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Old 5th May 2019, 03:32 PM   #1
Checkmite
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Louis CK, still trying to comeback, makes club publish copyright notice

Imagine wanting to be a comedian, but being so consciously out-of-touch with your audience and so fearful of criticism that not only must you keep your tour schedule completely secret so as not to tip off any potential hecklers, but you have to preemptively threaten your audience with a lawsuit if they ever tell anyone outside the club what you said during your set, so you can't even be critiqued after the fact. You have just imagined being Louis CK.

Louis CK intends to do a routine in Minneapolis on some undisclosed date this month, and has required the venue to publish a copyright notice forbidding anyone who is lucky - or unlucky - enough to happen to attend the club on the night of the secret performance from repeating "any content....including jokes or sketches" "in whole or in part" in any form without permission - which, it goes without saying, isn't going to be given. No other comedian is known to have requirements like these, as most tend to actually want audience members to enjoy and share their jokes.

Of course, clubs are free to book whomever they want; however, I tend to think this particular strategy of ambush-sets will not last very long. People who don't want to see Louis CK perform really don't want to see him, and "be aware, Louis CK might suddenly do a set at any time and you won't know it's coming until after you've paid the cover and are possibly already running up a tab" might possibly negatively affect attendance all month, or at least until CK's sekrit set happens.
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Old 5th May 2019, 03:52 PM   #2
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Copyright laws apply regardless. They don't work the way the venues claim. For example, staff will claim you can't take pictures on your phone because of copyright. It's nonsense. Fair use has a line, of course, but taking pictures for personal enjoyment is nowhere near the line (posting on Facebook, however, is a different story)

He can make all the claims he wants, it doesn't change the copyright applicability
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Old 5th May 2019, 04:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Copyright laws apply regardless. They don't work the way the venues claim. For example, staff will claim you can't take pictures on your phone because of copyright. It's nonsense. Fair use has a line, of course, but taking pictures for personal enjoyment is nowhere near the line (posting on Facebook, however, is a different story)

He can make all the claims he wants, it doesn't change the copyright applicability
They might be wrong about copyright -- although I'm not sure it's as clear-cut as you think -- but a club is a private facility, and it's entitled to set whatever rules it wants that don't violate the law. "No pictures, no recorders" is commonly required at all kinds of venues, and is enforced by ejecting the offending patron. And if the patron takes pictures and posts them on Facebook etc., that's no longer "personal enjoyment." At some point it becomes publishing.
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Old 5th May 2019, 04:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Imagine wanting to be a comedian, but being so consciously out-of-touch with your audience and so fearful of criticism that not only must you keep your tour schedule completely secret so as not to tip off any potential hecklers, but you have to preemptively threaten your audience with a lawsuit if they ever tell anyone outside the club what you said during your set, so you can't even be critiqued after the fact. You have just imagined being Louis CK.

Louis CK intends to do a routine in Minneapolis on some undisclosed date this month, and has required the venue to publish a copyright notice forbidding anyone who is lucky - or unlucky - enough to happen to attend the club on the night of the secret performance from repeating "any content....including jokes or sketches" "in whole or in part" in any form without permission - which, it goes without saying, isn't going to be given. No other comedian is known to have requirements like these, as most tend to actually want audience members to enjoy and share their jokes.
Having listened to quite a lot of Joe Rogan, my impression from comedians he has interviewed as well as the host himself, comedians hate it when the audience record parts of their shows, or whip out their phones and film them. In some cases, there has been talk about smartphone policies - audience members having to give up their phone during the set, etc... or comedians getting very confrontational with audience members who use them.

Part of the reason for this is that many stand-up tours involve working on “bits” that improve and morph over time with some (very popular and successful) comedians such as Louis CK and Rogan intending to put their material in their final form on their Netflix specials. If the jokes have already leaked these specials will just look like old material. Another reason for this is the problem of joke theft which is rife and is often perpetrated by “writers” for late night talk show hosts.

