Comedian John Caparulo, widely known for his appearances on Chelsea Lately, will begin releasing short video and audio clips in lieu of the traditional hour-long comedy special and album. Caparulo tells Laughspin this on the heels of his just-released second album and DVD Come Inside Me.
“The idea started when I saw someone had a cell phone video of me on YouTube,” he tells Laughspin. “It was like a half hour of newer material that they took at a casino in Minnesota. I started to think that it was so hard to keep everything to yourself while you’re working on it so that you can do the next big project. So I thought it would just be easier to try to start churning out more stuff more often.”
With the help of his management at Parallel Entertainment and Dave Higby – he directed Come Inside Me and the comedian’s 2008 special Meet Cap – Caparulo will shoot the first five-to-six-minute clip on Sept. 25 at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Cap’s plan is to make a streaming version of the video free on his site and for purchase on iTunes. The audio clips will also be delivered to SiriusXM, he says.
“Instead of waiting a couple of years or even a year to do an hour special, I’m just going to keep churning out small bits on a monthly basis,” he says. “People are now watching things in smaller chunks on their phones and tablets, so if there’s anyway I could take advantage of that, I’d like to.”
The first clip will be available early next month if all goes according to plan. Caparulo says the tentative title of the ongoing series is Caplets from the Comedy Store. “I want to take advantage of the information super highway,” Caparulo tells Laughspin. “Twitter is ok but I don’t really want to type that much. It’s not really my thing and I don’t want to pretend that it is. And it seems like everyone I know has at least one, if not four, podcasts. I want to feel like I’m doing my own thing instead of just following the herd.”
This novel approach to comedy distribution comes, of course, nearly two years after Louis C.K. released Live at the Beacon Theater exclusively through his website. From that point, C.K. forever changed the way in which comedy fans consumed stand-up at home. And ever since, well-established acts like Jim Gaffigan, Aziz Ansari and many others have embraced the direct-to-consumer model. However, the DIY ethic now co-exists nicely with larger corporate entities as we’ve seen cable networks like Comedy Central, Showtime and HBO further distribute comedians’ albums and specials that were initially self-released. Though those relationships are in danger, especially if Netflix keeps offering artists huge paychecks and relative autonomy for their material. Recently, Ansari, Kathleen Madigan and many other popular comedians have struck deals to release specials exclusively through the streaming service.
“I held off for a couple of years to do my first hour special,” Caparulo says, “because I didn’t want to do the conventional Comedy Central or Showtime thing where it only gets aired once or twice and then gets buried at 3 a.m. and then people never even know about it.”