It's no surprise that Louis C.K. loves boxing. He trains in a boxing ring to get in shape before going out on tour. He's even trained with Mickey Ward (played by Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter). There's perhaps no other sport that better symbolizes his career: the guy's taken a lot of hits. Take his feature Pootie Tang, which was based on a popular skit he wrote for The Chris Rock Show. The movie tanked when it was first released in 2001 but has since become a cult classic (to his dismay). Another project, Lucky Louie, was a short lived sitcom on HBO that similarly bombed with critics and didn't make it through the first season.
Those early blows to his career were difficult for Louis, but getting back on his feet taught him a valuable lesson about failure -- namely, it's not the end of the world. In 2010, Louis C.K. finally busted into the mainstream with his autobiographical show, Louie, and a popular stand up special, Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater, which was sold on his own personal website and made a million dollars in twelve days. Now, Louie is in its third season on FX, and many other stand ups, like Jim Gaffigan and Aziz Ansari, have followed Louis' example of broadcasting their own content online.
Despite the onslaught of his recent success, Louis remains grounded and devoted to improving the audience experience. For his latest tour, which kicks off in October, he figured out a way to bypass corporate venues and ticket brokers, thereby eliminating those pesky surcharges and processing fees. Tickets were sold directly to fans on his own website, for a very reasonable price. On the homepage, under a note about his tour, is a sign off that could also serve as his personal mantra: "See you on the road, bitches."
Banner image: Bil Zelman