Much ink and many megabytes have been spilled — and rightly so — heralding Louis CK's bold decision to self-release his own specials and CDs on his website, and the implications that has for the recording industry. But the practical realities of this strategy are more complicated on a smaller scale. "I tried doing the $5 download thing, but you can't afford to build a website just for that," explains Ohio-based comic Bill Squire. "Even if you have the $30,000 laying around, you're not going to make that back unless you have a giant fan base." That inspired Squire to take an even more direct DIY approach, releasing his first special, Just Say Your Jokes, for free on YouTube and his website (www.billsquire.com). The plan is to spread the good word online gratis, and then offer these new fans the chance to buy the special on a hard-copy DVD when they come to the shows at whatever price they determine is fair. Squire says it's working well, with the special already garnering over 13,000 views and bringing in new faces to the clubs. It also gives audiences a chance to preview his affable, consistently hilarious act before they go check him out this weekend at the Joke Joint, where he'll be performing an entirely new hour of standup he's honing to record for his next special. "It's definitely my favorite material so far," Squire says of the new hour. "I deal in depth with being an ex-Mormon, not trying to make myself look cool but pointing out what a douchebag I was for going along with it for so long. The last hour was built up over five or six years, and encompasses all that time mushed together. It's me becoming a good comic. This one is me as a guy who can tell stories and be funny talking about my life and being a stepdad. It's very honest." With Mike Lester.
Dec. 6-8, 8 p.m.; Dec. 7-8, 10:30 p.m., 2012