Louis C.K. pulled a Beyonce on TV viewers last month when he suddenly released a new webseries, Horace and Pete, with no advance warning. The show, which stars C.K. alongside Steve Buscemi as bar owners, just appeared on the comedian’s website one day.
“To me, the exciting idea was for people to see this without having any idea what it’s gonna be like,” C.K. told Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday. “I thought, that’s exciting. But as soon as I put it out there I just got a ton of emails from people saying ‘what is it? I don’t know what it is. Send me a clip, I want to watch it before I see it.’ It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
C.K. developed a reputation as an auteur with his previous show, Louie, but Horace and Pete took it even farther. In C.K.’s words, he wanted to “make a show, I literally output it in on my Macbook, and you watch it on your iPad.” Even the prices attached to each episode ($5 for the first one, $2 for the second, $3 for the third) were just haphazardly set by C.K. himself.
The show’s lack of marketing isn’t the only unique thing about it. The format itself is a little unique, darker in tone than even Louie. Kimmel described it as “Cheers if everyone there was depressed.”
“It looks like a sitcom because we shot it with multiple cameras on a stage, but there’s no audience and no laugh track,” C.K. said. “So sometimes people say funny stuff but it just lays there. And if you watch it, you laugh.”
Watch the full clip below.