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April 19, 2010

‘Drawn Together’ Again

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/drawn_together_again_20100419/

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“Drawn Together” returns Tuesday (4/20 … yeah, Comedy Central knows its audience) with the DVD release of “The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie!” The film serves as a kind of finale for the series, which was cancelled in November 2007. But the creators hope it could usher in a return—films, at least—if the network sees support from the fan base.

For three seasons, Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein’s mash-up of reality TV parody and knock-off cartoon characters (Toot Braunstein = Betty Boop) pushed the boundaries of good taste with explicit dialogue, gratuitous violence, kinky sex and black humor that made light of such issues as abortion, spousal abuse and anti-Semitism.

Freed of ratings concerns, the pair serve up an animated film packed with adult language, nudity, a 3D lesbian threesome, necrophilia and animal cruelty (kitten-stomping)—all of which is there simply because Jeser and Silverstein find it all hilarious. “The Drawn Together Movie” also spends time skewering other animated franchises: “The Flintstones,” “Looney Tunes,” “The Smurfs” and “South Park,” which becomes the “Suck My Taint Show.”

The movie picks up shortly after the series’ cancellation. Foxxy Love (a mystery-solving, “Josie and the Pussycats”-like character) notices the housemates can suddenly cuss without being censored. But when the network head learns the Jew Producer never erased the “Drawn Together” gang after cancellation, a robot—I.S.R.A.E.L. (Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser Lady … think: ED-209 from “RoboCop,” but with breasts) – is sent in to finish the job.

I.S.R.A.E.L., voiced by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, is a personification the creators use to lampoon the Jewish state (e.g., Jew Son: “Dad, I.S.R.A.E.L. forcibly removed me from the only home I’ve ever known”). But Silverstein says their motives weren’t political.

“I think Dave did it a little bit to piss off his dad,” Silverstein said in a phone interview from New York. “That’s what all comedy is. You either want to piss off your parents or get their love. This particular joke was to piss off his dad. It did crack us up, but there’s no political message. That’s actually the message of the movie: we’re not trying to make a point, we’re just trying our best to be funny … with mixed results, but we are trying.”

Another Jewish gag in the film—the Jew Producer tries to get his goyishe neighbor to answer his mobile phone on Shabbat (“[God will] appreciate my cleverness in getting around His laws”)—is influenced by the pair’s Jewish upbringing near Teaneck, N.J.

“[Dave] got kicked out of yeshiva. He was making faces in a classroom, and a rabbi saw him. Dave ran away, and a rabbi chased after him and almost hurt himself. So Dave was told to leave because he endangered the life of a rabbi,” said Silverstein, who had a bar mitzvah specifically so he could get a videocamera.

Comedy Central has no plans for the series following the release of the “The Drawn Together Movie,” said Silverstein, who has since worked on Mike Judge’s “The Goode Family” and “The Cleveland Show,” a “Family Guy” spin-off. But he is hopeful that “Drawn Together” could have a future if the film does well. 

“We actually started talking storylines and stuff, and that’s always dangerous because we know we’re just going to get hurt in the end,” he said. “So we’ve been lucky that we’ve been working with some really talented people on some really cool things. The future? I dunno. But if it was more ‘Drawn Together,’ hell, I’d love that.”

(Trailer is intended for audiences 18 and over ... you have been warned)

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