TV

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Animated series totally awesome

Seth Meyers labour of love to finally air

  • Print

NEW YORK -- Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker first began plotting The Awesomes, their new comic animated superhero series, in 2006, when Meyers was ascending to the Weekend Update desk at Saturday Night Live.

"Time-wise, this was a way better idea in 2006," says Meyers. "That summer was glacial for Seth Meyers. I couldn't get arrested in 2006."

The summer of 2013, however, is an entirely different matter. Meyers is preparing to take over NBC's Late Night early next year, leaving Saturday Night Live after the fall. (Soon thereafter, current Late Night host Jimmy Fallon will inherit the Tonight Show.) Shoemaker, who oversaw Weekend Update at SNL before leaving to produce Late Night with Fallon, is staying on to remake the show with Meyers.

So the timing for the long-gestating The Awesomes, which will debut on Hulu on Aug. 1, arrives awkwardly in the midst of the biggest transition of Meyers' burgeoning career, a dive into the frenzy of late-night television. Asked in a joint interview how The Awesomes is fitting into their lives now, Shoemaker responds quickly: "Oh, not very well."

"Mike and I always said The Awesomes was our way to make sure we got to work together after SNL," says Meyers. "If we had any idea about Late Night..."

"We wouldn't have bothered," chimes Shoemaker.

They kept at it, though, because the series is something of a labour of love, Meyers says. He and Shoemaker first met in 2001 when Meyers was hired as a cast member on SNL, where Shoemaker started in 1990. The two bonded in midtown trips to the comic book store, eventually coming up with the idea for their own funny, skewed gang of superheroes. After a brainstorming flurry, though, the idea receded behind the weekly demands of SNL.

"For a long time, the way we talked about it was, 'It's a shame nothing ever happened with The Awesomes," laughs Meyers.

In it, Meyers voices the lead character Prock, whose unspectacular superpower (being able to pause time, which leaves him with a nosebleed) has made him the scrawny disappointment of his father, Mr. Awesome (Steve Higgins, an SNL writer and the announcer for Late Night). When Mr. Awesome retires, Prock vows to preserve his father's superhero team. After they all desert, he's left to collect more bizarre, unpolished talents.

Prock's intrepid casting call mirrors that of SNL. Both Meyers and Shoemaker assisted in hiring cast members for the sketch show, many of whom voice characters in The Awesomes. Bill Hader, Kenan Thompson, Taran Killam and Rachel Dratch all lend their voices to the 10-epidosde season.

"This would not have come about had Mike and I had not met at a place like Saturday Night Live, which is a collection of really talented people, all of whom have their personality quirks and are very unique people, but who, when you put the right group together, do things that no other group of people can do," says Meyers.

Hulu -- which is co-owned by the Walt Disney Co., 20th Century Fox and NBCUniversal -- has promoted The Awesomes as one of its marquee original series. The show was hyped recently at Comic-Con in San Diego, and Hulu has hopes it will rival some of the high-profile original offerings from Netflix. While 2013 has been a coming-out party for Netflix originals, The Awesomes is Hulu's first new original this year.

After hosting several award shows, including the Webby Awards and the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, The Awesomes is Meyers' most substantial project outside of SNL -- it just happens to come months before a much larger undertaking.

"I'm lucky enough to have a lot of different interests as far as what I found interesting about show business. I like hosting things. I like writing things. I like acting probably the least of all, but it's fun to do things that way. (Late Night) was both different than SNL, but obviously I went into it with the people I sort of met from SNL," Meyers says. "When I think about Late Night, that of all these options was the closest to SNL, and I'm not that surprised that's the path I found for myself."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 29, 2013 D4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

J.P. Vigier’s Whiteboard: Coach Maurice’s first full season

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you support Canada's involvement in the fight against Islamic State?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google