us her own death as an example. So generous.
After her set, I asked Mark Flanagan, the owner of Largo (great club, by the way) if he recorded the set. Largo is set up for excellent recordings. He said that he did.
A few days later, I wrote Tig and asked her if I could release this set on my site. I wanted people to hear what I saw. What we all saw that night. She agreed. The show is on sale for the same 5 dollars I charge for my stuff. I'm only keeping 1. She gets the other 4. Tig has decided to give some of that to cancer research.
Tig, by the way, has since undergone a double mastectomy. She is doing well. Her doctors say her chances of survival are excellent. So she went there and came back. Her report from the frontlines of life and death are here for you to... Enjoy.
Please go buy her show. You can buy it HERE.
Thank you. Have a terrific afternoon.
hello folks! I'm going on tour this year from October through Feb. I'll be all over the goddamn place. This year, I'm trying something new, building on the fun, success and fan-benefit of selling my content online. We are selling tickets to this tour exclusively here on louisck.com. I only wanted to do this if there was a way, like with LIVE AT THE BEACON, that it could bring the price of tickets down and make them easier and less complicated to buy. We figured out a way.
Making my shows affordable has always been my goal but two things have always worked against that. High ticket charges and ticket re-sellers marking up the prices. Some ticketing services charge more than 40% over the ticket price and, ironically, the lower I've made my ticket prices, the more scalpers have bought them up, so the more fans have paid for a lot of my tickets.
By selling the tickets exclusively on my site, I've cut the ticket charges way down and absorbed them into the ticket price. To buy a ticket, you join NOTHING. Just use your credit card and buy the damn thing. opt in to the email list if you want, and you'll only get emails from me.
Also, you'll see that if you try to sell the ticket anywhere for anything above the original price, we have the right to cancel your ticket (and refund your money). this is something I intend to enforce. There are some other rules you may find annoying but they are meant to prevent someone who has no intention of seeing the show from buying the ticket and just flipping it for twice the price from a thousand miles away.
Some of these rules may be a pain in your ass, but please be patient. My goal here is that people coming to see my shows are able to pay a fair price and that they be paying just for a ticket. Not also paying an exorbitant fee for the privilege of buying a ticket.
Tickets across the board, everywhere, are 45 dollars. That's what you'll actually pay. In every case, that will be less than anyone has actually paid to see me (after ticket charges) in about two years and in most cases it's about half of what you paid last year.
The benifit for me is that I won't get angry emails from anyone who paid a ton of money to see me due to circumstances out of my control. That makes me VERY happy. The 45 dollars also includes sales tax, which I'm paying for you. So I'm making more or less depending on the state.
Another benefit to me is also one to you. I get your email address (if you opt in) when you opt in. You don't have to join ANYTHING to buy these tickets and if you opt in, youll only hear from me once in an old man's jizz-cycle.
Obviously none of this means anything if the shows aren't good. So that's up to me. As I do every year, I'll be performing a brand new hour (or more) on all of these shows.
Lastly, it was a real challenge to find venues around the country that could work with our exclusive ticketing service under these parameters. It means I'm playing in very new places. I really appreciate all of these theaters that are letting us give this a try.
Setting up this tour has been fascinating and difficult. this ticketing service is a brand new thing and I really fucking hope it works and that there aren't any problems. If anything comes up, please be patient.
Doing things this way means I"m making less than I would have made if I did a standard tour, using the usual very excellent but expensive ticketing service. In some cities I've had to play smaller venues and do more shows. But I like doing more shows and about a year ago I reached a place where I realized I am making enough money doing comedy so the next thing that interested me is bringing your price down. Either way, I still make a whole lot more than my grandfather who taught math and raised chickens in Michigan.
alright, that's it, folks. I'll be sending this message out to folks on the opt-in list and sending a separate email that lays it out much more simply with the proper links. I am doing this because when I emailed you about LIVE AT CARNEGIE HALL, (which is still on sale for 5 dollars!) about half of the people who got the email really enjoyed the long, verbose, unedited message. The other half HATED it and would have preferred a price, a link, and me shutting the fuck up.
This way, you can read this if you like, or your can just see the massive shit-ball of text and throw it in the garbage, and focus on the simple email.
I hope to see you all on the road.
