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Anaheim Comic Con 2010: "Drawn Together" Interviews

At the Anaheim Comic Con 2010, Toonzone News got to speak with Matt Silverstein, Abbey DiGregorio, and Dave Jeser after the screening of The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! Don’t forget to check out our screening report and panel coverage, or else a lot of the jokes in here aren’t going to make much sense. Some censored strong language and small spoilers for the movie follow, so don’t read if you can’t take a ******* joke.



INTERVIEW WITH CO-CREATOR MATT SILVERSTEIN

(l to r) Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein

After the screening, I got the chance to catch up with Drawn Together co-creator, writer, and producer Matt Silverstein. Silverstein also portrayed the voice of Jew Son, the son of Jew Producer in The Drawn Together Movie:

TOONZONE NEWS: Is this the first time your movie was shown?

MATT SILVERSTEIN: It was shown at South By Southwest, but we weren’t invited. We were told they couldn’t afford for us to get a press pass. We weren’t allowed to go.

TOONZONE NEWS: I’m sorry to hear that. And I’m from Austin. I used to work for the SXSW film festival.

SILVERSTEIN: . . . but yeah this was the first screening. Unfortunately, I had to show up late because I moved today.

TOONZONE NEWS: How did you get this movie made after the series was cancelled?

SILVERSTEIN: We were always disappointed with how the series ended. It was with a clip show and we didn’t know we were being cancelled because our ratings were pretty decent. Had we known, we would’ve liked to have ended it…we wanted to do a thing where the characters realized, “Holy ****! We are not really who we thought we were!” Initially we were like, “You know what? Let it go. It’s over. The show’s gone.” Then there was the writers’ strike and we really, really were broke. Comedy Central knew that and said, “Hey if you can do the movie for a fraction of the budget, we’ll let you do it.” We really liked the idea of this, and we had a lot of issues we wanted to work out in the movie.

TOONZONE NEWS: Watching the movie, it feels like there’s a lot of catharsis.

SILVERSTEIN: It totally was.

TOONZONE NEWS: The riff on South Park is not that you dislike South Park, but that you were annoyed by the arguments of people and critics who would say, “If this show was more like South Park, where South Park is more about something,”

SILVERSTEIN: Yeah.

TOONZONE NEWS: “And more topical, it would be a better show.” I understand how that can be frustrating and annoying.

SILVERSTEIN: Yeah, it’s just not what we were trying to do. South Park is clearly the better show. No one’s going to debate that. But we thought this was a fun way to get involved in the Cartoon Wars. Like nobody’s picked on South Park ever! So you know, if they can dish it out, they can take it; but I heard they can’t. I heard that—I don’t know if this is true—but I heard they were not happy about this. Comedy Central was actually very nervous about this. I don’t know if this is true, but I heard that they were very upset.

TOONZONE NEWS: Is Doug Herzog upset?

SILVERSTEIN: I dunno. I haven’t spoken to Doug Herzog in a long time. I think he’s upset that the show ever existed. No, Doug’s actually very cool and been very . . .

TOONZONE NEWS: So if you see him at a party or something . . .

SILVERSTEIN: I don’t think he’ll know who I am.

TOONZONE NEWS: No coming-to-blows?

SILVERSTEIN: No, no, absolutely not. And they were really supportive of the movie, like you know listen, holy ****, they put this movie out! I mean what the hell?! Like they put this out, it’s actually a pretty insane thing to have done. I love Comedy Central.

TOONZONE NEWS: I’m a big fan of all the voice talent in this movie. Was it easy to get everyone back?

SILVERSTEIN: Yeah, absolutely. We actually all love each other. It was a great show. It was a great staff, and the cast is so insanely talented and they love the characters they do. It’s totally outside of anything else. Sometimes they say things that are a little uncomfortable for them, but we just all have such a good time. I mean, it’s always fun to be a little naughty. These are guys who are not naughty at all. These are good people, like really good people.

