Now Jim Gaffigan sidesteps DVD labels

Looks like Louis CK started something....

Jim Gaffigan is to follow in the footsteps of fellow American comic Louis CK – and release his next stand-up video direct to fans.

Like CK’s groundbreaking Live At The Beacon Theatre, Gaffigan’s next show will be available for download for $5, bypassing the usual TV and DVD industry.

The show, Mr. Universe, will be distributed in April without copy protection, with Gaffigan trusting his fans’ honesty – and the fact that $1 of each sale will go to wounded veterans – will limit piracy.

It certainly worked for CK, whose show netted more than $1million within days of its released in December.

Gaffigan, 45, said: ‘Inspired by the brilliant Louis CK, I have decided to debut my all-new hour stand-up special on my website,

‘I am confident that the low price of my new comedy special and the fact that 20 per cent of each $5 download will be donated to this very noble cause [The Bob Woodruff Foundation] will prevent people from stealing it.

‘Maybe I’m being naïve, but I trust you guys. Besides who would want the karma of stealing money from wounded veterans? Come on you guys. How dare you even think about it?

‘I know I am taking a risk here. People I respect have advised me to take the safer, more traditional route with the premiere of the special. However, I am incredibly motivated by the courage of Louis to offer his fans direct access for a low price.

‘Buyers of my special can be assured that their money will go directly to feeding and raising my four children instead of a giant corporation. I will self-produce a high quality special with all new material that will be incredibly easy to download and then you will own it. Forever. For $5.

‘Not going with a big corporation means I wont have any advertising... but maybe you can help. If you like the special, tell you friends to download it too. That’s the best kind of advertising anyway.

‘I must admit that I have not felt this excited and nervous since I first tried stand up over 100 years ago. It’s humbling to take a risk that you are not sure will work. You don't know if a joke will bomb unless you try it.

‘If no one buys the special or if lots of people steal it then I suppose I will lose a lot of money and have egg on my face. But then again I have four kids so I am always losing money and usually have egg or some kind of food on my face so it might just feel normal.’

After the success of his direct $5 release, CK wrote: ‘We can safely say that the experiment really worked. If anybody stole it, it wasn’t many of you. Pretty much everybody bought it.’

Published: 15 Feb 2012

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