Either way, i don’t think many comedians want their jokes shared in their rough and ready form and certainly don’t want them shared without attribution.
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Old 5th May 2019, 04:35 PM   #5
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Yeah, Louis CK would hate it if someone whipped a phone out without caring if he was okay with it. He wants everyone to behave themselves and ask consent before doing something like that.
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Old 5th May 2019, 04:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
They might be wrong about copyright -- although I'm not sure it's as clear-cut as you think -- but a club is a private facility, and it's entitled to set whatever rules it wants that don't violate the law. "No pictures, no recorders" is commonly required at all kinds of venues, and is enforced by ejecting the offending patron. And if the patron takes pictures and posts them on Facebook etc., that's no longer "personal enjoyment." At some point it becomes publishing.
I'm not concerned about videos and pictures. The YONDR pouches mentioned in the article are commonly in use at many venues such as this; your cell phone essentially is locked up and made inaccessible inside them, unless you move to the lobby or some other designated area where unlocking devices are stationed.

What's completely wild about this situation is the lawsuit threat for even merely repeating anything Louis CK says during the event outside the venue, such as on social media or a blog, or say a news article. I doubt CK would attempt to go after a news organization, as they know better than most what is or isn't actually allowed by law; but presumably anyone who Facebooks or tweets criticism about something CK says in his set is in for legal harassment.
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Old 5th May 2019, 04:38 PM   #7
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Well, I guess they'll just let anyone on their stage, won't they?

Including myself. Absolutely true. I did a three-minute set there on open mic night a couple of years ago. It was great fun. I'm no Tragic Monkey, but I did OK. I'm working on another set.

Show announcement and rules

I wonder if they're offering customers in the first three rows some plastic sheeting for protection, like in the Gallagher shows.
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Old 5th May 2019, 04:44 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I'm not concerned about videos and pictures. The YONDR pouches mentioned in the article are commonly in use at many venues such as this; your cell phone essentially is locked up and made inaccessible inside them, unless you move to the lobby or some other designated area where unlocking devices are stationed.

What's completely wild about this situation is the lawsuit threat for even merely repeating anything Louis CK says during the event outside the venue, such as on social media or a blog, or say a news article. I doubt CK would attempt to go after a news organization, as they know better than most what is or isn't actually allowed by law; but presumably anyone who Facebooks or tweets criticism about something CK says in his set is in for legal harassment.
Of course, he can try, and will get away with it for the most part. Anyone with the means and will would win a challenge, but who can do that?

Web sites default to the one objecting, so if he flags it, Facebook will take it down regardless of whether it is within fair use guidelines or not.

This isn't about being able to protect his material - that is already done with copyright laws. This is trying to prevent anyone from complaining about anything he says. He could go on stage and call his victims whores, and if someone mentions it either on Facebook or to the media, he'd try to suppress it.
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Old 5th May 2019, 08:01 PM   #9
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Someone who did something bad exists, that's wrong.
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Old 5th May 2019, 08:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
Well, I guess they'll just let anyone on their stage, won't they?

Including myself. Absolutely true. I did a three-minute set there on open mic night a couple of years ago. It was great fun. I'm no Tragic Monkey, but I did OK. I'm working on another set.

Show announcement and rules

I wonder if they're offering customers in the first three rows some plastic sheeting for protection, like in the Gallagher shows.
Might be better to give them earplugs.
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Old 5th May 2019, 11:35 PM   #11
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Man, the way he freaks out over criticism about how tone deaf his jokes are you'd think someone had just forced him to watch themselves masturbating.
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Old 5th May 2019, 11:59 PM   #12
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Is anyone against the principle or just the person?

I think the policy makes perfect sense. In the link alfainer posted it says he is working through new material. Give that it will have media interest he probably doesn’t want it revealed before he has been finished off.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 6th May 2019, 12:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Is anyone against the principle or just the person?

I think the policy makes perfect sense. In the link alfainer posted it says he is working through new material. Give that it will have media interest he probably doesn’t want it revealed before he has been finished off.
Depends...
Is he doing this to prevent people from stealing his material, from publishing an unfinished set he's still working on, or to intimate people who would comment on his act?
The GQ article reads like he's doing it to silence critics on social media by threatening them with a lawsuit if they dare discuss his performance on social media...
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Old 6th May 2019, 12:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post

What's completely wild about this situation is the lawsuit threat for even merely repeating anything Louis CK says during the event outside the venue, such as on social media or a blog, or say a news article. I doubt CK would attempt to go after a news organization, as they know better than most what is or isn't actually allowed by law; but presumably anyone who Facebooks or tweets criticism about something CK says in his set is in for legal harassment.
It sounds to me as though he would take legal action against those repeating his jokes.

