NEW YORK — After selling a comedy special directly to fans and upending the comedy business, Louis C.K. is taking the same approach with tickets to his next tour, which stops Dec. 22 at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.
The comedian announced Monday evening that he'll charge a flat, no-fee rate of $45 to all of the shows on a 39-city tour he kicks off in October. Tickets will bypass ticketing services and are available only through louisck.com.
That's similar to how he sold downloads of his special "Live at the Beacon" for $5, a move that was widely hailed and has since been imitated by other comics like Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Ansari. It made more than $1 million in 12 days.
"I'm trying something new, building on the fun, success and fan-benefit of selling my content online," the comedian, whose FX show "Louie" debuts its third season Thursday, said in an email to fans.
In an effort to deter scalping, he pledged that any tickets sold above the original price will be canceled. True-market value for a show by Louis C.K., one of the most popular stand-ups in the country, would fetch higher prices. (Online ticketing company Etix is assisting the comedian's sale.)
Often, booking venues without the inclusion of a large ticketing service can prove problematic for acts looking to avoid Ticketmaster, which merged with concert producer LiveNation in 2010. Louis C.K. said booking venues had been "a real challenge."
"About a year ago I reached a place where I realized I am making enough money doing comedy so the next thing that interested me is bringing your price down," he told fans. "Either way, I still make a whole lot more than my grandfather who taught math and raised chickens in Michigan."