Louis C.K. just sent out an email to his fans about his new, strange, sad, meandering, theatrical, at-once-traditional-and-tradition-shattering TV/web series, Horace & Pete, whose first episode he surprise-released on Saturday.
Because it dropped so suddenly — and because no one was expecting it — people presumably had a lot of questions, on top of the obvious plot-related ones. The old-school format and the platform on which it was released (the comedian’s website, for $5) were both bold, surprising moves — added to the fact that the whole thing was already a surprise. In the letter, C.K. explains both of these decisions, as well as his intentions for the show going forth. He says:
Part of the idea behind launching it on the site was to create a show in a new way and to provide it to you directly and immediately, without the usual promotion, banner ads, billboards and clips that tell you what the show feels and looks like before you get to see it for yourself. As a writer, there’s always a weird feeing that as you unfold the story and reveal the characters and the tone, you always know that the audience will never get the benefit of seeing it the way you wrote it because they always know so much before they watch it. And as a TV watcher I’m always delighted when I can see a thing without knowing anything about it because of the promotion. So making this show and just posting it out of the blue gave me the rare opportunity to give you that experience of discovery.
He confirms that the show is being made as we speak. The multi-cam format (which involves minimal cuts between shots, as the camera languidly lingers over characters’ conversations, seeming, itself, to be in something of a drunken stupor) and distribution on his own website allows for quick production of each episode. “I’m making this show as you’re watching it,” he says. In fact, they’re shooting the second episode now, and it’ll be released, like the first, on Saturday morning.
As for the question of “why the dirty fuckballs did [he] charge you five dollars for Horace and Pete, where most TV shows you buy online are 3 dollars or less,” he says that the exact reason is, simply, because the show is “fucking expensive.” He elaborates:
Horace and Pete is a full on TV production with four broadcast cameras, two beautiful sets and a state of the art control room and a very talented and skilled crew and a hall-of-fame cast [which includes Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Alan Alda, Jessica Lange, Aidy Bryant, Steven Wright, Kurt Metzger, as well as C.K. himself]. Every second the cameras are rolling, money is shooting out of my asshole like your mother’s worst diarrhea.
That being said, the next episode will be $2, and he’s pricing the following episodes at $3.