When Louis CK wrote and directed a black-and-white movie in 1998, not many people saw it. But that will change in February, when the comedian releases Tomorrow Night on his website for just $5.
CK revealed the news Monday on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, telling him that the film was never released originally because “when I made it I wasn’t anybody.” Tomorrow Night was shown only at the Sundance Festival in 1998, years before the comedian found mainstream success with his critically acclaimed FX series, Louie. The film features early appearances from famous faces like Amy Poehler, J.B. Smoove, Wanda Sykes, and Steve Carell. Leno’s archrival Conan O’Brien also makes an appearance.
The comedian said famous friends like Jon Stewart and Chris Rock lent him money to finish the film, and joked that he still hasn’t paid them back.
The distribution strategy is reminiscent of when CK released a full-length special, Live at the Beacon Theater, on his website for $5 in 2011. The digital release became a blockbuster success, generating more than $1 million and prompting comedians like Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan to release their own specials in similar ways. The strategy isn’t complicated, he said. “It’s five bucks and you buy the thing and you get to keep it.”
Louis CK also talked about his recent role in Oscar favorite American Hustle and thanked Leno for helping him get started as a comedian.