Back in 2004, fans were introduced for the first time to the animated world of Drawn Together. What started off as an animated spoof on subjects ranging from Josie and the Pussycats to Big Brother later turned into an out of control thrill ride of raunchiness and comedy, some of which would even make the writers on South Park blush.
Sadly, the vulgarity and hilarity wasn’t enough to sustain Comedy Central’s expectations, and the show was canceled in 2008. Luckily, the sales of the DVD and internet buzz kept the show alive just enough for the network to offer creators Matt Silverstein and Dan Jeser a direct-to-DVD feature, which hits shelves today.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Matt and Dave to discuss the fall of Drawn Together and what the sales on The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie could mean for the future of the franchise.
The Flickcast: Before we get started, I wanted to let you guys know how much we dug the DVD around The Flickcast office. It was exactly what we were looking for as fans of the series. We were in stitches.
Matt Silverstein: Thanks man! It was a lot of fun to do, and we’re really hoping that people will support it and buy it, and maybe it’ll give us a shot at getting back on the air!
TF: Is that the plan? If the DVD takes off, is there a plan to get back on with a regular series?
Dave Jeser: There’s definitely a chance. It’s probably not very likely. If people buy the thing like they bought Family Guy, back when everybody bought DVD’s and nobody knew how to download them illegally. So we’re asking our fans to NOT download this illegally, and to not steal. If the show gets picked up, by all means, steal away.
But really, we had an opportunity after the writer’s strike to feed our children, and we thought we had a bit more closure and finality on the series, and hopefully we could give the fans a few more Captain Hero necrophilia jokes. [laughs] They’ve been clamoring for them!
TF: You mentioned on the DVD that the story plays a bit true to life when the Drawn Together cast finds out that they’re canceled through a second hand . Is that really how it happened?
MS: Well, we did find out second-hand. They never told us officially that we were canceled. We kept asking, and ultimately we just had to take another job, so we did. Nobody ever wants to break up and I don’t blame them, they didn’t want to hurt our feelings. They knew how much we loved the show, and they didn’t know how to tell us, so they just gave us the cold shoulder.
DJ: They heard our reactions when we weren’t allowed to do any d*ck jokes, so they knew what kind of reaction we could have when they told us our show was being taken off the air. It’s a fatal attraction, at some point you slam against a wall, you run out of the room, and you don’t want to deal with it anymore.
Apparently the DVD people weren’t all that sick of us, because they thought the movie sold well, and did well on HULU, so they thought it would make a good straight-to-DVD feature, and we were excited to do it.
MS: We are always hoping that the show comes back. That’s why we’re asking our friends to please buy the DVD, don’t download it, go to your retailer and find out what the return policy is. Go and buy 10, 20, 30 copies of the DVD, sit on it until we find out if the show has been renewed, and then you can go back and return it. But we need to prove to Comedy Central that we can sell a lot of these.
DJ: We don’t have a lot of fans, but they’re willing to invest upwards of $100 for a year, knowing that it will help our need to work on the show.
TF: There are some features on the DVD that come across as pretty angry towards Comedy Central. How did you guys get away with some of that, knowing that Comedy Central was releasing the DVD?
DJ: To be perfectly honest, we have our anger issues with not just Comedy Central, but with life, but I want to give credit where credit is due. Everything on the DVD extras was written by the DVD folks at Comedy Central. So they took sort of our attitude, and wrote things that we would never write.
We would never tell Comedy Central to go f*ck themselves, but that’s what they wrote.
MS: In our voice!
DJ: Yeah, they got James Arnold Taylor to do the narration. So we took their lead. If they’re OK with expressing our anger towards themselves, then who are we to stop them.
MS: You know, when we did write the script for the movie, we were like “Wow. this is kind of a f*ck you.” and we didn’t really mean it, but we did have the anger and we needed to get it out. They had a great sense of humor about it because they knew that they canceled us and well, we really didn’t want to be canceled. [laughs]
TF: Though there really weren’t any punches pulled when it comes to the raunchiness and writing, were there still some things that didn’t make the cut on the film?
MS: There were some censorship issues. There is a scene where we look at Captain Hero’s dead girlfriend having sex with lots of different super heroes. It was only a 10 second sequence of still pictures flashing, but wow, that was a big battle. They really didn’t want to show super heroes having sex with dead girls on DVD.
Outside of that, the censors are really great at Comedy Central. They worked with us, we made little changes here and there, and we really exhausted them. Finally they were just like “Fine. Nobody’s going to watch this anyway, so just go ahead and do it.”
TF: Now that the DVD is said and out there in the ether, what do you two have going on otherwise?
MS: Right now, we’re writing for The Cleveland Show. Seth McFarlane has been so good to us. He helped with the movie. He gave us jobs. He took us in from the cold, gave us a home. [laughs] So yea, we’re working on that right now. Before that we worked on The Goode Family with Mike Judge. So we’ve been actually working with some amazingly talented people since the doors on Drawn Together closed.
TF: Speaking of Seth, he lends his voice as the evil robot I.S.R.A.E.L. in the film. Was he always apart of the project, or did he come in a bit later?
MS: He wasn’t always apart of the project, no. We love him and we thought it would be great if he could do the voice. We already had Abbey, who plays Ling-Ling doing the voice of I.S.R.A.E.L. at first, but we wanted to get Seth involved because he’s really funny.
Also, with his seal of approval, we’d hopefully be able to reach out to a larger audience. We do have a lot of fun with South Park in the movie, and we thought if we brought him in, we could get a little piece of that “cartoon war” thing, and maybe capitalize on that.
TF: In watching Drawn Together, either the series or the movie, you can’t help but notice that this show is really a labor of love for you two. You can tell that you love working on the show, and writing these characters. Is there one story or character that you haven’t gotten to tackle yet that you would like to one day?
DJ: Well the main thing for me is how badly I want to work on the show, but no: there’s nothing else I’d want to do with it. [laughs] It really is like the girlfriend that dumped me, and I can’t get her out of my head. I want her back so badly, but there’s nothing else to say to her, there’s nothing else to do with her, there’s no unfinished business, but I can’t stop thinking about her because she rejected me before I rejected her.
MS: I actually do think about the characters and different genres that we’d like to parody, and new housemates that we’d like to bring in. So yea, for me, there’s a lot more stuff that I’d like to–
DJ: Well, like what, Matt? You can talk about at least one.
MS: [laughs] Well, I always thought Dora would make a great housekeeper in the Drawn Together house. [laughs] But no, I’ve got a few ideas, and I’d love to try them out if given the chance again.
“The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie” from Comedy Central DVD goes on sale today, April 20th.