In the link alfainer posted it states:

"*Louis CK is trying new material. XXX Adults only*"

As I said before, it seems as though he doesn't want these jokes to be publicized before the material has been worked through and culminated in a special:

Quote:
Louis CK owns all rights in the content and materials, including any jokes and sketches (the “Materials”), delivered during his performance. The Materials may not be copied, translated, transmitted, displayed, distributed, or reproduced verbatim (the “Use”), in whole or in part, in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed, without the express prior written consent of Louis CK. Any Use of the Materials without the express prior written consent of Louis CK is strictly prohibited and shall be subject to all available legal remedies, whether in equity or at law at the cost of anyone who violates this prohibition.
And he probably thinks that being a well-known stand-up comedian who has drawn the interest of the media, and has already had previous new material recorded by audience members and distributed on You Tube and published in articles online, that he needs to be proactive about preventing the material being released before it is ready.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 6th May 2019, 12:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
"No pictures, no recorders" is commonly required at all kinds of venues, and is enforced by ejecting the offending patron. And if the patron takes pictures and posts them on Facebook etc., that's no longer "personal enjoyment." At some point it becomes publishing.
I saw Cirque du Soleil in the Royal Albert Hall in London. Here the audience was explicitly told: "Our bugs (read: performers) love cameras and getting their picture taken. Therefore please take as many pictures and videos as you like. You may share them as much as you like. When you share we would appreciate it if you used the tag #...."
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Old 6th May 2019, 12:28 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Depends...
Is he doing this to prevent people from stealing his material, from publishing an unfinished set he's still working on, or to intimate people who would comment on his act?
The GQ article reads like he's doing it to silence critics on social media by threatening them with a lawsuit if they dare discuss his performance on social media...
Yes, the GQ article is spinning this to say that while this is normal enough for perfectly normal reasons, in Louis CK's case it must be for bad reasons because Louis CK.

Maybe he is only doing this because he wants to masturbate on babies or something...
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 6th May 2019, 01:23 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Is anyone against the principle or just the person?

I think the policy makes perfect sense. In the link alfainer posted it says he is working through new material. Give that it will have media interest he probably doesn’t want it revealed before he has been finished off.
I see what you did there.
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Old 6th May 2019, 02:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
I see what you did there.
It needs to be properly polished before the final release. It would be disappointing to see it carelessly and prematurely lobbed all over Facebook.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 6th May 2019, 02:27 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Another reason for this is the problem of joke theft which is rife and is often perpetrated by “writers” for late night talk show hosts.
Stuart Lee on 'Joke Theft'

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Old 6th May 2019, 02:30 AM   #20
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People who go see comedians they don't like to heckle them or to gather material to fuel their internet outrage should find something better to do.
I get it if you don't like the guy for the stuff he did, if you don't think he's funny, or if his jokes offend you. So ignore him.
Trying to silence people for not confirming to your tastes makes you just as bad as the folks who want to ban Harry Potter for being Satanist, or trying to ban Kevin Bacon from dancing in the little town of Bomont.
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Old 6th May 2019, 03:43 AM   #21
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His scheduled shows are tomorrow through the weekend. Tonight is open mic night, free admission. Quite often, pros come and test some material (not A-listers, that I've ever seen). I wouldn't be surprised if Louis CK does a set tonight in preparation for his paid shows (all Sold Out, btw).

I go to this club every few months -- I think I'll have to check it out tonight.
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Old 6th May 2019, 03:58 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
His scheduled shows are tomorrow through the weekend. Tonight is open mic night, free admission. Quite often, pros come and test some material (not A-listers, that I've ever seen). I wouldn't be surprised if Louis CK does a set tonight in preparation for his paid shows (all Sold Out, btw).

