Horace and Pete centers around a group of day drinkers at a bar that, C.K. joked, is, “like what the bar that Cheers was based on was probably really like, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.” Though the show boasts a top-notch cast that features C.K. alongside Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Alan Alda and Jessica Lange, the comedian insisted there be no promotion for Horace and Pete and announced its existence via an e-mail to fans.
“To me, the exciting idea was for people to see this without having any idea what it’s going to be like, without having any expectation or idea,” C.K. said. He added: “Part of it was I wanted to cut out the middle man. I make a show, I literally output it on my MacBook and you watch it on your iPad. That was exciting to me. But here’s the thing: When you cut out the middle man, you deal with the customers directly.”
C.K. also spoke about casting Alda in the role of the surly Uncle Pete. While C.K. admitted he wasn’t sure if Alda was right for the part, the actor was adamant about trying, and ended up delivering a performance that C.K. said made Horace and Pete worth watching in and of itself.
The comedian also spoke about not just working with, but directing, storied performers like Alda, Lange and Buscemi. “They’re all better than me, and they’ve all done more than me, and they’re higher-caliber in every way than I am — but you can’t make them feel that way, because then they’re lost,” C.K. said. “They need direction; they’re actors. I’ve had great actors come on to something I’m doing, and I go, ‘I’m such a huge fan!’ And you just see their face go, ‘Oh, shit.'”