Louis CK is number 1

IF YOU had to pinpoint the moment Louis CK became the most important American comedian of his generation, you could do worse than choose 10 December 2011. This was the date he released the self-funded Live at the Beacon Theater – his fourth hour long special in five years – on his website, free of digital rights management, for $5. You could also choose the moment two days later when he announced on the same site that he’d sold 110,000 copies, netting him a personal profit of over $200,000 and effectively making him self- sufficient. He could bypass TV networks completely (it soon sold over a million). America is in a golden age of comedy, but for all the great stand-ups out there, none can match CK for fullness of artistic vision. He’s smart, articulate, increasingly worthy of mention in the same breath as his idol George Carlin and – this is the important part – beholden to absolutely no one. Reward his trust by following him wherever he’s willing to go.