Earlier today, comic Louis C.K. went onto The Howard Stern Show on SiriusXM and quite plainly told the radio host that his passion project, Horace and Pete, has put him “millions of dollars in debt.”
When asked by Stern how much money he had to produce the show, C.K. revealed that he had budgeted out two million dollars of his own money to go towards shooting. He spent that two million dollars shooting the first four episodes, operating under the assumption that the revenue generated from those episodes would cover the costs and fund the rest of the season.
This plan did not come to fruition, however. C.K. was asked whether he’s made his money back on the show yet, to which he responds, with just a hint of irritation in his voice, that his lack of promotion for the show had led to relatively low profits.
C.K.: “So I made the first four and I didn’t tell nobody and it made a nice little amount of money, but when I got to episode four I was like ‘Hey gang, I don’t have any money,’ so I had to take out a line of credit.”
Stern: “How much are you in the hole for?”
C.K.: “You know, millions of dollars.”
Stern: “What the fuck?”
C.K. seems to share that sentiment, and as such, has decided that he’s now willing to take Horace and Pete on the promotional trail. Stern and co-host Robin Quivers both started asking — begging, almost — C.K. to sell the show to FX, Netflix, or any other big network or platform that would likely love to buy it. C.K. elaborates that when he plugged the show on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he saw a surge in the sales of Horace and Pete; Therefore, the comic plans to promote the show (starting with Stern’s show) in a number of places, such as Charlie Rose and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. C.K. revealed that he has also submitted the show “for every Emmy award possible.”
It comes as no surprise particularly given the level of talent signed on for the show, including Alan Alda, Steve Buscemi, and Edie Falco as series regulars and an amazing team of guest stars, plus having Paul Simon provide an original song to serve as the series theme can’t be cheap.
Overall, C.K. doesn’t seem terribly worried. Towards the end of the interview, he states he believes that “by the summer, the whole show will have paid itself off.” In fact, the whole reason C.K. felt so comfortable spending the money he did on the first half of the season was because he knew that, if the show itself didn’t make the money back for him, he could just hit the road after and make it back from doing stand-up. Such is the benefit of being one of the most popular comedians on the planet right now.
So don’t fear for Louis C.K. folks, he’s in debt in the same way that Donald Trump has filed for bankruptcy multiple times: it might not sound good on paper, but he’ll be just fine.