Comedian Louis C.K. surprised everyone with the sudden appearance, then disappearance, of his online-only show Horace and Pete. Although the show took quite the financial toll on its creator, it was well-received and will be missed by the funnyman’s fan base. Whether the 48-year-old comic will miss the show as much remains to be seen, especially because he recently decided to give up the internet and everything that comes with it. To explain this everyday life choice, C.K. read a handwritten note from one of his two daughters on Conan.
Holding a folded up piece of pink construction paper with big lettering strewn all over it, C.K. joked with host Conan O’Brien that it “was messy, but she’s 10. I’m not criticizing her, I’m just saying she’s 10.” All jokes aside, he read from the note:
“Dear daddy… I am really proud of you for cutting yourself off from the internet and reading an awesome book. I want you to know that what you did means a lot to me, and I really enjoy seeing your pleasure in not constantly being on devices. Also, thanks for the trip to Mexico. I really needed that.”
“I think people should know that it has an impact on your kids if you stop looking at the stupid internet,” he continued.
C.K. read his daughter’s note in order to explain why he’d “quit the internet” in the past month, especially whenever it concerned his smartphone. The comedian admitted to O’Brien that his dissatisfaction with all things online had to do with the offensive crap he kept looking at.
“I look at things I know are going to upset me. You know, I guess I just like the hit… I’ll go on my computer and I’ll Google an image I don’t want to see, so that I see a whole wall of it. Like ‘big dicks with nails in them.’ “
More importantly, however, was C.K.’s realization that his constant smartphone usage was getting in the way of his being a parent. As he described it, his daughters would be talking and he would be listening, but as soon as his phone made a noise, he’d pull it out to find out where the notification had come from and why. Meanwhile, his kids would sit and wait because “they’re nice people.” They didn’t seem to have a problem with the constant interruptions, but C.K. knew “you can’t just go by how a person reacts to you,” so he gave his phone to one of his daughters.
“I said, ‘Make a restriction code and lock me out of the internet.’ It’s supposed to be the other way around. It’s supposed to be a parental code to keep your kid off the internet, but I had my daughter give me a code.”
So C.K.’s own kid locked him out of the internet on his phone, thereby lessening his penchant for interrupting conversations with them and others. Instead of Googling things on his own, he walks up to people on street and asks them questions — supposedly random persons who either don’t realize they’re being quizzed by Louis C.K., or do but are too afraid to say anything.