I go to this club every few months -- I think I'll have to check it out tonight.
Bring your notepad and umbrella.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 6th May 2019, 04:22 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Bring your notepad and umbrella.
Actually, sometimes I do bring a notepad, to record observations about performances (in order to make my own better). I've never taken another person's joke, though.
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Old 6th May 2019, 04:38 AM   #24
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The outrage over this is definitely about it being Louis CK doing it. It just strikes some as hugely hypocritical to force women to watch you masturbate but then demand consent from your audience.
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Old 6th May 2019, 04:46 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
The outrage over this is definitely about it being Louis CK doing it. It just strikes some as hugely hypocritical to force women to watch you masturbate but then demand consent from your audience.
It is. But so is suggesting that the need for consent doesn't apply to people who don't deserve it...

He might have learned the importance of consent because of the backlash against his conduct, or he might be a raging hypocrite... but if we maintain that the rules of consent apply, they also apply to ********.
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Old 6th May 2019, 05:35 AM   #26
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There is a general concern among stand-up comics about people in clubs filming their sets and releasing them on youtube. I think there are two primary problems with this:

1) Jokes that the comedian thinks shows promise are released prematurely, cheating them out of refining and using them in a more lucrative comedy special.

2) More controversially, comedians may feel more free to push taboos in small rooms, as the risk of offending people is limited by the smaller audience. Making unsanctioned recordings makes it more dangerous to take risks, even in small rooms.

Generally speaking, comedians use these clubs as test audiences and don't want their test sets released to a wider audience.

Louis CK is probably the worst advocate for this issue because it seems pretty clear that he is just trying to exert tremendous control over audiences to avoid criticism. This copyright enforcement warning is pretty obviously a thuggish attempt to chill criticism of jokes he may tell that are objectionable. Discussing a joke or set that he performs is obviously fair use, where filming and releasing it on YouTube would not be, but it seems likely to me that CK wants to chill the whole gamut of responses.
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Old 6th May 2019, 08:31 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Man, the way he freaks out over criticism about how tone deaf his jokes are you'd think someone had just forced him to watch themselves masturbating.
Originally Posted by Travis View Post
The outrage over this is definitely about it being Louis CK doing it. It just strikes some as hugely hypocritical to force women to watch you masturbate but then demand consent from your audience.
What form(s) of force did CK use to keep his victims from walking away when his hands were otherwise occupied?
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Old 6th May 2019, 09:53 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Travis View Post
The outrage over this is definitely about it being Louis CK doing it. It just strikes some as hugely hypocritical to force women to watch you masturbate but then demand consent from your audience.
I thought he also "demanded consent" from the women he got to watch him masturbate? That's from memory - I'm afraid I can't bring myself to search through news stories about it all to verify.
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Old 6th May 2019, 10:09 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
And he probably thinks that being a well-known stand-up comedian who has drawn the interest of the media, and has already had previous new material recorded by audience members and distributed on You Tube and published in articles online, that he needs to be proactive about preventing the material being released before it is ready.
Yeah, but let's not ignore the glaring context here: the previous new material that was recorded by audience members and shared online wasn't for the purpose of distributing his performance for entertainment consumption, and neither was anyone "stealing" the jokes therein, and neither were the online articles published merely reviews. That material was recorded and shared expressly for the purpose of criticizing what people saw as incredibly awful jokes about trans individuals and Parkland shooting survivors, and the articles were all extremely bad publicity. It was the same thing that happened to Michael Richards a while back, when he freaked out on stage and started shouting a racial slur repeatedly during a set.

If CK specifically just doesn't want video leaking, the YONDR containers already solve the problem of illicit cell phone recordings. He doesn't want the substance of anything he says repeated anywhere outside of the venues at all, even second-hand.

All comedians face the problem of joke theft. Many of them want to conserve material for release in television specials. The only one who has ever felt a need to threaten the audience with a EULA agreement OR hide his actual tour schedule from his ostensible fans is Louis CK. So let's be pragmatic - it's not because he's worried people are trying to steal his jokes.
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Old 6th May 2019, 10:20 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Louis CK is probably the worst advocate for this issue because it seems pretty clear that he is just trying to exert tremendous control over audiences to avoid criticism. This copyright enforcement warning is pretty obviously a thuggish attempt to chill criticism of jokes he may tell that are objectionable. Discussing a joke or set that he performs is obviously fair use, where filming and releasing it on YouTube would not be, but it seems likely to me that CK wants to chill the whole gamut of responses.
I was just about to say the same thing.
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Old 6th May 2019, 11:14 AM   #31
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Quote:
NO CREDITS
NO EXCHANGES
NO NAME CHANGES
NO REFUNDS

ALL SALES ARE FINAL
There is no way I would pay for any event under these conditions. I understand that maybe one wouldn't like the show and walk out. But what if the performer decides not to show up at all?
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Old 6th May 2019, 01:07 PM   #32
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Chappelle has had incredibly strict policies on cell-phones. The idea that you're not allowed to discuss jokes is silly; you can't copyright a joke (Dane Cook's ears just perked up).