Hello there. I am Louis C.K. for now. You are a person who opted into my email list, when you bought my Live at the Beacon standup special. As I promised, I have left you alone for a long time. Well, those days are over. I am writing now to let you know that I am offering some more stuff on my site, which you are more than welcome to buy. What does "More than welcome" mean? Well, it means you can totally buy this stuff. Like, totally.
Okay so there are two new products. They are both audio comedy specials. One is called...
Louis CK: WORD - Live at Carnegie Hall
This is about an hour long and it's a recording of a live standup show that I did at Carnegie Hall in November of 2010 as part of a national tour I was on entitled, "WORD." I've had a lot of requests from people to release that show as a special or as a CD. I hadn't done so because a lot of the material that I did on the WORD tour was in the second season of my show "LOUIE" on FX. But I decided since it's never been released as an entire show, and some of the material was not on my show, I'm releasing this now. I'm giving you this long and boring explaination because, as most of you know, I release about an hour or more of new standup material every year and folks can count on seeing a new show every year. This is old material, so I don't want to be a dick and pretend it isn't.
Anyway, Louis CK: WORD - Live at Carnegie hall is available for the same 5 dollars as everything will be. It is the same deal as before that you get 4 downloads and the file is DRM free. You can burn it onto a CD, play it on your ipod, whatever you want. The special is broken up into separate tracks because I think that's more fun for a comedy album, but they are all just one thing you buy all at one time.
The second new thing is even older, actually. It's an audio release of "Shameless", my very first hour long standup special that I did for HBO. It was never released as an audio CD, so I asked HBO to let me offer it on this site and they agreed. They also agreed to let me offer it, the same as the rest, DRM free, for 5 dollars. Obviously I'll be sharing the Shameless money with HBO but I think it's pretty cool that they're letting this be out there unprotected like this. Shameless is also 5 dollars, DRM free, and you can download it a bunch of times for the price.
Lastly, I'm offering Live at the Beacon Theater as an audio version, for those many of you who have asked for it. This is just exactly an audio version of the video special. Those of you who have already bought Live at the Beacon theater already own this. If you login with your password, it is now live and available for you to download at no extra cost. Those of you who now buy LIve at the Beacon Theater for 5 dollars, will also have the audio version availbable to you. It's simply been added to the video downloads and streams you already were getting.
Later, I am going to make a version of Live at the Beacon Theater, that is a separate audio special, which will be much longer. That will cost money. Because I'm an asshole. But that's later.
Also later, actually soon, I'll be putting my first feature film "Tomorrow Night' up for sale on the site. And also other things. Soon. For now.
You may have noticed that Louis CK LIve at the Beacon Theater is airing on the FX network. FX agreed to air it 10 times over the next few months. The version on FX is only 42 minutes long and we had to take out the fucks. The reason I chose to air the special on FX is that FX is my people. They gave me my show LOUIE (season 3 premieres on June 28th at 10:30pm) and they have never aired a standup special. So I thought it would be cool to let them air it and bring more people to the site who want to get the complete unexpurgated version. Also FX doesn't make me cut things for content. Just the big words (fuck, etc)
Okay. that was exhausting. Sorry. I didn't even ask you how you are. How are you? Oh yeah? Oh good. That's great. What? Oh man. That's tough. I'm sorry... Oh well that sounds like you handled it well, though. So. Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know that's... yeah. Well... Just remember, time will go by and that'll just be on the list of shit that happened to you. You'll be okay. Yeah. Huh?... Oh. Really? HE DID? Oh my GOD! hahaha!! That's CRAZY! No. No. I won't tell him you told me. Of course not. Alright well... uhuh? Oh wow. Yeah. Alright well... I really gotta go.
Thanks for listening. I'm glad you're basically okay. Stay in touch.
hi. So it's been about 12 days since the thing started and yesterday we hit the crazy number. One million dollars. That's a lot of money. Really too much money. I've never had a million dollars all of a sudden. and since we're all sharing this experience and since it's really your money, I wanted to let you know what I'm doing with it. People are paying attention to what's going on with this thing. So I guess I want to set an example of what you can do if you all of a sudden have a million dollars that people just gave to you directly because you told jokes.
So I'm breaking the million into four pieces.
the first 250k is going to pay back what the special cost to produce and the website to build.
