Louis C.K. was the first comedian to go the nontraditional route of releasing a comedy special, “Live at the Beacon Theater,” online for $5 a download, bypassing TV networks like HBO and Comedy Central. The move netted him over $1 million in profits, so Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan followed suit with their own respective specials released online over the last two months.
If the moves seemed smart then, they’re utter masterstrokes now. FX has picked up C.K.’s “Live,” slotting it in to air May 12th at 10 p.m. and Aziz’s “Dangerously” will air on Comedy Central on May 20th at 10 p.m. The comedians have cashed in twice and possibly a third time, come DVD releases. Rappers, take note.