TCTV Interview: Jim Gaffigan On His Upcoming Download-Only Comedy Special

If you’re not familiar with Jim Gaffigan, you should be. He’s one of the funniest comics standing and he’s a kind, gentle soul with a mid-westerner’s sensibility and a hilarious bit about Hot Pockets. Like Louis CK before him, Gaffigan just announced that he’s filming a comedy special in DC next month and will make it available for a $5 download – with one dollar going to The Bob Woodruff Foundation, an association to help wounded veterans and their families.

Gaffigan weighed a number of options before going with a direct download model. He writes:

I know I am taking a risk here. People I respect have advised me to take the safer, more traditional route with the premiere of the special. However, I am incredibly motivated by the courage of Louie to offer his fans direct access for a low price. Buyers of my special can be assured that their money will go directly to feeding and raising my four children instead of a giant corporation. I will self-produce a high quality special with all new material that will be incredibly easy to download and then you will own it. Forever. For $5. Roughly the price of five packs of Ramen Noodles. And believe me my special is going to be much better than five packs of disgusting Ramen Noodles. Gross.

With more creators going this route, he said, it seems like the pay-per-download model could start changing the traditional distribution of comedy. Louis CK’s effort brought him $500,000 and there’s no reason the brightly charming Gaffigan can’t make at least that.

He’ll be announcing upcoming shows on Twitter (his favorite social network) and the special, called Jim Gaffigan: Mr. Universe, should be available in April. Until then, check out my interview with him and enjoy some cake.