Louis C.K. has quietly released a new series as an online exclusive. The comedian, who stars in the FX show “Louie,” made an announcement on his web site on Jan. 30, informing fans that episode one of his new series “Horace and Pete” was available for download for $5. On Saturday, he offered up episode two of the series for only $2.
“Warning: this show is not a ‘comedy,” Louis C.K. (real name: Louis Szekely) wrote in his Saturday post. “I dunno what it is. It can be funny. And also not. Both. I believe that ‘funny’ works best in its natural habitat. Right in the jungle along with ‘awful,’ ‘sad,’ ‘confusing’ and ‘nothing.’”
Set in a bar of the same name run my family members Horace (Louis C.K.), Pete (Steve Buscemi) and Uncle Pete (Alan Alda), it features a theme song written and performed by Paul Simon and guest stars including Jessica Lange, Aidy Bryant, Steven Wright, Kurt Metzger and Edie Falco.
Louis C.K. is financing, producing, directing, writing and distributing “Horace and Pete” on his own, following a model he established with his stand-up comedy specials, which he has been self-producing and distributing direct-to-digital for $5 since 2011’s “Live at the Beacon Theater.”
C.K. releases the specials sans digital-rights-management (DRM), making them sharable to non-paying fans. He also sells tickets to his live concerts online in the same manner, eliminating the high service fees charged by corporate ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster and keeping them out of the hands of scalpers.
In a Feb. 4 post on his web site, C.K. was apologetic about the pricing of the first episode of “Horace and Pete,” which is shot sitcom-style with four live cameras on two standing sets.
“So why the dirty fuckballs did I charge you five dollars for ‘Horace and Pete, ‘where most TV shows you buy online are 3 dollars or less?” wrote C.K., who is producing the show through his own Pig Newton Productions. “Well, the dirty unmovable fact is that this show is fucking expensive.” He added, “Basically this is a hand-made, one guy paid for it version of a thing that is usually made by a giant corporation.”
But the multi-camera studio format speeds up the production process, so “we are able to post it very soon after each episode is shot. So I’m making this show as you’re watching it,” C.K. wrote.