The second 250k is going back to my staff and the people who work for me on the special and on my show. I'm giving them a big fat bonus.
The third 280k is going to a few different charities. They are listed below in case you'd like to donate to them also. Some of these i learned about through friends, some were reccomended through twitter.
That leaves me with 220k for myself. Some of that will pay my rent and will care for my childen. The rest I will do terrible, horrible things with and none of that is any of your business. In any case, to me, 220k is enough out of a million.
I never viewed money as being "my money" I always saw it as "The money" It's a resource. if it pools up around me then it needs to be flushed back out into the system.
The thing is still on sale. I hope folks keep buying it. If I make another million, I'll give more of it away. I'll let you know when that happens because I like you getting to know what happened to your 5 dollars and bringing awareness to the bla bla bla.
Okay I really gotta go now. Thank you again. I will now stop bugging you. I really hate being in the news this much so I'm gonna just disappear for a while.
People of Earth (minus the ones who don't give a shit about this): it's been amazing to conduct this experiment with you. The experiment was: if I put out a brand new standup special at a drastically low price ($5) and make it as easy as possible to buy, download and enjoy, free of any restrictions, will everyone just go and steal it? Will they pay for it? And how much money can be made by an individual in this manner?
It's been 4 days. A lot of people are asking me how it's going. I've been hesitant to share the actual figures, because there's power in exclusive ownership of information. What I didn't expect when I started this was that people would not only take part in this experiment, they would be invested in it and it would be important to them. It's been amazing to see people in large numbers advocating this idea. So I think it's only fair that you get to know the results. Also, it's just really cool and fun and I'm dying to tell everybody. I told my Mom, I told three friends, and that wasn't nearly enough. So here it is.
First of all, this was a premium video production, shot with six cameras over two performances at the Beacon Theater, which is a high-priced elite Manhattan venue. I directed this video myself and the production of the video cost around $170,000. (This was largely paid for by the tickets bought by the audiences at both shows). The material in the video was developed over months on the road and has never been seen on my show (LOUIE) or on any other special. The risks were thus: every new generation of material I create is my income, it's like a farmer's annual crop. The time and effort on my part was far more than if I'd done it with a big company. If I'd done it with a big company, I would have a guarantee of a sizable fee, as opposed to this way, where I'm actually investing my own money.
The development of the website, which needed to be a very robust, reliable and carefully constructed website, was around $32,000. We worked for a number of weeks poring over the site to make sure every detail would give buyers a simple, optimal and humane experience for buying the video. I edited the video around the clock for the weeks between the show and the launch.
The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we've sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.
I really hope people keep buying it a lot, so I can have shitloads of money, but at this point I think we can safely say that the experiment really worked. If anybody stole it, it wasn't many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it. And so now we all get to know that about people and stuff. I'm really glad I put this out here this way and I'll certainly do it again. If the trend continues with sales on this video, my goal is that i can reach the point where when I sell anything, be it videos, CDs or tickets to my tours, I'll do it here and I'll continue to follow the model of keeping my price as far down as possible, not overmarketing to you, keeping as few people between you and me as possible in the transaction.
(Of course i reserve the right to go back on all of this and sign a massive deal with a company that pays me fat coin and charges you straight up the ass.). (This is you: yes Louie. And we'll all enjoy torrenting that content. You fat sweaty dolt).
I probably sound kind of crazy right now. It's been a really fun and intense few days. This video was paid for by people who bought tickets, and then bought by people who wanted to see that same show. I got to do exactly the show I wanted, and exactly the show you wanted.
I also got an education. And everything i learned are things i was happy to learn.
I learned that people are interested in what happens and shit (i didn't go to college)
I learned that money can be a lot of things. It can be something that is hoarded, fought over, protected, stolen and withheld. Or it can be like an energy, fueled by the desire, will, creative interest, need to laugh, of large groups of people. And it can be shuffled and pushed around and pooled together to fuel a common interest, jokes about garbage, penises and parenthood.
I want to thank Blair Breard who produced this video and produces my series LOUIE, and I want to thank Caspar and Giles at Version Industries, who created the website.
I hope with all of my heart that I stay funny. Otherwise this all goes to hell. Please have a safe and happy holiday, and thank you again for all this crazy shit.