Louis C.K. Releasing His First Movie From 1998 'Tomorrow Night' On His Website
We all know Louis C.K. for the multi-faceted talent he's become. His work on Louie on FX as well as multiple comedy specials have already landed him a cabinet full of awards, and that's only going to go continue in the years to come as he hones his craft not only as a comedian, but as a director, writer, and actor as well.
But what's especially exhilarating about Louis C.K. isn't just that he's the best comedian out there right now, it's that he's testing the system and really pushing the limits of how things work in Hollywood. It started with Louie and the deal he managed to squeeze out of FX in the form of creative control for a miniscule budget. It continued with his next comedy specials, released on his website DRM-free for only $5, a model which many other comedians have now followed.
Now, C.K. will be expanding the kind of content he's offering on his site to feature films, partially because of the difference in clout he has now, as opposed to back in the 90s when he was little more than struggling comedian and comedy writer.
While many consider Louis' first film to be the not-so-well-received Pootie Tang in 2001, a movie which is considered to have set back his career a few years before he really started to take off, he had actually written and directed a movie in 1998 called Tomorrow Night, made on a microbudget and taken to festivals but having never gotten a wide release. Since the comedian has this huge platform to sells things on now, he's decided to release it on louisck.net for the same $5 model he's been using for a couple of years now, as revealed in an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
The movie itself is about an introverted photo-shop owner (C.K.) who suddenly decides to get a social life, but what's more interesting is the story behind it. Louis was of course no one in 1998, so he couldn't get the film released, but he still had a lot of friends in show business who wound up lending him money to finish it, big names like Jon Stewart and Chris Rock (and who he jokingly mentioned he would owe money if it ended up being successful). While it was in black and white, the cast it has would most certainly guarantee it financing today, including rare early appearances from the likes of J.B. Smoove, Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Wanda Sykes, Matt Walsh, some Louie regulars like Todd Barry and Nick DiPaolo, and even a cameo from Conan O'Brien, then in the middle of his swing on Late Night, which got Louis his writing start.
Here's Louis talking about the movie with Leno, including the awkward mention of Conan:
And here's the trailer for the movie, uncovered by The Film Stage, including a look at J.B. Smoove before all the cocaine:
Finally, if you've seen American Hustle, you'll remember an ice fishing story that Louis' character starts to tell Bradley Cooper's, but that never gets finished. Apparently that story actually had an ending, and now we wish it made it into the movie: