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Entertainment is a risky business, and comedian Louis C.K. has had plenty of success in front of and behind cameras. His unique brand of humor has turned him into a master of stand up, and his triumphs on the small screen led FX to give him plenty of control on his series Louie. Recently, however, C.K. took a big risk himself when he funded the web series Horace and Pete out of his own pocket, and that apparently has him in a bit of a financial pickle at the moment.

I got so excited about having the show appear from nothing…So I made the first four, and I didn’t tell nobody and it made a nice little amount of money. When I got to Episode 4, I was like, ‘Hey gang, I don’t have any money.’ So I had to take out a line of credit. So I’m in the hole for millions of dollars. I’m millions of dollars in debt right now.

Louis C.K.’s debt-revealing story to Howard Stern on The Howard Stern Show is so forthright that it’s almost hard to believe. It’s not every day that we hear famous folks come right out and cop to details of their finances, and Louis C.K. is going to need to do more than scrounge around his couch cushions for loose change to fix this situation. Luckily, he has enough faith in his project that he doesn’t seem too worried about recovering his funds.

I believe by the summer, the whole show will have paid itself off…and then I’ll sell it to another outlet.

As much as Louis C.K. seems to have made a big gamble with putting his own cash into producing Horace and Pete, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t pull off the minor miracle of turning a respectable profit off the web series. This particular series boasts a cast of C.K., Steve Buscemi, and Alan Alda. Series co-creators C.K. and Buscemi play the titular Horace and Pete, who run a bar in the heart of Brooklyn, and episodes combine the oddities of C.K.’s and Buscemi’s humor in the best way, with Alda elevating every scene in which he appears.

With such a cast, Horace and Pete seems like a series that wouldn’t necessarily have to struggle to find investors, but the twist was that nobody seemed to know that it was in the works. The official announcement came via Louis C.K.’s website when the first episode was available, and it seems that the creative control remained entirely with the creators. If all goes well over the next couple of months, C.K.’s gamble may well pay off both monetarily and with more creative projects in the future.

Ten episodes of Horace and Pete are available for viewing on Louis C.K.’s website, although you’ll have to shell out a few dollars for each installment. C.K. has to make back those millions somehow. Check out our list of summer premiere dates to see what you can catch on primetime once you’ve seen all there is to see of Louis C.K. and Steve Buscemi on Horace and Pete.


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