While Comedy Central is known for releasing edgy and provocative television, the Sept. 3 debut of the second season of the hit animated sitcom, “Brickleberry”, shows a continued effort to push the envelope.
Created by comedians Waco O’Guin and Roger Black, “Brickleberry” follows the exploits of an unusual group of national park forest rangers whose misadventures include everything from swimming in toxic lakes to getting caught in forest fires.
Some of the show’s success is due to executive producer Daniel Tosh, who also voices foul-mouthed bear cub Malloy, and frequently mentions the show in his own popular Comedy Central series Tosh.0.
The Collegiate Times had the chance to talk to two legendary actors who voice characters in the show. Tom Kenny, known for voicing everything from SpongeBob SquarePants to Spyro the Dragon, gives life to “Brickleberry’s” gruff head ranger, Woody Johnson, while Jerry Minor, who has been featured on Saturday Night Live and Delocated, voices Denzel Jackson, the park’s laziest ranger.
CT: What made you choose to work on a show like “Brickleberry”?
TOM KENNY: I’ve always worked in disparate arenas and I love it all. It’s all really fun. Doing all that Nick Jr. stuff is really fun in its own way and doing something like “Brickleberry,” where sometimes it’s the most foul and disgusting things I’ve ever said, that’s great.
CT: How has your past acting careers affected your presentation on “Brickleberry”?
JERRY MINOR: It’s completely different kinds of characters. This one for me is a little bit of a departure from the stuff I’ve done before, which is why I really like doing it. It’s a lot easier for me to get into a characterization I probably couldn’t do physically.
KENNY: I welcome the opportunity to play someone like Woody because I really haven’t done anybody like that before. He’s older than me. He’s crusty. He’s close-minded and ignorant, racist and homophobic. It’s fun to play someone who is so markedly different from you. Ironically, “Brickleberry” is a workplace comedy and could happen in the real world, but SpongeBob is much more like me than Woody is. It’s kind of fun to play someone who is a disgusting jerk.
CT: You see a lot of comparisons to shows like Family Guy or South Park. What would you say makes “Brickleberry” stand out from those shows?
MINOR: I think those shows take a lot of pride in the thought about the subjects that they’re handling and I think this show is the opposite. It takes pride in its reckless handling of sensitive subjects.
KENNY: Family Guy and South Park are not a bad yardstick to reach for. One thing I’ll say is similar is that they have the fingerprints of their creators on them. I think Roger Black and Waco O’Guin definitely have a comedic sensibility that is uniquely theirs. They do comedy that pushes the boundaries.
CT: Do the things Comedy Central allows or bans from making it to air ever surprise you?
KENNY: A lot of it is kind of a case-by-case basis. It’s funny, I’m always amazed by what gets on because sometimes it’s pretty edgy. But by the same token, I’m always surprised by the stuff that doesn’t seem like such a big deal but raises a red flag and ends up having to go. With “Brickleberry,” if they think a line is going to be trouble, they’ll have you lay a whole a bunch of different iterations of the line. They also write variations that are even more disgusting to see if they can get an even more hardcore joke through.
The outrageous crew of park rangers will continue in their shenanigans for the duration of the season. The newest episode, “Trailer Park,” promises to exemplify “Brickleberry’s” comedic flair when it debuts this Tuesday, Sept. 24.