Louis C.K.‘s Monday appearance on The Howard Stern Show was packed with all kinds of goodies. At one point, the comedian bantered back and forth with the shock jock about how his controversial Saturday Night Live monologue was legitimated by ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle’s arrest and imprisonment. However, one of the more fetching gems concerned C.K.’s self-distributed show, Horace and Pete, and how he’d originally written the part of Pete (Steve Buscemi) for Joe Pesci. That’s because C.K. and Pesci had a very interesting phone conversation and in-person meeting, and it was the stuff of legend.
It all started when the 48-year-old comedian got a hold of the 73-year-old Goodfellas actor‘s phone number. Turns out Pesci isn’t fond of random people he doesn’t know — even someone as famous as C.K. — having his phone number:
“I got Joe Pesci’s phone number. My manager got it and I called him. He said, ‘Where the fuck did you get my phone number?’ It was the first thing he said. He said, ‘I don’t know you! I don’t know you.’ He said, ‘I watched some of your stuff after I got…’ Because I left him a message. He said, ‘I watched your stand-up, which I can tell you’re just trying that and you’re no good at it.’ He told me, ‘You’re no good at stand-up.’ He said, ‘Quit that now!'”
When Stern and co-host Robin Quivers were finally able to stop laughing, the former asked if Pesci had been joking. According to C.K., the actor had not been kidding — his unsolicited professional advice to the Emmy Award-winning comedian was genuine.
Despite the initial heat, the conversation turned friendly (albeit patronizing) when Pesci told C.K. that his acting was much better than his stand-up. So the older actor told his younger counterpart that he had “a future” in the business if he stuck with it. C.K. used the opportunity to convince Pesci to let him visit him in person to pitch Horace and Pete. He agreed.
So the two men met at Pesci’s home in New Jersey and mulled over the scripts for an entire day:
“He liked the scripts and he liked what I wrote for him. I was there for a whole day and night, at his house. Great guy. Had a great time with him… He said no.”
Oh, and they also talked about cunnilingus and why men shouldn’t do it. Or at least that was the argument Pesci made when he “lectured” C.K. about the sexual act he disapproved of so strongly:
“While I was there he lectured me about… ‘Don’t ever eat a woman’s pussy.’ He gave me this whole thing about never going down on a woman… Because it makes you beneath her and you can never rise above. He said this whole thing to me and I said to him, ‘I need to write that into this show.’ And he let me have it, and it’s in the show.”
And that, dear children, is the story of how Horace and Pete came to bear Joe Pesci’s personal stamp — despite his refusal to take the role Louis C.K. had written especially for him.