Louis CK says his web series, “Horace and Pete,” may not be over after all — and that “Two and a Half Men” star Angus T. Jones could help continue the story.
CK spoke on Marc Maron‘s “WTF” podcast Thursday about how he had always intended the show as a 10-act play — and Maron said reports of its cancellation were misleading. (You should listen to the entire podcast because Maron and CK covered a lot, including how CK sought Jack Nicholson for the role that went to Alan Alda — and that CK also offered to Joe Pesci.)
News outlets including TheWrap said the show was canceled after CK wrote in an e-mail to fans that the show’s 10th episode “was the last episode.” CK also told Howard Stern on April 11 that he was “millions of dollars in debt right now” because he self-financed the series and distributed it on his own.
On Maron’s podcast, CK said he chose to finance the show himself even though friends including “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels suggested he find investors. He also said he has ways of recouping his investment, including a possible run on a service like Netflix, to help him at least break even.
He said he chose to release the series on his own, via his website, because that was the only format allowable under his contract with FX, which airs “Louie.”
Most intriguingly, CK raised the possibility of reviving “Horace and Pete” in some form, and said “Two and a Half Men” actor Angus T. Jones could be involved in those plans. Jones played a small but important role on “Horace and Pete.”
“I cry about the show a lot… I miss it a lot, you know? And I want to do it again,” CK told Maron. “I knew at one point, this is a 10-act play and it’s gonna be over. And there’s ways we can continue, and that bar’s in storage, and I’ve thought about writing other things, and I might. You know this last — this kid Horace, at the end? That’s, I don’t know if you know who that was, but that’s Angus T. Jones, he’s the kid on ‘Two and a Half Men.’”
(This paragraph contains a minor spoiler: Jones plays the ninth Horace in the family featured on the show. For a century, the family has passed down a bar from one generation to the next to a different pair of relatives named Horace and Pete. Jones’ Horace could, theoretically, continue that tradition.)
CK continued: “He walked off of ‘Two and a Half Men,’ the No. 1 show on television for 12 years, walked off of it because he felt a moral conflict with the show. Because he’s a Christian. And I found that really fascinating, that somebody walks away from a huge job because he doesn’t feel right about it. And that made me think about Horace and my show. This kid — and his son who doesn’t speak to him, who judges him so much that he won’t speak to him, thinks he’s such a terrible man that he’s not worth his fucking time, his own father. Just like I am with my dad,” CK continued.
“And I thought about that, and I talked to Angus on the phone and I said, ‘I want you to play a scene. You have three lines.’ He’s in Colorado. I’m like, ‘I want you to fly in and play this one scene,’” CK said. “I said, ‘I want you to play a guy in a world that’s very amoral but you’re not. In your mind, you’re moral.’ And we talked about the idea that when you make yourself moral, you separate yourself from other people. Because most people aren’t. So you isolate yourself. And he came and he played that part.”
CK added: “So there’s ways forward with it, and I don’t know if I’m going to take them. I may leave it at where it is. But one thing I know for sure is that I’ll do something like this again. … I will do something just like this again.”
Finally, he said, no one needs to worry about his finances.
“The only thing that matters to me is that I can keep doing it. And all I need for that is for it to get close at least, being like it never happened financially. And then I’ll put it out somewhere like Netflix where a lot of people can see it and sample it,” he said. “I don’t need to make money on this. I don’t need to.”
You can watch “Horace and Pete” on LouisCK.net.