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The new Fox animated series Allen Gregory made its premiere at Comic-Con International in San Diego, with the producers and voice cast on hand to tell the audience all about “the world’s most pretentious 7-year-old.”
Creators Jonah Hill, Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel took to the stage with actors French Stewart and Nat Faxon and showrunner David Goodman. The group was casual, laughing and joking with each other while frequently reminding the audience that Goodman also worked on the short-lived Fox sitcom Babes, about three plus-sized sisters.
Hill started out telling the audience how Allen Gregory evolved from the simple notion that it would be funny for him to voice a child character. From there, the concept grew into what Hill describes as “the story of the world’s most pretentious 7-year-old and his two fathers.”
The series follows Allen Gregory as he attempts to acclimate into public school. The creators pointed out that the show will have a “real feel” and be considerably less outlandish than other animated series. “It’s really a show about a family and a kid,” Hill said.
The panel then screened the pilot episode, which received a warm response from the audience, which laughed loudly, applauded often and groaned at a particularly graphic daydream sequence involving Allen and his elderly principal.
The humor of the show ranged from subtle character-driven jokes to a moment of sudden pants-pooping. In general, Allen Gregory looks and feels very different from other adult animated sitcoms on Fox.
“Off of that, Fox ordered seven episodes,” Goodman said as the footage ended. “Cheap bastards,” Hill laughed. “We need more than seven.”
The cast said the series will feature plenty of guest stars, including actors Will Forte, Jeff Goldblum and Leslie Mann.
A fan asked what influences the animation style was drawing from. Hill said that they had wanted the series to have a look similar to The New Yorker cartoons, something different and more classy than other animated shows. “There is a definitely a Wes Anderson vidb, too,” Hill said, referring to the director of Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbuams. “We love look of the show.”
Another audience member, who identified herself as an aspiring actress, asked whether any of the cast had faced serious rejection in their careers and how they had dealt with it. “Jarrad dealt with it so much he became a writer,” Hill joked. “Every actor goes through it. You should keep going.”
When asked about his biggest influences, Hill said, “Bill Murray, P.T. Anderson and The Simpsons.”
A fan then asked if she could have Hill’s name tag. He said she was welcome to it, and even autographed it for her. “Anybody can have mine,” Faxon laughed, and the audience suddenly rushed the stage and stripped it clean of name tags.
Another asked what influences had helped create the character Allen Gregory. “We just wanted to create the most pretentious person in the world, and we thought it would be funny if he got away it because he was so adorable,” Hill said.
On the subject of Allen Gregory’s age and whether he would remain 7 years old as the series progressed, Hill said, “That’s a good question. We don’t know. We should probably conference on that.
Allen Gregory premieres Oct. 30 on Fox.