KZ Commentary: Episode 1, “The Interview”

Thanks everyone for checking out the first episode. It seems like you liked it! More fun to come. You’ll get to meet a lot of new kooky characters in upcoming shows, along with Krog’s old nemesis. But more on him later…

“THE INTERVIEW” was always meant to be the first episode – it seemed like a great way to introduce Krogzilla and his plight. The HR Director became a nice way to create a little exposition and set up the premise of the series. The scene with the receptionist was probably the first scene I ever had in my mind. Any time you have a monster or a robot or something fantastical doing very mundane activities, it’s funny. We learned this while making “Hoodwinked.” The more ordinary the animals’ conversations were, the funnier it was (such as the two caterpillars discussing “dating other people.”). So the rules of this universe are that NO ONE really reacts to Krogzilla as something unusual. He’s just some dude that’s a little weird. The indifference the receptionist shows him is something I’ve experienced in a LOT of customer service situations. Haven’t you?

KAREN WHIPPLE plays the receptionist and she is really great. Along with voice work, Karen sings on many movie soundtracks you may have heard, such as “Star Trek,” “Ice Age” and “Real Steel.” Anytime you hear operatic choral voices mixed into the thunderous orchestra, it’s probably her! As with many dialogue scenes in this show, we recorded both of us at the same time in the booth to get that casual, sloppy, overlapping conversation. I knew the animation was going to be very graphically simple, so I wanted the performances to be very loose and real. Karen will do another voice in a few episodes that is light years away from this one. Wait ‘til you hear it!

SHON LITTLE plays the HR director. Shon is a character actor who has been on shows like “That’s So Raven,” “Everybody Hates Chris” and “Two and a Half Men.” Beyond acting, Shon also writes, directs and stars in his own web series, “BETTY AND DD.” Check it out if you like awkward pauses from students in a small town acting school! I love Shon’s delivery of these lines… it’s almost like music when you hear his highs and lows. And once again, it’s really not strange to this guy that a green monster is applying for job placement. It’s more irritating that he has no skills. I used to have this extra bit in the script where the HR guy asks, “Can you type?” And Krog has to admit that he usually breaks the keys off with his claws.

Then we meet JEFF. I must give credit to my wife for the invention of this loud-mouthed guy – and if you know my wife, then it’s really bizarre that this came from her! But she knew that the audience for this show is the same audience that likes “South Park,” “Robot Chicken” and “Family Guy.” After reading the first draft of the script, she said to me, “This isn’t weird enough yet. You need something like a little guy living on his neck.”

“A what????? Living on his neck?? Who ARE you? I don’t even know you anymore!…” But then I started laughing. Of course – this laid back, befuddled guy needs the opposite kind of character rubbing against him; someone EXPLOSIVE and random. Once I realized a sea monster would naturally have a barnacle living on him, Jeff became the perfect metaphor — He’s that roommate who sleeps on your Futon and contributes NOTHING to your life, but has a big opinion about everything.

And let me say this to all the Jeff’s I personally know out there (and there are several), this is in NO WAY a version of you! All the Jeff’s in my life are good, dependable guys. It was just the funniest name I could give to a creepy little creature. It’s like naming a pirate “Steve” or a dragon “Pam.” And once again, in “Hoodwinked” one of our favorite jokes was “Greg Stiltskin.”

JOSH GREENE performs the voice of Jeff, because I believe a little of Jeff lurks somewhere within him. Josh says he channeled the love child of Al Pacino and Gilbert Godfried. Jeff will be popping up when you least expect it throughout the series, and saying the most inappropriate stuff. People are already repeating one of his memorable lines from this episode: “That’s racist!! Is that racist?”

No Jeff. Go back to sleep.

I can’t promise that Krogzilla will set fire to something in every show, but I can tell you that there are more surprises and really awkward situations to come. If you like the show, the highest compliment you can give it is to tell someone else about it. And for that, I thank you in advance. Of course, if you didn’t like it, I’d love for you to bury that opinion deep, deep inside yourself and journal about it later.

See you next week for episode two! A little teaser: it’s titled “Big Dogs.”

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