I can understand why he'd want to limit hecklers, apart from the obvious reason: It's disruptive to audience members paying to hear Louis.

Originally Posted by Travis View Post
Man, the way he freaks out over criticism about how tone deaf his jokes are...
His pre-scandal humor had the same sensibility. I've seen other white comics marvel at how he could get away with saying the ****** word. Though I've mentioned it annoying number of times, the old adage about show business applies: "an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance."


Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
There is no way I would pay for any event under these conditions. I understand that maybe one wouldn't like the show and walk out. But what if the performer decides not to show up at all?
What if the price was one penny?
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Old 6th May 2019, 02:02 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
What if the price was one penny?
Interesting question. I don't know.

Even at the free show they're still getting drinks money from me. And I get something for it.
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Old 6th May 2019, 02:57 PM   #34
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I’ve always had the idea that I would be a comedian but a “covers” comedian, doing all the best jokes written by other, real comedians. It works for covers bands...

Yes, I know that venues (theoretically, anyway) pay performance rights to various music entities.

As to the larger issue...you can’t copyright an idea for a joke. So if a comedian alters the words and delivery enough -sure you can argue that it’s a crappy thing to do- but there is no legal liability for “stealing” an idea. There’s also the fact that comedians often riff on current events and two or more comedians could go down the same comedic road with no “joke theft” involved.
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Old 6th May 2019, 03:09 PM   #35
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Washed up comedian tries despertly to revive his dying career.
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Old 6th May 2019, 03:43 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
I can understand why he'd want to limit hecklers, apart from the obvious reason: It's disruptive to audience members paying to hear Louis.
I see the logic of that argument for anyone else...but it just so happens that, because of himself, we can't even apply it to CK. The night of his performance being kept completely secret does head off planned heckling; but it also keeps the people who actually want to see him away because most people probably can't afford to spend every single night at the club on the off chance it's the night he shows up. So he's limited to playing in front of a crowd that paid to hear someone else, not him. And the irony of it is that means he might end up heckled anyway...by someone who might well have just stayed away if they'd known CK would play that night, and doesn't appreciate Louie Surprise.
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Old 6th May 2019, 04:13 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I see the logic of that argument for anyone else...but it just so happens that, because of himself, we can't even apply it to CK. The night of his performance being kept completely secret does head off planned heckling; but it also keeps the people who actually want to see him away because most people probably can't afford to spend every single night at the club on the off chance it's the night he shows up. So he's limited to playing in front of a crowd that paid to hear someone else, not him. And the irony of it is that means he might end up heckled anyway...by someone who might well have just stayed away if they'd known CK would play that night, and doesn't appreciate Louie Surprise.
I don't get the "secret" part. He's booked for sold out shows the rest of this week -- it's on the schedule. Is the surprise only that he might show up or not on any given night?
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Old 6th May 2019, 05:20 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I don't get the "secret" part. He's booked for sold out shows the rest of this week -- it's on the schedule. Is the surprise only that he might show up or not on any given night?
That could be my mistake; his tactic until recently was to suddenly appear unannounced at his selected venues as a surprise opening act of whatever the actual headline was, in order to avoid "organized hecklers". It might be the case that he's begun actually announcing his tour dates and locations now.
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Old 6th May 2019, 05:26 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Washed up comedian tries despertly to revive his dying career.
He wasn't washed up. His career wasn't dying. He got blindsided by a #MeToo misdemeanor. Which carries a death sentence, for some reason.

ETA: not just a death sentence, but apparently a whole historical retcon, Soviet Orwell style.

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Old 6th May 2019, 05:49 PM   #40
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I've been to comedy shows with similar disclaimers. Similar or even identical disclaimers are used by Aziz Ansari, Dave Chapelle/Jon Stewart, Michelle Wolf, Judd Apatow, etc.
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