Horace and Pete, the web series that cost Louis C.K. a chunk of money but not all his money, could have had someone other than Alan Alda in the role of Uncle Pete. And not some stiff pulled out of a mall food court, either. LET THOSE NAMES DRRRRROP!
C.K. revealed a bit of the magician’s secrets when he once again appeared on Marc Maron’s remarkably durable podcast WTF. The role of Uncle Pete Wittel was originally written for Joe Pesci, who turned it down and additionally gave the Louie star his philosophy on performing oral sex on women. Using Lorne Michaels as a go-between, C.K. would later offer the role to Lakers fan/sometimes actor Jack Nicholson. The pitch didn’t get the desired result, but Nicholson sounded like a gent in turning the part down.
Nicholson called C.K. and said, “I just want you to know the writing is terrific, but I’m not going to do it.” C.K. asked if he could be convinced, and Nicholson replied, “You know what I did today? I went out to the tree in my yard and I sat under it and I read a book. And when I was done, I went back inside.”
The wayward role would then be pitched to Christopher Walken. Informed by Walken’s agent that the part “too easy for a guy like him,” the role remained open. The same agent wound up pitching Alda as the man for the job. C.K. was resistant at first, but eventually relented and has been thrilled with the results.
“He f*cking invented that character,” C.K. told Maron. “It’s not what I had in my head. It was a billion times better.”
The self-financed series has wrapped up its initial run after 10 episodes, but the door is apparently open for a return. Beware! There’s a spoilerish detail tucked into C.K.’s musing on who he might bring back.
“I cry about the show a lot… I miss it a lot, you know? And I want to do it again,” CK told Maron. “I knew at one point, this is a 10-act play and it’s gonna be over. And there’s ways we can continue, and that bar’s in storage, and I’ve thought about writing other things and I might. You know this last — this kid Horace, at the end? That’s, I don’t know if you know who that was, but that’s Angus T. Jones, he’s the kid on ‘Two and a Half Men.’ ”