Currently, Gaffigan has five comedy specials streaming exclusively on Netflix, including 2017’s “Cinco.” The others are “Obsessed,” “King Baby,” “Beyond the Pale,” and “Mr. Universe.”
On July 17, “Noble Ape,” his sixth one-hour comedy special, will hit more than a dozen platforms (excluding Netflix or other subscription-streaming services). In the special, the comedian holds forth on his family’s medical crisis last year, when his wife, Jeannie, was treated for a brain tumor. Jeannie Gaffigan also directed the special.
“I wanted to make sure ‘Noble Ape’ is available to everyone at the same time,” Gaffigan said in a statement explaining the release strategy. “This show is a very personal hour which deals with Jeannie’s brain tumor and what we went through.”
Pricing has yet to be determined. It will be available for purchase or rent for the first 90 days, before becoming available in other windows (which also have yet to be finalized).
The move isn’t without precedent. In 2011, Louis C.K. kicked off the direct-to-fan trend in the comedy space when he launched stand-up special “Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater” as a $5 download via LouisCK.net. However, the model has its risks. C.K., who has since acknowledged and apologized for inappropriate sexual behavior, said he lost several million dollars on drama series “Horace & Pete,” which he financed and distributed.
Gaffigan’s “Noble Ape” initially will be released on multiple pay-TV and digital platforms, including: Apple’s iTunes, Amazon Video, AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish Network, Google Play, Sony’s PlayStation, Verizon, Walmart’s Vudu, and Microsoft’s Xbox. An album version also will be released on the same day in digital and physical formats.
Gaffigan, 51, is a comedian, actor, writer, producer and two-time New York Times best-selling author. Known for his observational and self-deprecating brand of humor, the Indiana native is currently on his Fixer Upper World Tour. He’s represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and UTA.