HBO Max and Cartoon Network announced today during the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfronts that Sacha Baron Cohen (Academy Award-nominated Borat and Who Is America?) has teamed up with Greg Daniels (King of the Hill) and Mike Judge (King of the Hill) of the newly formed Bandera Entertainment, as well as Michael Koman (SNL, co-creator of Nathan for You, EP of HBO’s How to with John Wilson) to bring their fresh wit to new, younger audiences with a new family-oriented animated special.
Set in the mythical “Town of Fools” and originally told in Yiddish, Chelm: The Smartest Place on Earth shares the absurdist humor and interpretive questioning that is a nod to Jewish intellectual traditions. Narrated by Cohen, the special will present a fresh take on the silly antics and exaggerated conflicts of the town, while also preserving the essence and heart of the classic folktales.
“This pitch was so hilarious; we just knew the HBO Max audience needed to get a dose of this original brand of storytelling. Chelm: The Smartest Place on Earth is a perfect pairing of comedy and satire, and no one does that combination better than Sacha, Greg, Mike, and Michael,” said Amy Friedman, Head of Kids & Family Programming, Warner Bros. “This unique project will breathe new, hysterical life into the nonsensical Chelmic wisdom that originated from this imaginary city of folks who aren’t quite the sharpest tools in the shed.”
Cohen, Greg Daniels and Mike Judge are developing the story with Michael Koman, who is also attached to write. The four will executive produce the special, alongside Bandera’s President Dustin Davis.