The Real Story Behind Silicon Valley's Horse Sex Scene

Separately, Mike Judge and HBO have given audiences a lot of different and sometimes extreme subject matter to process. Together, they’ve given us the satirical comedy Silicon Valley, and though the show’s topics are often of a tech-based nature, Sunday night’s episode got extremely primal during one scene that featured a pair of horses having sex during a conversation between Richard and his new boss, Stephen Tobolowsky’s Jack Barker. And because you were wondering, everything involved in that graphic equine coupling was completely real. Well, almost completely.

As far as the actual horse sex goes, Mike Judge says that was 100% genuine, but that it definitely wasn’t how the scene was first envisioned for the characters’ conversation.

Originally we had them at a vintage race track, but we just weren't finding anything funny about it. I think it was Dick Costello, the ex-Twitter CEO who was in the writers room part-time this season, who told us about a guy who had just blown a ton of money on race horses. So we started talking about race horses and looked on YouTube. That's where we saw these videos of them having sex and it was just making us laugh. That's how it started.

Though some horses are inseminated artificially, thoroughbreds do it naturally, which helped the show’s cause in that respect. And after the research was done, it doesn’t seem to have been that tough of a process to get the scene together, as it was mostly a matter of finding the location, horses and wranglers, as well as getting the American Human Society there. Only two horses were used, since all it took was one take to make the magic happen, so to speak, though other horses were set in case it didn’t work initially.

Speaking of the act itself, that’s actually where some liberties were taken in the scene. Here’s how Judge explained that part to THR when asked how long it took to “get the money shot.” (Which is totally visible to anyone watching on something bigger than a smartphone.)

Oh, less than a minute. That's the only thing that's fake is, well, the horses actually go very quickly. So we had to repeat the footage some — not too much, but if you cut it all together, the horse just finishes really fast. It would not go on as long as that conversation Richard and Jack are having in the scene.

Gross. Anyway. You might recall that HBO and horses haven’t exactly had the best history together, what with the high-profile drama Luck going through some legal hell and cancellation after multiple horses died during production. But rather than balk or get weary about any of it, Judge says that HBO exec Amy Gravitt actually requested more of the horses banging on screen. It’s not TV. It’s comedic horse porn. You can check it out in all its erect glory below.

Silicon Valley had already given the world the most elaborate dick joke imaginable, and it didn’t seem likely that any other penis-related moment could top it. But now we have this merry mare-y display of animal affection. What do you guys think we’ll get in Season 4? Maybe they’ll double back to this and show a horse plowing into Gavin Belson. It’d be crude, but not undeserved.

Silicon Valley airs Sunday nights on HBO.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.