We're in the middle of a comedy boom. Scores of young comics are using the media platforms and formats at their disposal to develop a voice and make it directly accessible through the Internet. When everything syncs up right, many of these comics are able to build a loyal following in the process. But if ready access to resources has altered conventional creative pathways for comedians on the rise, the looming inconstancies and fleet-footed pace of show business remain fundamental barriers to lasting success. It's impossible to predict if or when a comedic talent will arrive at a place where his or her distinct artistic voice will still be heard, clearly and in spite of its own success, through a clamoring audience. So at a time when comedy as an art form seems as wide open as it can be, it's thrilling to witness somebody like Louis C.K. perform live stand-up comedy in person.