FOX moving American Dad out of the prime time Sunday lineup has created a void which Bordertown is ready to fill. Saturday Night in the Pepsi Perfect room, audiences at New York Comic Con got a look at one of the first episodes of the new show as well as a chance to talk to the cast and creator. The stars of Bordertown came out to talk about the show with moderator Lalo Alcaraz. Lalo is not only a consulting producer on the show but also a the creator of the nationally syndicated comic strip La Cucaracha. The panel featured creator Mark Hentemann, stars Hank Azaria, Alex Borstein, Nick Gonzalez, and Judah Friedlander. In case you missed it, here are the Six Most Interesting Moments From The Bordertown Panel
Before the screening, Bordertown creator Mark Hentemann came out to address the audience. He let everyone know that he was very excited to give us a look at the new series and he had originally planned to screen the pilot of Bordertown for the NYCC audience but instead he had a more timely episode for us. After all the recent chatter from the Republican presidential candidates of a proposed wall on the USA/Mexico border, they decided to screen their episode about their citizens creating their own border wall. The episode was influenced heavily by shows like Breaking Bad, Looney Tunes, and All in the Family. It was well received by the audience with a good mix of nerdy humor and some shocking comedy, albeit nothing more edgy than your average episode of Family Guy. The big takeaway from the episode was its high level of political awareness and its willingness to confront issues that really aren’t addressed by other comedies in the space. Also without giving too much away, the Mayor was hysterical.
Simpsons Did It
Creator Mark Hentemann explained that the process for getting Bordertown made was a long one (eight years) but stressed his desire to push the new show into its own territory. The setting was one clear distinction. According to Hentemann,”Border politics are so bizarre already”. He added that the desert also has aliens, which can be an interesting thing to work with in the future. Hentemann was also very aware of it’s obvious similarities to shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy while explaining that Bordertown was going to do things that neither show has done before. Also there was a strict rule that Bordertown would feature “no talking animals.”
A New Voice
A lot of the panel conversation focused around the characters portrayed by The Flash’s Nick Gonzalez. Compared to Borstein, Friedlander, and Azaria, Gonzalez is the least recognizable voice actor but that doesn’t mean he is doing less work. He is actually providing the voices for three main characters. Gonzalez plays Buckwald’s industrious neighbor Ernesto, Ernesto’s twenty something son JC, and the town’s evil drug kingpin Pablo. When asked about the process for finding each individual voice Nick relented that the process for creating JC’s voice was especially difficult. The character called for a very effeminate and annoying voice and no matter what Nick brought to the table, everyone agreed that the most annoying and effeminate thing Nick could come up with was his normal voice. Tough break.
Lois Common Denominator
When asked about the creation of her new character for the show, Family Guy’s Alex Borstein revealed that Bordertown’s Janice and Family Guy’s Lois are both based directly on people she knows personally. While they are clearly influenced heavily by specific local accents, Lois is a certain Long Island cousin and Janice is based on a Midwesterner Borstein used to be related to. However, not all of her characters are based off of people she knows personally. Borstein later described Bordertown’s Becky as a combination of Kathy Griffin and Chewbacca and the crowd agreed.
The conversation expectedly shifted to the prospect of a crossover between either of the established FOX cartoons. Hentemann was open to the idea and acknowledged that they were indeed creating another fictitious town in the US so that would be possible technically speaking. Alcaraz mentioned that he would love to see The Simpsons’ Bumblebee Man meet up with the Bordertown gang. Astute readers will recognize that as being remarkably easy since Bumblebee Man is one of the many characters voiced on The Simpsons by veteran voice actor Hank Azaria who also happens to provide the voice of the main character Bud Buckwald on Bordertown. When asked how he feels about only having to voice a single character on Bordertown, Azaria commented that he felt “relieved”.
I Am Hatman
One of the last questions asked was directed towards Judah Friedlander and it was regarding a classic debate. Friedlander plays Sanford on Bordertown, a character he describes as “very stupid but very concerned”, however the question was addressed to Frank Rossitano, his nerdy writer from the hit comedy 30 Rock. The fan asked who Rossitano thought would win in a battle between Batman and Superman and Friedlander answered that he himself would “beat up Batman so bad he will apply for a transfer to Marvel comics.”