Dangerously Delicious, Aziz Ansari’s latest standup special that was released directly to fans on the internet via Ansari’s website for $5, is coming to TV after all. Comedy Central is set to broadcast the special on Sunday, May 20th at 10pm. Then, the following Tuesday, it’ll be released as an uncensored album by Comedy Central Records.
Louis CK is doing the same thing with his direct-to-the-web special, which is set to air on. It makes this whole experiment even more brilliant, doesn’t it? These guys get to clean up with their serious fans, selling directly to them, getting their contact info, building loyalty, cutting out the middleman. And then, once sales have slowed down and the big fans have all been satiated, they can go sell it again to the middlemen they were trying to avoid, getting paid twice for the same product and getting in front of more casual TV viewers. And said TV brodcast acts, as Louis CK said, “like a commercial” for the online special, which stays available for $5. And, of course, they get their specials eligible for Emmy nominations, which isn’t a bad excuse to do this either.
If you’re at a place where you’re a standup who can afford to tape your own special out of pocket, why would you do it any other way? Sure, it won’t work for comedians who don’t have cable networks on board to broadcast their specials already, but for people at that level, this is a pretty genius move.