The highly anticipated and publicized series, THE BOONDOCKS, Adult Swims new animated comedy series based on Aaron McGruders award-winning comic strip of the same name, premieres Nov. 6, 2005, at 11:00 pm on Cartoon Network.
BOONDOCKS fans should find the series a good transition from comic strip to a provocative family-based comedy in your face with social relevance and satire. It has an arresting, anime look that is true to the color and graphic line style of the comic and stands out with a somewhat different, appealing look for animation and comics fans.
The humor is not tempered for TV and fits right in with the extremely adult punch of the shows in this late night package for adults that mainstream media finds unacceptable for animated shows because they so narrowly define toons as just for kids. Parents, this show is not for kids, but it is for the politically savvy and those who can appreciate cultural jabs without running to the PC (politically correct) police. Especially for the frequent use of the n-word (nigger), already a subject of controversy in the press before the show actually airs and McGruder defends is used in its current, proper context.
In THE BOONDOCKS, when Robert Granddad Freeman becomes legal guardian of his rambunctious grandkids, he moves from the south side of Chicago to the quiet and safety of suburban Woodcrest, hoping that he can ignore them altogether and enjoy the fourth quarter of his life in peace. But Huey, a 10-year-old left wing revolutionary, refuses to enjoy the affluence of suburbia. His eight-year-old brother, Riley, a proud product of contemporary rap culture, shares Hueys convictions. The boys are not thrilled about the new environment. Although the boys torture each other and provoke the neighborhood, they are still no match for their eccentric Granddad.
Regina King voices brothers Huey Freeman and Riley Freeman, while John Witherspoon voices Robert Jebediah Freeman, a.k.a. Granddad, the boys cantankerous grandfather. John Williams voices several characters on the show including Granddads curmudgeonly associate Uncle Ruckus, self-hating black man. Hes a mainstay in Woodcrest turning up ubiquitously as a valet, waiter and hospital janitor, among other things. Cedric Yarbrough also voices several characters, including Tom DuBois, an earnest do-good, law-abiding district attorney. Gabby Soleil voices DuBoiss daughter Jazmine, the adorable but naive girl-next-door. Jill Talley plays Sarah, Toms wife, as well as many other characters and fills in as the people in the neighborhood.
Ed Asner (ELF), Charlie Murphy (CHAPPELLES SHOW) and Xzibit (PIMP MY RIDE) are among the eclectic mix of celebrities who have been enlisted to voice guest characters on the show.
In April 1999, THE BOONDOCKS comic strip was published in over 150 newspapers, making it the second-largest launch for a strip ever. Today the groundbreaking strip can be seen in more than 350 newspapers in the U.S. McGruder tackles topics such as race relations, interracial marriage, bi-racial identity and juvenile delinquency, in addition to political happenings and current events. McGruders edgy take on these issues that often draws criticism, and has often resulted in the strip being pulled from newspapers or moved to their op-ed pages.
THE BOONDOCKS was created by Aaron McGruder, who also serves as an exec producer. The series is produced by Rebel Base in association with Sony Pictures Television. Reginald Hudlin is also an exec producer on the series.
McGruder originally was going to do the show for FOX, but found the creative freedom he sought at Cartoon Network. The show for Fox was very sitcom-y and very structured, he said. From a storytelling perspective, it was almost as confining as the strip. When it was all said and done, it wasnt that good of a show, and we knew it was never going to air.
Its really hard to make things funny, McGruder continued. There are a million ways for them to be unfunny and sometimes you have to hit a pretty exact mark, especially when youre talking about race and politics. Cable is the only place where you can still be honest and actually have fun. And Adult Swim has been supportive throughout the process.
Not since FOSTERS HOME FOR IMAGINARY FRIENDS has Cartoon Network noticeably embarked on such an ambitious publicity campaign for a new show launch. McGruder has been tirelessly promoting the show, doing appearances at Comic-Cons, book festivals, talk shows and many interviews.