Photo by Katy Winn/Getty Images.
Louis C.K. cut out the middle men and it’s paying off – for him, his fans and now for some charities.
The comedian announced Wednesday that his new comedy special, which he is selling online on his own website for $5, has made more than $1 million in the week and a half since it went on sale, a rather staggering total for a stand-up special that lacks a traditional distribution model.
When Louis C.K. announced his plans to sell the one-hour special on his website, he billed it as an opportunity to offer his fans a better product at a cheaper price than they’d get if he signed a deal with a major distributor to offer it online via iTunes or Netflix.
The decision (and financial gamble it entailed) earned him good will from his fans and glowing coverage from the press; plenty of cash then followed.
The Louie love-fest is unlikely to stop any time soon, especially after the comedian announced that he is going to donate a large chunk of his newfound cash to a handful of charities. In a posting to his website Wednesday, the comedian promised to divvy up $280,000 between five non-profits, which focus on everything from helping women injured in childbirth (the Fistula Foundation) to providing clean drinking water (charity:water) to an online site that provides micro-loans to people around the world (Kiva).
As for the rest of the cash, he said that: $250,000 will go to pay for the special, $250,000 will be given as bonuses to those who worked on the special and on his TV show Louie; and the remaining $220,000 will be used to pay his rent, take care of his kids, and to "do terrible, horrible things with and none of that is any of your business."
In the likely event he makes another million off the special, he says he’ll continue to reroute a large portion to charities. He explains why [sic]:
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.
You can read Slate's review of the special itself here. (Spoiler alert: We liked it.)