San Diego Comic-Con may not be happening in person this year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get to enjoy some fun panel conversations with the creative minds behind some of our favorite entertainment thanks to [email protected].
This afternoon’s panel for the FOX sitcom Duncanville (distributed by the Disney-owned 20th Television) brought together the show’s creators Mike and Julie Scully and Amy Poehler (who also voices Anne and Duncan Harris), plus cast members Ty Burrell (Jack Harris), Riki Lindhome (Kimberly Harris), Joy Osmanski (Jing Harris), Yassir Lester (Yangzi), Betsy Sodaro (Bex), Wiz Khalifa (Mr. Mitch), and Rashida Jones (Mia) for a Q&A session with moderator Lynette Rice of Entertainment Weekly.
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The presentation began with clips from several upcoming episodes of Duncanville, such as an adventure surrounding the local Oakie Awards (featuring a surprise Leslie Knope cameo), and a situation where the Harris family must move into the abandoned camper in the woods. Other notable tidbits brought up during the discussion included:
- The team feels lucky that animation is the only thing that can be produced during the pandemic, but Mike Scully says it’s best not to respond to a pandemic with “How does this affect our cartoon?”
- Amy Poehler says it’s nice to have Duncanville streaming on Hulu so people can binge the entire show in order.
- The first season was not completed yet when the series premiered back in February, and the post-production crew is still sound-mixing and editing episodes weeks before they air. Actors are recording their ADR at home.
- Work has begun in the writer’s room for season 2, with the first table read coming up next week.
- Amy Poehler is grateful that the show was mostly ready by the time the pandemic hit and that things are still able to happen thanks to Zoom meetings. She says this is her first Comic-Con and via Zoom is the only way she would want to attend.
- Poehler met Mike Scully when he was a writer for Parks and Recreation and they were always looking to work together after that. “It’s been such a joy,” she says.
- The idea of the teenage boy came first, and Amy wanted to play both him and his mother. The expression “lucky duck” and Annie’s energetic spirit came from Poehler’s mother.
- The Scullys thought it would be fun to explore the life of teenagers, as it’s an interesting age.
- Ty Burrell jokes that he really wanted to play a dad after Modern Family ended. In reality, the Scullys sought him out and he was thrilled to find a character who was all over the map emotionally. He says it’s really fun to play him as a swinging pendulum. “It’s been such a blast.”
- Some of the voice actors had influence over how their characters looked, though they may have been kidding.
- Riki Lindhome says her character is pure emotion and can’t really handle it. Joy Osmanski says Jing is the eye of the storm. “It’s nice to play a five-year-old who has some presence of mind and is calm.”
- Rashida Jones doesn’t want to give away where the relationship between Duncan and Mia goes. She likens the dynamic to Parks and Rec in that they both have a deep roster of funny characters and in a way they’re both about families.
- Wiz Khalifa had a lot of fun playing his character and says it was great working with so many talented people. He didn’t feel the need to change his voice for the character, as he felt their personalities matched. Other cast members said similar things about their own characters.
- Yassir Lester and Betsy Sodaro talked about their characters and how they fit into the friends group.
- Poehler says what’s fun about FOX is every once in a while you can push the boundaries of what’s acceptable for a family show. “The show feels like it works on streaming, too.” Scullys say they’re always finding creative solutions to Standards and Practices issues, often citing having done similar things on The Simpsons already.
- “All the creepy perverts that come to Comic-Con are gonna love this show.” – Amy Poehler
- Mike Scully says animated shows are more joke-intensive, but you’re still trying to tell a story. You’re not limited by sets and can get into the characters’ heads more.
- Poehler says it’s a lot of work doing Annie’s voice but Duncan is awesome. She was inspired by Pamela Adlon on King of the Hill and Nancy Cartwright on The Simpsons.
- Season 2 will have a summer vacation episode because Duncan doesn’t have to go to summer school for the very first time. There will also be an episode where Duncan crosses the line and says something you’re never supposed to say to your father.
- The cast and creators of Duncanville aren’t sure what the future holds for television in the post-COVID world.
The first season of Duncanville is available to stream on Hulu.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.