Foul-mouthed, hilarious, shameless standup comic Louis C.K. rolled out his latest direct-to-fans initiative last night, saying that he was selling tickets for his upcoming tour directly to fans, much in the same way he sold his special "Live at the Beacon Theatre" online for $5 late last year.
The upcoming tour lands in Denver in December, with tickets costing $45 -- no fees, no nothing -- promises C.K. (born Louis Szekely), a comic's comic and filmmaker who has a devoted following.
C.K.'s decision to cut out the middleman and forgo traditional standup purveyors like Comedy Central and HBO or Showtime made news last year in the entertainment industry, where it was seen as a bit of a risk, but it seemed to pay off for C.K. And a few comics have even followed suit by selling their specials online.
So it's no surprise, really, that C.K. is going direct to fans again. In the long string of Louis C.K. shows scheduled from October 2012 to February 2013, the Denver stop includes only one show: Saturday, December 15, 2012, at the Wells Fargo Theatre at the Colorado Convention Center. You can buy tickets here.
C.K. explained to NPR's Terry Gross in December that he was over the profit-sharing model between a comic and a network. (Listen to that full interview with C.K. here.) And it worked, he said.
Below is the long e-mail he sent out yesterday around 5:10 p.m. Denver time:
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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-benifit 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 exhorbanant fee for the privalege 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 benifit 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 perameters. 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 preffered 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.
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