Just a few weeks ago, Louis C.K. came out of social media hibernation to announce his surprise new dramatic web series, Horace and Pete. He's been releasing new episodes on Saturdays ever since, each one heralded by one of C.K.'s surprisingly honest and personable emails. And for this week's fifth episode, he composed a particularly witty newsletter that tackles spam emails, his general crankiness, and "building a Trump shelter like everyone else." Oh, and he also dropped the bomb that he will be touring again this year.
Most of the email skips over the "good feelings and positive messages [that] just flow past like water" in favor of addressing complaints about the lack of an opt-out function for his email list (he's been too busy with everyday things, like creating and distributing a new episode every week, to get to it). Of course, walking a thin line between complaining about the frustrating, mundane details of life and celebrating his own imperfections and contradictions is C.K.'s bread-and-butter, so he can pull out a gorgeous sentence alongside a weird, self-aware gay joke.
Or as he concludes the email, "This is like you had a brunch and everyone left and I stayed and I’m not even your favorite guest and you’re watching me sit in your house and talk until my mouth gets white and dry and you really have to take a shit but you’re waiting for me to shut up and leave. So I will." And then he praised "our supreme leader, Master Donald Trump."
Also in C.K. news this week, FX president John Landgraf admitted that he tried to get C.K. to bring Horace and Pete to the channel to no avail (and that the show had been in the works since last summer). He also noted that he's not too worried about other comics and TV personalities distributing their own work: "There just aren’t people like Louis. I mean, who do you know who can write, produce, direct, star in, edit, finance and distribute? So, he’s put forth a model for the future that others may pursue, but by it’s very nature it can’t become a ubiquitous model because there just aren’t many people who are capable of doing it."
You can read C.K.'s email in full below.
Indeed this is my weekly email, notifying you that the new episode of Horace and Pete (5) is ready for download ($3). Go here to watch it! Enjoy.
I know that some of you on this list don't want to get this email every week. And I know that some of you really like getting this email every week. I know this because I get emails from both of you. Some people write me and they say “Hey, you promised not to write me all the time. This is REALLY unfair! This is SPAM!” and some of you write me to say “Hey man. I love getting these emails. And thanks for reminding me about the show this week.” Also, whenever we delay the email for a while, to see if maybe people will come out of habit to watch the show, some do. But not many. And then I send out the email and boom. There’s an explosion of sales on the new episode and even the old ones. And the explosion reverberates though the week. So. I’m gonna keep sending the emails.
You may be asking yourselves, or asking me, though within yourselves, “Why don’t you just let some people opt out of the Horace and Pete email list?” Well, the fact is that I did tell my web guys to create some category options for the email list. And to be fair for them, they did that very thing. And they emailed me a few days ago, showing me those options and asking me to review and approve them. And I haven’t looked at it. Because I’m very busy right now doing lots of things like, for instance, taking my kids to school in the mornings, picking them up later, politely asking the dog not to chew things, building a Trump shelter like everyone else, creating and paying for a whole television series and distributing it to you directly. So yeah, I’m fucking busy. Sorry for cursing.
So for the time being, you’re going to get one of these for every episode of Horace and Pete. If I’m really cluttering up your email box, opt out of the list. And then come back when the series is over. I mean, you could do that. (although I’m going on tour very soon and you might miss out on an announcement on tickets going on sale). You really could just opt out, and leave things how they are for the people who like the emails. In fact, you know what? I’m not making a sub-list for Horace and Pete. I’m not. I have one list. This is it. This show won’t always be on. You know what? Also? I think I've gotten a total of 7 emails from people complaining about these reminders. And the result is that hundreds of thousands of you are getting this vomit of my insecurity this morning.
Okay. Just… If you want to see the next episode, it’s there. It’s number 5.
Oh also, some of you (like 4 of you) have written me to ask that I give you more information about Horace and Pete. You say you want clips to watch and some synopsis of the show, so that you don’t have to unduly risk your 3 dollars. Well. No. I won’t. If you want to try the show, try it. If you don’t, don’t. So far I’m very happy with the amount of you that do. And about 6 of you have asked me to tell you how many episodes are coming, so that you can decide based on that whether you want to get involved in the show, knowing how far you have to go. Again, no. I won’t tell you how many are coming.
By the way, for the 11 emails I’m addressing here, hundreds of you write me every day just to say that you love the show. So why is this happening right now? What is it about how good feelings and positive messages just flow past like water, while the negative gets addressed and dealt with?
Why don’t I write you a happy email, that reflects the overwhelmingly positive response to the show, by thanking you for sharing your positive thoughts? Well, I can only answer by saying that the twelve year old boy who still lives inside of me would say “Because that’s gay”. And I guess I’m not afraid to insult gay people by saying that an adolescent side of me believes they are polite and friendly.
You know what there has been one message of concern I’ve gotten that is worth mentioning. Some people ask why I don’t create a subscription option where you can buy all of the episodes up front at a discount? That’s such a good idea! But I can’t do it. Because I haven’t made all of the shows yet. I make the show every week and then put it up. What if I get you to buy them ahead of time and then I break my head open and can’t make anymore? So sorry. You have to pay for one at a time.
I probably shouldn’t send this email. But I will. I think it’s okay that you see this side of me. Like when I’m with my kids and I catch myself, realizing I’ve been a cranky asshole with them for the last couple of hours. I catch it and inside of myself I think “You’re being a dick. Cool off” but then I think “Well, keep it like this for another ten minutes” and I stay cranky a little longer, even though I have the control now to scale it back. I realize that that example might make me sound like a sociopath. Well, okay. Think what you want.
I think a lot of you reading this email will come to the following conclusion “Boy, for a guy who really wants us to think that he doesn’t give a shit what we think, he sure did just write a long email all about how he really gives a shit what we think.” Which is fair. I’m not a perfectly balanced person. What I like to think is that I am happy if people like me, and I'm okay if they don’t. I just do my best. Anyway, I don’t have twitter anymore. I don’t do a lot of interviews.
And I like talking to people. So… okay. I think that’s really more than enough. This is like you had a brunch and everyone left and I stayed and I’m not even your favorite guest and you’re watching me sit in your house and talk until my mouth gets white and dry and you really have to take a shit but you’re waiting for me to shut up and leave. So I will.
Here’s the link again for episode 5. And also I’m going on tour soon. It’s going to be a big long tour of lots of cities.
May god’s light shine on our supreme leader, Master Donald Trump.