LOUIS CK IS the new heavyweight champion of comedy, according to W. Kamau Bell. And maybe my newsfeeds are clogged by comedy nerd stuff, but even the channels my regular news comes through have been pretty Louis-heavy these days.
He’s been on Nightline, Fresh Air, and recently answered fans’ questions on Reddit personally. He’s been pimping his new DIY DVD release Live at the Beacon Theatre, and pimping it hard. And he’s got the sway to do it. After 10 days, the special has made one million dollars, and CK has donated more than a quarter of that money to charity.
It’s hard not to admire the guy if you’ve followed his career at all. He directs, writes, stars in, and edits his television show on FX and produces a new hour of material a year while caring for his two daughters half-time as a single dad.
When it came time to produce a special, CK made an investment in doing it on his own, releasing an unencrypted version on his own website for just $5 a pop. According to Laughspin, CK announced last night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon that the special had made one million dollars and that he was donating a big chunk of that money to charity. Though it was easy to pirate, and surely some people did, at least 200,000 people bought it. CK has paid that good fortune forward.
The comedian polled his Twitter followers to find out where they thought his money would do the most good. He chose five of the suggestions, breaking up $280,000 between five charities.
I’m one of those people that bought the special, and it’s gratifying to know that part of the money I spent to make myself feel good has gone towards The Fistula Foundation (about $40,000), Green Chimneys ($125,000), Charity: Water ($70,000), Pablove Foundation, and Kiva ($45,000 split between the last two).
Surely, it’s not every comic that has the sway to do this sort of thing, but it’s really something to see a guy take total control of his creative process on a variety of fronts and see that that effort’s success is not something that only enriches him. CK puts his money where his mouth is.
Listen to Louis CK’s thoughts on capitalism on the Opie and Anthony Show:
Find parts two and three here on YouTube.
For more information about this story, check out Laughspin.com.
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Editor-at-large, Kate Sedgwick, works from Buenos Aires where she organizes her live storytelling project, Second Story Buenos Aires. Read more about her than you might want to know at her blog YesThereIsSuchAThingAsAStupidQuestion.com, and follow her infrequent tweets @KateSedgwick.