Louis C.K. is a man known for stark realism. His comedic genius is not one of fluffy embellishment, but one of searing truth. His massive following of fans, hit FX show, and multi-million dollar comedy tours are a testament to his particular comedy genius. In a gluttonous, materialist world, he makes indulgence and excess look disgusting and vile, and we laugh uncontrollably with him for it.
So it is no surprise that the clever comedian has found a way to ‘cut the fat’ out of the comedy world’s asking price for tickets. Yes, Old C.K. has given Ticketmaster the ‘bird’, and decided to sell tickets to his comedy tour directly to fans via his personal website.
“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,” he said on his website. “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.”
This is not the first time Louis C.K. has considered the financial insolvency of his fans. He made headlines earlier this year when he sold a million copies of his tour ‘Word: Live at Carnegie Hall’ by selling them directly on his website for five dollars a pop.
This sort of anti-establishment agenda is in exact opposition of other artists’ relentless greed – like Metallica’s lawsuit against Napster users. Metallica sued users, even poor college kids, for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and ultimately shunned the low-infrastructure world of the web in favor of traditional music industry standards, even if those cost their fans a lot of money.
Louis, however, is selling tickets via his website because in the end it saves his fans a lot of money. The administration fees applied by middle-men ticket vendors like Ticketmasters hike the once reasonable ticket price to astronomical levels, and Louis has used his power and fame to bypass this robbery.
More so, he even uses his profits to do good. He famously gave a quarter of his profits ($250,000) for his last $5 dollar comedy album to charity, a quarter ($250,000) as a fat bonus to his loyal staff. In the end, he only kept $250,000 for himself which he said ‘was enough of a million dollars for him.’
I think Louis’ moves demonstrate that we live in an age that values authenticity and integrity more than pre-fabricated hype. We want our artists to be honest, real and generous, and we commend them graciously for such character. Intellectually provocative and socially challenging is the new standard-de-chic.
VIDEO: LOUIS C.K. ON CONAN 'Everything is Amazing & Nobody is Happy'