The riotous T.J. Miller was a no-show at HBO’s Silicon Valley Comic-Con panel this afternoon — he was busy shooting Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. No problem. Comic-Con exec Laura Jones lauded Silicon Valley co-creator Mike Judge with a career achievement award for his work in film and TV, and Miller not stealing all the laughs in the packed Indigo Room over at the Hilton Bayfront, that responsibility went to Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods and Thomas Middleditch, who expounded on Season 3’s love of horses.

Judge and executive producer Alec Berg mentioned that the staff is already back in the writers room for Season 4, of the Emmy-nominated HBO comedy, but it’s way to early to tease since they’ve been in situations where they end up at a different spot from where they started. After Erlich (Miller) outbids Gavin for Pied Piper, the company is now focusing on Disneh’s videoc-onferencing idea. That’s not a far-fetched reality in the actual Silicon Valley. Pied Piper, like a lot of tech start-ups, originally started with an idea — storage — and morphed into a product that’s more successful. What we do know about Season 4: Monica (Amanda Crew) and Big Head (Josh Brener) will be joining Pied Piper.

In talking about why it’s too early to talk about the new season, Judge explained that for Season 3 “we were going to do eight or nine episodes centering around Stuntworks. Then we got stuck for three weeks with that idea and blew it up. That was the first good dig we had in the writers room, and we had to pivot.”

However, tragedy plus timing equals comedy on the show, and Judge and Berg said that “It’s more fun to watch these guys fail and be humiliated. They’re funnier that way.”

At the top of the panel, discussion centered on the just-ended season’s horse-mating scene. “The horse-f*cking scene is pretty hard to forget,” exclaimed Nanjiani. Said Middleditch, “It wasn’t a pair of horses making sweet love. It was a film clip on a green screen.”

Berg explained that when working with animals, there’s more safeguards in place “than working with children.”

“Well, this plays into your campaign to break up the animal unions,” said Middleditch.

Silicon Valley returns in April.