Last December, Louis C.K. put a filmed version of his recent show at New York’s Beacon Theater up for downloading, at a cost of $5, on his website. It was, he explained at the time, an experiment in direct media and attempt to see how well someone like C.K.—a respected professional entertainer with a devoted following—could do at merchandising his work on the Internet, without a middle man. It turned out to be something of an entrepreneurial victory: as the New York Times reports, the online sales “grossed more than $1.1 million, more than enough for C. K. to cover his production costs, pay bonuses to his crew, donate $280,000 to charities, and persuade comedians and broadcasters to take the online-only model much more seriously.” Now, in a victory for everyone who doesn’t think anything counts until it’s been on TV, FX will broadcast Live At The Beacon Theater on Saturday, and presumably continue to rerun the hell out of it in the weeks leading up to the premiere of the third season of Louis on June 28. In the meantime, the show is still available for sale at the website, so you have four days left to be a part of this exciting, 21st-century method of giving five bucks to a mensch.
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