I’ve been a huge fan of Jim Gaffigan since before the days he was fighting crime with Conan O’Brien and his freakish pale-white skin. Since then, I’ve seen him in concert in 2008 and 2010 and even saw him on Broadway last year. While my friend Jack and I used to attend a lot of comedy shows in 80s and 90s, lately it seems that most stand-up has gotten either too political or too raunchy for my tastes. But Gaffigan bucks the trend. He’s just about the only stand-up act these days that can make me guffaw till tears come out of my eyes, and he does it all without resorting to insults or potty mouth.
Admittedly, I miss the days when he was still relatively unknown and his shows weren’t littered with neo-hipsters shouting inanities like “do bacon! do bacon!” to the poor guy. On the other hand, I suspect that he’s raking in a lot of scratch from the influx of these bandwagon fans, and it literally could not happen to a nicer guy.
If you haven’t heard any of Gaffigan’s routines, I’d definitely recommend you get on over to Amazon and download an album or two.
What? You say there’s no way you’re paying the $9.99? You say you’re one of these young punks who downloads all your material illegally on P2P sharing sites? Well, before you go do that, check out something Gaffigan has done that is very, very cool.
On his Web site, Jim is letting you download his newest 75-minute stand up special, Mr. Universe, directly from him for $5. In other words, he’s effectively cut out the lawyers, and the album cover designers, and the raw material costs, and the distribution costs, and the marketing costs, and the production costs, and rebroadcast rights, and every single other bit of overhead. He hasn’t even bothered to put DRM on the digital files, meaning that unlike the big music companies he trusts you (and at a cost of $5, someone who pirates this file out to be ashamed of themselves and publicly humiliated and pilloried).
What’s more, $1 of the $5 you spend will be donated to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, an amazing charity that helps injured service members, veterans, and their families.
Aside from being a really cool thing to do for his fans, something tells me this is another in the step of evolution for content distribution: putting distribution in the hands of the artists themselves and treating fans like humans rather than impersonal masses.
Not convinced? Check out this clip that has Jim doing his famous whale impersonation and I challenge you to not want more afterwards!