Trashwire talks ‘Brickleberry’ with show creator Waco O’Guin
If you’ve watched Tosh.0, you’ve probably heard of Brickleberry, the new animated series on Comedy Central. Trashwire sat down with creators Waco O’Guin and Roger Black at Comic-Con in August for a round table interview about the series, premiering September 25th on Comedy Central.
How did you guys come up with the concept for Brickleberry?
Waco O’Guin: We were looking to do something that hadn’t already been done, so we wanted to do something we know and my father-in-law, Woody, is a park ranger. He’s the weirdest dude, and he really takes it seriously about being a park ranger and really gets offended when you talk bad about park rangers. [Co-creator Roger Black] is just a jerk and, at my wedding, Roger kept calling him “Tree Cop”. It came to a point at my wedding that he got so mad at Roger that he grabbed him by the thumb and bent it back in a park ranger hold that made him drop down to his knees. After that Roger didn’t say anything else. When we were thinking of ideas that memory came out and we thought it was funny that my father-in-law took it so seriously. So, we thought how about a show about national parks and a character who takes his job so seriously and his name is Woody. We tell my father-in-law that it’s just a name, it’s not based on him. It will be interesting to see what his reaction is when it comes out.
Why was Comedy Central a good fit for the show?
It was originally a pilot for Fox and it didn’t end up being taken seriously, which turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to us, because we started a comedy show back in ‘98 and our goal was always to be on Comedy Central. We got stacks of rejections letters over the years. The short answers is, it’s just the freedom that you have on Comedy Central—because our pilot for Fox, they were like ‘it’s funny, but I don’t know if we can put this on the air’ and Comedy Central was like, ‘it’s funny, but can you guys push it a little bit more?’ Yeah, we can do that! It’s just an awesome place to be and great for us!
How has it been to see the whole thing come together?
It has been incredible! Our animation company, Bento Box, is just incredible place. The great thing about animation is that any idea you have, you can make happen. Brickleberry actually started out as live action, but when they saw the script they said ‘we can’t produce this,’ so the decision came down to this.
Tell us a little bit about the other characters.
Well, they are all park rangers except Malloy, who’s a bear. Woody is the head park ranger. Steve (voiced by David Herman) is really over-enthusiastic, thinks his job is great, but he is really a bumbling idiot. Ethel (Kaitlin Olson) doesn’t work at the park. She’s from Yellowstone. Brickleberry is a horrible park, so they get this park ranger from Yellowstone to come in and kind of try to turn the park around, but Steve is really threatened by her. Then Roger plays Connie, who is a park ranger but a little bit of an outcast. The only place she fits in is in the woods. Not an attractive woman. Then we have Malloy (voiced by Daniel Tosh), who is a bear cub that Woody (voiced by SpongeBob himself, Tom Kenny) spoiled so much there is no way he could live in the woods. He plays X-Box, eats candy, and looks down on bears that have to live outside. We also have Denzel, played by Jerry Minor, and he’s like an urban guy, who doesn’t know anything about animals and is totally a fish out of water. It’s a fun group. The thing about a national park is, anyone can come into it, so it’s basically a springboard for any idea we can think of and we can just wrap up into a national park.
When casting did you have specific people in mind?
Well, for the original it was me and Roger and a buddy or two. When Fox picked it up they did a big casting session, like, 1,500 people came, so we knew we didn’t need to play these characters, let’s let professionals do it—except for Roger, we knew nobody could do a better Connie than Roger, we tried a bunch of people and Roger’s was still the best. I do the voice of a side character named Bobby, so it’s nice to be able to perform to and not just have to write it. The hardest part of the whole thing is the writing. It’s fun now, seeing the animation come back it’s great, but the writing is hard. Maybe season two we can do a writer’s retreat in Yellowstone. We are just so excited for it to air and see people’s reactions.
Catch Brickleberry Tuesdays on Comedy Central.