Neither Dave Jesser nor Matt Silverstein – the twisted minds behind the irreverent animated series "Drawn Together" – can't understand why there is still a large interest in DVDs in this downloading and streaming era.
But because there is, as a way of paying back to those who still support the format, they are promising a personalized gift to anyone who buys their "Drawn Together: The Complete Collection" boxed set being released Oct. 10.
"Anyone who buys the DVD, takes a picture of it, gives us their phone number and emails it to us at email@example.com, we will call them personally to thank them," Silverstein says. "And maybe the call will be from a special celebrity guest."
Jesser says the call might be from one of their favorite characters from the show "as long as it is one of the actors we still talk to."
"Drawn Together" was broadcast on Comedy Central from October 2004 to November 2007. The series parodied reality TV with a particular assault on programs like "Big Brother." In this animated house live eight cartoon archetypes, including a superhero who loves to party, a naive princess known to break into song and an anime hero working on his sexuality. The DVD set features all of the antics without the censored words and images from when the episodes aired on cable.
It still boggles the team behind the animated reality show that their program even got on the air considering the crude, rude and explicit nature of their humor.
"The first thing I think is I can't believe we did this," Silverstein says. "Then I think I can't believe my kids are going to be watching this and how am I going to explain this to them."
Jesser's equally amazed they were able to talk their way into getting the show on the air. And they didn't launch the show on one of the premium channels where the guidelines are less stringent or had and streaming service options. They were able to get a basic cable channel to buy the program.
The show was so different than anything on television at the time that the agent for Silverstein and Jesser strongly suggested they not even pitch the idea. They not only ignored their agent's advice but went behind his back to make calls themselves to network executives. They urged any executive who showed interest in the show to call their agent.
"They called our agent and then he finally called us and said 'You know, I have thought it over and I got you some places to pitch the idea,'" Jesser says.
It's obvious from one episode that the show is making fun of some iconic cartoon characters.
"We actually have an amazing lawyer who found the show to be an incredible challenge," Silverstein says. "We worked very closely with him to make sure everything was strictly a parody or far enough away from the original."
The line between parody and lawsuit is so thin there were discussions about even the smallest elements. In the case of their spoofing Betty Boop, it came down to the number of eyelashes their version could have.
All of those elements can be closely examined again. The complete collection includes all three uncensored seasons of the series plus the 2010 feature film "The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!" The 7-DVD set also includes bonus features such as deleted scenes, audio commentary, karaoke sing-a-longs and interviews.
It's been a decade since the series ended but both creators are certain the timing was right for the show to air then as it probably wouldn't work as well now.
"Nothing we could do would be weirder than reality right now," Jesser says.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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