Inspired by the life and work of artist Keith Knight, new series uses talking animated objects to illustrate the sudden awareness of racism by a newly ‘woke’ Black cartoonist.
Premiering today on Hulu is their new comedy series, Woke, is inspired by the life and work of artist Keith Knight. The live-action/animated hybrid stars Lamorne Morris as Keef Knight, creator of “Toast & Butter;” he’s a Black cartoonist with an absurdly irreverent take on identity and culture. Priding himself on shying away from controversy, the artist is on the verge of mainstream success when he is traumatized after being racially profiled and aggressively manhandled by the police. Following the incident, Keef realizes he can see and hear inanimate objects speaking to him; to viewers they appear as animated objects, like 40-ounce malt liquor bottles at the store. He’s suddenly hyper-aware of racism and daily microaggressions he’s always gone far out of his way to ignore. The series follows him as he tries to figure out how to lead his life and build his career as a “woke” Black man.
In addition to Morris, the show features the voices of J.B. Smoove as Marker (a Sharpie), Nicole Byer and Eddie Griffin as 40 oz Bottles, Cree Summer as Paper Bag, Tony Hale as Sad Face, Cedric the Entertainer as Trashcan, and Keith David as Bibleow.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.