In 2009, Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites) pitched an animated variety comedy show called The Paloni Family Comedy Show to Fox for its Animation Domination block. The show was rejected, but now Roiland has brought it back in the form of a Halloween Special.
The Paloni Show! Halloween Special! finally hit Hulu this week. It follows the main characters – and siblings – Leroy, Reggie, and Cheruce Paloni as they attempt to host a special and introduce a variety of Halloween-themed segments. However, as the night goes on, they find themselves sucked into a spooky storyline of their own.
Each of the segments is produced by a totally different animator. Some of the names involved behind the scenes include Lee Hardcastle (The ABC’s of Death), Echo Kellum (CW’s Arrow), and even Michael Cusask (the upcoming series Koala Man), while some of the talent behind the scenes includes Matthew Lillard (Scream), Gilbert Gottfried (Aladdin), and social media influencer Emma Chamberlain.
Now, earlier this month at New York Comic Con, The DisInsider’s Editor-in-Chief Dempsey Pillot got a chance to sit down with Ben Bayouth & Zach Hadel who executive produce and star in the Special respectively.
On the topic of whether or not this would be the only time viewers would get the chance to meet the Paloni family Hadel said, “The sky’s the limit.”
“We keep saying we’re gonna run an Arbor Day special,” he joked. “Write it down.”
On a more serious note, however, Bayouth chimed in by saying that there is room for the characters to come back and do something that’s “not holiday specific.” Comparing the show to a “modern day adult KaBLaM!” he said that the family can do anything because at the end of the day they are the stars of a variety show.
When asked if the show will mark the final time audiences hear Gilbert Gottfried‘s iconic voice, the duo said they don’t think so. And according to IMDb, the late actor does seem to have one more project titled, Hassle at the Castle in development. However, they did explain that Gottfried had recorded his line for the show about two weeks before he passed.
“It was really heartbreaking,” Bayouth said. “But we felt very honored to be able to have worked with him [on one of his final projects].”
In addition to the outstanding voice cast the Special boasts, one of its most notable aspects is how different each segment is. The Special consists of 2D animation, 3D animation, live-action, and even claymation. It’s a decision that makes the project feel even more unique. And Bayouth calls the collection of creators a “grab bag.”
“We reached out to creators who we were huge fans of, or people that we wanted to work with. Some were writers who paired up with animation studios,” he admits. “And I think we got really lucky with just letting things [happen] organically and not really meddling too much with each creators’ vision.”
Hadel, who got his start on YouTube as PsychicPebbles, expressed how important his voice literally felt on and offscreen. He spoke briefly about what it meant to be given a much bigger platform with the series. “It’s great,” he said. “Being from the kind or weird, unconventional world of just making your own stuff and doing it, throwing it out there and [seeing] how people, it’s a different process. But it was a fun one.”
Similar to Solar Opposites, the Special has a blast at poking fun of the very platform it’s produced for – Hulu. While Solar Opposites squeezes in about one Hulu joke per episode, The Paloni Show! averages one between almost every segment. And each is surprisingly funnier than the last. When asked how they got away with the referential humor Bayouth said it was as simple as, “[We just had to] find the line.”
He adds that Roiland and company “pushed the envelope” as far as they could go. That is, until people started telling them not to do stuff.
Hadel later admitted, “I think we said Hulu 100 times before [the company said] ‘Let’s pull back.'”
But Bayouth said that in time the name and the gag only got funnier. “It started to be something that was very funny in the room…We just kept saying Hulu.” Hadel remarked that at one point, “It was almost a thing ofm like, ‘Is it funny to keep saying?’ And then you’re like, ‘Alright, this is not funny.'”
“And then you wait a second and it starts to be funny again,” Bayouth concluded.
The Paloni Show! Halloween Special! is available to stream exclusively on Hulu now.