Fans of Roger Black and Waco O’Guin’s particular brand of humor and animation have a big treat ahead this Friday when their new show Farzar debuts on Netflix. The duo, who had all kinds of fun with parker rangers and police workers in their two previous shows Brickleberry and Paradise PD, bring their unique sensibilities to the sci-fi genre in a series that will please anyone who loves their space adventures sprinkled with adult humor.
The show, which features the voices of Lance Reddick, Dana Snyder, David Kaye, Grey Griffin and Carlos Alazraqui, follows the wild adventures of Prince Fichael and his special crew S.H.A.T. (Special Hostile Assault Team!) as they leave their domed human city to fight the evil aliens that want to kill and eat them.
“We started thinking about Farzar after we finished Brickleberry, before Paradise PD even existed,” recalls O’Guin. “The reason was we wanted to do something entirely different from what we had done. We were coming up with crazy ideas. We’re huge fans of sci-fi shows, especially Masters of the Universe growing up. We tried to shop it out, but it wasn’t picked up. Then, we heard that Netflix was looking for something closer to Brickleberry, since that show did really well on Netflix, so we came up with something similar—which was Paradise PD. Then, after the success of the first season of Paradise PD, Netflix wanted a new show, so we dusted off our old idea, redeveloped it and changed it a lot. We’re really happy it worked out the way it did, because it’s really a better show now than what we had originally planned.”
Out of the Bento Box
Black, who met O’Guin in in Athens, GA’s comedy circuits back when they were both starting out in their careers, says they are both very pleased with the new show and the terrific animation Bento Box has produced for the first season (10 episodes). “We love working with Bento, and we’ve been with them since 2011 since Brickleberry,” he says. “We have a great pipeline and a fantastic supervising director, Ashley Long who pulls in the best character and background designers for our show. Overall, we have about 150 people working both in No. Hollywood and Bento’s studio in Atlanta. We do all the character designs, animatics, colors, etc. here in LA and they all put it together in Atlanta.”
O’Guin points out that he appreciates the fans’ love for his previous shows and hopes that they will be equally passionate about the world of Farzar. “The Brickleberry fan base is insane (in a good way), ” he says. “They wanted to do more episodes of Brickleberry so they wrote a lot of letters. They almost convinced Netflix to do more episodes, but then they went with Paradise PD instead!”
Both show creators mention that they love the fact that they were able to go big in terms of the out-of-this-world characters and situations. “The cuffs are off,” says Black. “It was a real pleasure to write for this world and characters. It was probably the easiest time we had coming up with story ideas. We just had a blast writing it.”
So, we have to know: Was there anything that was even too much for the brass at Netflix? “I don’t think there wasn’t anything that was too risky for Netflix,” says Black. “We do hear a lot of crazy stuff in the writers’ room. What we do is go down to 9.5 instead of taking it all the way to 11. You just go with your guts. Is it going to make people laugh, make people uncomfortable or make them laugh uncomfortably?” asks Black.
When asked about the toughest aspect of producing Farzar, the duo says it has to be writing without being in the same room. “Zoom writing has to be the most difficult,” says O’Guin. “It causes headaches and frustration. Everyone’s talking at each other or they’re muted. On the other hand, it was incredible that we were able to do this show from start to finish remotely, via Zoom.”
The show’s visuals have also progressed from the duo’s earlier work. Yes, the characters still have the trademark visual stamp— they all have the number three in their ears, and their eyes are wide apart, but the look is more sophisticated. “Waco and I are both artists,” says Black. “We both did a rough pass on the Brickleberry characters. We wanted that subtle touch so that you could tell this is a Waco and Roger show!” Adds O’Guin, “We think the visuals are better than anything we have done before. Because this was a sci-fi show, our artists did an amazing job. We’re really proud of how the show ended up looking overall.”
The duo both mention shows such as Masters of the Universe and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and movies like Star Wars as early inspirations. There’s even a funny joke about Farzar not being a clone of Futurama and Rick and Morty in the first episode of their show. Waco mentions that he grew up drawing and dreaming of working on The Simpsons. “I didn’t even dream of getting my own show. Well, I didn’t get to work on The Simpsons, but I did get to create my own shows.”
Waco also recalls winning a special Father’s day Homer Simpson drawing contest when he was only 14. He remembers it well, “I won that drawing contest and won a wide-screen that fit in a double-wide trailer. Years later, I got to talk to Matt Groening about it, but he didn’t remember it!”
When the subject of guest-voice wish lists comes up, O’Guin mentions that he has always hoped to have Mel Brooks on one of his shows. “Roger got his wish list already when we got Mark Hamill on Brickleberry,” he says.
Black and O’Guin both hope audiences will get a kick out of the show’s surreal universe. “Most of all, I hope they’ll laugh,” says O’Guin. “I hope they’ll also be surprised by the social commentary we have included in the show. It’s not just dirty jokes. I hope people will find that is a bit more elevated from some of our early stuff.”
“We want people to laugh, not just giggle,” Black chimes in. “That’s right. We want people to almost pee their pants with laughter.”
Farzar premieres on Netflix on Friday, July 15.
Watch the show’s high-energy trailer here: