NYCC 2011: Good Vibes Creative Team Discuss Show, Being Teamed with Beavis and Butthead, and Dick Jokes
Earlier this month at New York Comic Con, I attended a panel for Good Vibes, a cartoon show set to air on MTV following their new Beavis and Butthead. Present at the panel were creator David Gordon Green, cast members Adam Brody, Josh Gad, Debi Mazar, Olivia Thirlby, and Alan Tudyk, and executive producers Tom Brady, Brad Ableson, and Mike Clements. With zany animation, a talented cast of voice actors, and lots of dick jokes, Good Vibes is sure to get plenty of laughs from the Beavis and Butthead crowd, but that doesn’t just mean teenagers. After watching the pilot and having the chance to talk to the cast and creative team at a roundtable discussion, I’m pleasantly surprised by what the new show has to offer.
In the tradition of The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park, Good Vibes is an animated show with plenty of raunchy humor. The fish-out-of-water story has pudgy, boob-obsessed Jersey boy Mondo (Josh Gad) and his hot mom Babs (Debi Mazar) moving to the California shore so that Babs can start a new job. Mondo quickly befriends equally-boob-obsessed peeping tom Woodie (Adam Brody) and develops a crush on Jeena (Olivia Thirlby), who is a sweet girl romantically involved with a total jerk. If you’re wondering about Tudyk’s character, he actually voices several, with each of them sounding distinctly different. The pilot, in which Mondo meets Woodie, falls for Jeena, makes a new enemy, and attempts to surf on a flesh-colored “dickboard” elicited plenty of laughs from the audience, and it became clear that Good Vibes was a great fit for MTV’s Thursday night animation schedule.
After the panel, the team discussed what drew them to the project, as well as what they liked about the characters. “I think the creative team, for me, was really right off the bat,” Josh Gad said. “I’m a huge fan of South Park, and the idea of a show created by people who have worked on that, and who have that influence behind them, was really a factor to me.” Brody added, “The locale for me, and the subject matter, related to what I’ve been interested in my whole life. Weirdly, I did look like Woodie in high school… Certainly it makes me think of being fourteen or fifteen again, and really being beyond obsessed with, you know, my dick.”
Like Adam Brody, Mazar and Thirlby had little or no experience in voice acting before Good Vibes, but jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the show, with Babs changing to reflect her voice actress. Originally, Mondo and his mom were going to be from the Midwest, but they were made Jersey natives when Babs was cast to best utilize Mazar’s distinctive accent. “With voiceover you have to be so big, and I’m not accustomed to doing that. It feels like bad acting. But I ended up feeling free and having so much fun,” Mazar said. “It was better than I expected it to be. I just happened to get lucky, and I got in with a great group of people.”
So how does the team feel about being paired with the triumphant return of Beavis and Butthead? “It’s an incredible honor to be paired with them, and I think it’s exciting not only to the fans, but to us as well,” Josh Gad stated. Olivia Thirlby and David Gordon Green echoed that sentiment, with Green adding, “Mike Judge…. Everything that guy does is amazing, and he’s a Texan like myself, so I’ve always viewed him as kind of a role model.”
With so many dick jokes, it might be easy for some to dismiss the show as tasteless and crude, but it’s actually clever and fun, with snappy dialogue that had the entire audience cracking up at the panel. In the post-panel discussion, it was described as “Raunch, but… good-natured raunch. Graphic, yes, but it’s never glamorizing despicable people. The main characters all really do have a really good heart and the best intentions.” Alan Tudyk also summed it up well: “It plays on an edge, but it has a lot of heart. Our heart has a boner.”
Good Vibes premieres on MTV tonight, October 27, at 10:30 PM.