Notorious Kids Premiere on Comedy Central

Animated kids rule Comedy Central’s nighttime lineup as a series of new South Park episodes kicks off tonight, followed by the premiere of the original series Kid Notorious, starring legendary Hollywood player Robert Evens.

Starting at 10:00 p.m. (9:00 C) tonight, Comedy Central will air the first of eight all-new South Park installments. Episode 708, titled "South Park Is Gay!" has the whole town joining the hip new homosexual craze that is sweeping America with popular TV shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Boy Meets Boy. How will Mr. Garrison and the rest of South Park’s real alternative lifestylers react when Cartman, Stan, Kyle Kenny and the rest of the kids compete to see who can be the gayest?

On the other side of the spectrum is smooth-talking ladies’ man Robert Evans. At 10:30 p.m. (9:30 C), the infamous movie mogul shows up animated in Kid Notorious, a cartoon that offers a whimsical look into the life of the larger-than-life figure recently profiled in the documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture, which was based on his autobiography. In the cartoon, the producer of such hits as The Godfather, Love Story and Sliver gets into a series of Hollywood misadventures with his battered butler English and precocious cat Puss along for the ride.

Niecy Nash, who stars in Comedy Central’s hilarious police reality show send-up, Reno 911!, pulls double duty for the network as the voice of Evans’ take-no-crap houskeeper, Tollie Mae. We caught up with Nash and spoke with her about her role and what it’s like working with the real Kid Notorious.

"He is larger than life," Nash says of her co-star. "Robert is a living legend. I’m so fortunate to be able to work with him. I’ve been to parties at his house and he’s just a really great guy, very entertaining. He has so many stories, and knowing him, they’re probably all true. He’s probably leaving out some stuff."

Nash had never done voice work, let alone animation parts, and is amazed at how easily the role ended up in her lap. "They put out a casting call looking for funny African-American females and I said, ‘Okay, I’m black and I’m funny; I got that part.’" She recalls, "I didn’t know what to expect from the audition. I go in and they describe the character as in-your-face, doesn’t take anything from anyone. I thought to myself, ‘That’s describing my mother.’ So when I did Tollie Mae, I did my mother’s voice."

The voice may be her mother’s but the performance is all Nash. "I was so amazed when I saw the character come to life. They set up a video camera the first time I went in to see my facial expressions with the eyebrows going up and the lips going to the side–just getting sassy. The first time I saw her, I had one word to say–delicious!"

According to Nash, Tollie Mae is based on a real-life housekeeper who once worked for Evans. "I believe the only reason she and Bob ended up parting ways was because of [Evans’ then wife] Ali MacGraw. Tollie and Ally didn’t get along. Tollie was like, ‘Either she goes or I go.’ So she packed up her wax and sacks and went on down the track."

The experience whetted Nash’s appetite for more cartoon work. The day we spoke with her, she had two more auditions lined up. "It’s a whole other side of the business that I had never even considered. I’m like, ‘They got a job in entertainment where you can show up in your pajamas? I want to do that!’ It’s great!"

Nash has played Bernie Mac’s sister, Auntie Benital, on The Bernie Mac Show and has appeared in a number of other TV shows and films such as Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune and the Jamie Kennedy comedy Malibu’s Most Wanted. Her home makeover show, Clean House, debuted on Style Network in August.

In tonight’s episode of Kid Notorious, Evans is in hot water with his mafia investors and hatches a crazy scheme to cast gangbangers from L.A.’s Crips and Bloods in a hip-hop version of The Godfather on Broadway.

The series, produced by Alan and Alan Prods., Brett Morgan Prods. and Woodland Prods., features flash animation that achieves a unique 2D/3D blended look.