TONIGHT: Disney XD Goes “Kapow!” – Animation Scoop

TONIGHT: Disney XD Goes “Kapow!”

Warner Brothers animation irreverence makes itself at home on Disney XD tonight with the premiere of Right Now, Kapow, a lightning-paced animated sketch comedy series blending the eclectic, throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks approach of TV blackout sketch comedy and the limitless canvas of animation.

Like Saturday Night Live, Laugh-In, All That and Key and Peele, the new series stars a “cast” of six comedy players, in this case being cartoon characters whose shapes match their identities: Dog, Candy, Ice Cream, Diamond, Plant and Moon. Here’s a preview:

“Kyle Kinane, for example, does the voice of Ice Cream,” explains co-creator and executive producer Marly Halpern-Graser. You always know it’s Kyle because, whether he’s a pirate, a baby or some kind of lazy slob at a junkyard, he always has that ice cream head.”

Animation having literally no limit for the boundaries of time and space, the cast of the show flies in the face of both. “Our opening sequence and the transitions between sketches are the heads, disembodied and flying through various spaces or weird, interdimensional art projects,” says co-creator/executive producer Justin Becker. “The idea is that, behind the scenes, these characters are just a bunch of heads flying around. They land in the sketch and we go from there.”

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Over the course of 26 episodes, Halpern-Graser and Becker–former sketch comedy performers themselves—and their creative team came up with over 400 individual sketches. “Each half hour episode is anchored by a ‘runner,’ which is a sketch that comes back three times and tells either a continuous story or heightens the joke,” adds Becker. “There’s a runner at the beginning, middle and end, and within that there are shorter sketches of different lengths.

They describe the comedy as “evergreen,” without a strong reliance on topical subjects and pop culture but rather funny for funny’s sake. They were also encouraged to go for the anarchic, offbeat humor associated with Warner Bros. animation but not necessarily on a Disney network.

“When we were developing the show, it just so happened that Disney was looking for something like it,” said Halpern-Graser. “From the beginning, they said they wanted a new kind of show that pushed the limits of what people would expect on Disney XD. Since we were kids, Justin and I have been huge fans of sketch comedy. I’d love it if kids watched our show and became sketch comedy nerds like us.”

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Greg Ehrbar

Greg Ehrbar

Greg Ehrbar is a freelance writer/producer for television, advertising, books, theme parks and stage. Greg has worked on content for such studios as Disney, Warner and Universal, with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. His numerous books include Mouse Tracks: The Story of Walt Disney (with Tim Hollis). Visit gregehrbar.com for more.
Greg Ehrbar
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