TOONZONE NEWS: So you and Dave [Jeser] are doing some work on The Cleveland Show now?

SILVERSTEIN: Yeah, we’re on The Cleveland Show right now, and hopefully we’ll get to do more work on that because we love it. It’s a great show. We’re having a great time working on it . . . we’re actually just doing a short little stint there that hopefully will continue.

TOONZONE NEWS: You played Jew Son in this movie?

SILVERSTEIN: I played Jew Son.

TOONZONE NEWS: Do you have a favorite line as Jew Son?

SILVERSTEIN: Yeah, “I.S.R.A.E.L. took me from the only home I’ve ever known.” I thought that was a good line.

TOONZONE NEWS: So no one gets upset, I assume with a name like Silverstein, you are kosher, right?

SILVERSTEIN: Yeah, I am. And I think it was actually more fun for Dave. Dave’s dad is very pro-Israel and very religious and Dave has a lot of issues with his father. I think this was a good way to get a jab at his dad. Listen, the reason you do this type of stuff is to piss off your parents. This was a big one for Dave.

TOONZONE NEWS: Thank you so much for your time Matt, and congrats on the movie.

SILVERSTEIN: Thank you.



INTERVIEW WITH ABBEY DEGREGORIO, VOICE OF LING-LING

(l to r) Abbey DiGregorio, Jordan Young, and Dave Jeser

Ling-Ling is the show’s send-up of Pikachu from Pokémon and anime critters. The character was voiced in all three seasons and the movie by Abbey DiGregorio, formerly Abbey McBride. The happily married mother was nice enough to speak with us after the screening:

TOONZONE NEWS: Is this the first time you’ve seen the movie, Abbey?

ABBEY DiGREGORIO: Yeah, it was the first time. I’ve seen clips, but it’s first time I’ve seen the whole thing through. Very funny.

TOONZONE NEWS: How did you like coming back to do Ling-Ling again?

DiGREGORIO: Oh, so much fun. It’s always fun.

TOONZONE NEWS: You created the language that -

DiGREGORIO: Jaborean as we call it.

TOONZONE NEWS: The Jaborean language that Ling-Ling speaks. How did that start?

DiGREGORIO: Well like Dave was telling us earlier, I did this character in a show that spoke gibberish. They were like, “Can you just make it gibberish and a little Asian at the same time?” That’s what we did and it became Ling-Ling.

TOONZONE NEWS: What was the sketch character you did?

DiGREGORIO: It was this southern kind of lady who was just a drunken lounge singer.

TOONZONE NEWS: Had you ever done a character like this for a show this edgy and adult?

DiGREGORIO: No I haven’t and nothing in gibberish. Only Ling-Ling

TOONZONE NEWS: What is your favorite line as Ling-Ling?

DiGREGORIO: You know what, my favorite line was when Ling-Ling was taking a shower using Prell and he said, “Oh Plurr,” for Prell which I always thought was very funny.

TOONZONE NEWS: Did Jordan [Young] really get you and your husband together from working on this show? Or is he embellishing a little bit?

DiGREGORIO: Of course he’s embellishing a little bit, but I think he was there when we all hung out. So I’ll give him that credit.

TOONZONE NEWS: If the DVD does well, would you like to come back to play Ling-Ling again?

DiGREGORIO: Oh of course. I’d always do that.

TOONZONE NEWS: Thank you so much for your time.

DiGREGORIO: Thank you, nice to meet you.

TOONZONE NEWS: And congratulations on your baby and being married, “and still looking.”

DiGREGORIO: But still looking, according to Jordan (laughs).



INTERVIEW WITH CO-CREATOR DAVE JESER

Next up was the raspy voiced Drawn Together co-creator, producer, and writer Dave Jeser.

TOONZONE NEWS: The series got canceled, but you got to do the movie, and it got a pretty good reception. How does that feel?

DAVE JESER: It feels great. I’m glad that the people showed up that did. They seem to be big fans. So it was just good to know that people will laugh at the stuff we do because our parents sure did.

