How do you take your stand up? Do you go to a local bar? Do you spend every other Saturday night on YouTube watching clip after clip? Do you buy the DVDs? PVR your favourite comedian’s specials? There are a lot of ways to laugh, but unless you are: Dane Cook, Kathy Griffin, Russel Peters, Kevin Hart or Louis C.K, turning your standup into a profit can be a taxing and sometimes unfulfilling experience. Two comedians in particular are changing the way comedy is being sold.
Love or hate Kevin Hart (I’m indifferent), he is extremely good at selling stuff with Kevin Hart. His movies have done well because he knows his fans well enough and promotes them in the right way. Last month, Hart released his stand up film Let Me Explain that went to theatres. Not HBO. Not Bravo. Not Comedy Central but to theatres. This wasn’t a documentary either. It wasn’t in 3D. Like, people actually paid money to watch a movie of a stand up special. This isn’t unheard of, but it did so well that it is more impressive than anything. It’s fourth highest grossing stand-up comedy concert movie, coming behind Eddie Murphy’s Raw and Richard Pryor’s: Live On The Sunset Strip. Again, not unheard of, no, but in this day and age, for something like this to do so well, it’s extremely impressive.
Last year, Louis C.K redefined the actual selling of a stand up special. He sold his special through his website and his website only for the incredible price of $5. Knowing that people could just download this or view it on YouTube, taking matters in his own hands and selling it like this, for such a great price is brilliant marketing.
Things that are easily accessible and can be had for free are still sellable. It’s all in how you do it.