TOONZONE NEWS: The message is that there’s not really a point to everything, and sometimes it’s OK to be funny and filthy for the sake of being funny and filthy. However, it definitely felt like there was a lot of maybe a sort of anger and aggression getting released by you and Matt in this movie.

JESER: I appreciate that it’s anger and aggression, but it really is just being two big babies. It really was a time where we hadn’t worked in a little bit. There was a strike. We were struggling for money. We were happy in some ways that Drawn Together was canceled so that we could move on, but it’s kind of like the girlfriend dumping you and then wanting you for one last night. There’s a hate ****. It’s still fun. You still enjoy it, but at the end there’s a lot of anger that comes out. You get the poison out and you move on.

TOONZONE NEWS: Whose original idea was it to do the movie? Who came up with the idea?

JESER: Steve Reyses, right there. You can’t see it on this audio recorder, but Steve called us and said, “Hey, people seem to buy this show on DVD for some reason. So would you like to do a movie?” and I said, “No.” Then Matt and I went back and talked to our wives and looked at our bank accounts. And Steve was such a big fan that it was hard to say no. So we came up with an idea that the characters found out that they were canceled the same way Matt and I did, so it worked out.

TOONZONE NEWS: You took a couple shots in the movie at DVD audio commentary. Do you not care for DVD audio commentary?

JESER: No, we love DVD audio commentary. Matt and I hate the sound of our own voices. I mean anyone that likes the sound of their own voice is an *******. So we decided to put ourselves in the movie and let the characters express how it is to listen to us.

TOONZONE NEWS: I like the sound of your voice . . .

JESER: Aww, that’s sweet.

TOONZONE NEWS: Because you sound like you might be related to Jewish comedian, Bobby Slayton.

JESER: Oh he’s very funny. I can see the raspiness. I get Danny Bonaduce and Rocky Dennis from Mask.

TOONZONE NEWS: So did you play any characters in this movie?

JESER: The giant who ***** into his own mouth. That was me. That was a gift to my fans. Oh, and one of the rhino guards.

TOONZONE NEWS: A little bit of art imitating life?

JESER: Yes.

TOONZONE NEWS: Just Kidding.

JESER: *Laughs* And anyone else, Steve? That’s all I got to do, right? That’s it. I don’t need to be more than that.

TOONZONE NEWS: This is a bit of a spoiler, but why did you kill everyone off at the end?

JESER: It was sort of our way we were hoping that this movie ends, the series ends, and this movie would give some finality to it. But people in the series died and came back to life all the time. So it’s a cartoon; I’m not too worried. If they want more, we’ll hire funny people and make more.

TOONZONE NEWS: Now maybe this show does have a point, are you making some commentary about Israel in this movie?

JESER: No, it really wasn’t. We just wanted to say Israel was after us. That was really it. Because at the end, I.S.R.A.E.L. saves the day, so what does that really say? (laughs) You can come up with a point, we’re all for it. We’ll jump up for it.

TOONZONE NEWS: Anything you’d like to say to the fans?

JESER: I’m sure Matt said this, but please don’t steal the movie. We’d love that. And we hope you laugh. I mean literally, all our discussion with the network —and Steve could attest to this —when we were fighting for scenes like Molly stills when she was having sex. There’s no real defense standards and practice-wise, except that we knew fans would like it. And we showed those stills at San Diego Comic-Con. We showed it tonight and people laughed. So really, we hoped we did something that our fans would like. But when it was all said and done, we just all wanted to keep stuff in that made the people who watched the show since the beginning laugh one last time and then cry with us when it’s over.

TOONZONE NEWS: Thanks so much for your time. Congrats on finishing the movie and good luck on the release.

JESER: Aw, thank you very much.



Toonzone News would like to extend thanks to Comedy Central and the cast and crew of Drawn Together for inviting us to the screening and a fun night overall.

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