Exclusive: Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg Talk HAROLD & KUMAR Animated Series; Reveal They’ve Met with Comedy Central

     November 6, 2011

Jon Hurwitz Hayden Schlossberg HAROLD & KUMAR Animated Series interview slice

The latest installment in the Harold & Kumar franchise, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas just opened in theaters to an enthusiastically warm reception from audiences and critics alike. Just as the film was about to open, news broke of a possible animated series iteration of the characters. If you’re familiar with the franchise, it’s not hard to imagine a pretty great animated iteration of the White Castle-loving friends. Steve recently got the chance to sit down with Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz, the writers of all three films in the Harold & Kumar series.

The two are behind the animated series version of everyone’s favorite multi-cultural duo, and talked pretty extensively about their plans for the series. They speak about what led them to the idea of an animated series, if the series would impact the feature film franchise, reveal that they’ve met with Comedy Central regarding the show, and talk about the involvement of Neil Patrick Harris in the half-hour animated series (John Cho and Kal Penn are already attached to voice their characters). Hit the jump for the full interview.

Hurwitz talked about how they came up with the idea of a Harold & Kumar TV show in the first place:

“What we feel is what works about these movies is the two central characters. It’s this sort of multi-cultural odd couple that everyone’s grown to know and love, and you just take these two guys and you put them in any kind of movie and we feel like we could bring them on a ridiculous and surreal adventure…Just the fact that you could take these characters and put them in these different types of movies led us to think, ‘You know what, maybe we could do an animated TV show as well which gives us the freedom to take these guys, and go anywhere with them’.”

Schlossberg says that when the idea to create a television iteration of the characters arose, they settled on making it animated because the surreal situations that Harold and Kumar are always found in would be too expensive for live-action:

“When we first started thinking about Harold & Kumar on television, we realized it had to be animated because if we did it live-action it would just cost too much per episode with all the surreal crazy things we usually have them do.”

Hurwitz added that another advantage of a Harold & Kumar TV show is that it allows them to take on more current issues (not unlike South Park) because of the short lag time between production and the actual airing of the episode:

“We love working on the Harold & Kumar movies, but let’s face it, it takes a long time for them to get out. A lot of times we’ll have thoughts and different ideas for something Harold and Kumar can do, but it just takes too long to get the movie made. One of the things that’s fun about animation or television in general is we could get it out a little bit faster, so we can be that much more current in terms of what’s going on in the world.”

The series isn’t yet locked into a network, as the duo said that they’re currently in the process of pitching the series, but they did reveal that they’ve met with the home of a number of irreverent half-hour shows, Comedy Central:

“We’ve had a meeting with Comedy Central so far, [but] we have not had a meeting with HBO yet.”

Comedy Central and HBO seem like the best fits for the series, especially since Schlossberg and Hurwitz want to make the best version of the show possible without sacrificing their creative freedom in deference to network censors:

“For us really we’re just looking for the place that is gonna allow us to do the best version of the show, a place where we do have the freedom to give that Harold and Kumar sensibility on the air, so there are a lot of places where it could really work out, we’re just not sure where it’s gonna end up.”

And if you were worried about the characters being replaced by different voice actors, Hurwitz assured us that John Cho and Kal Penn are both attached to voice Harold and Kumar. Furthermore, they hope to bring Neil Patrick Harris into the mix, though not in weekly capacity:

“John and Kal are attached. Those guys are fully attached to do the voices of Harold and Kumar. Neil’s very aware of it. His involvement in the show wouldn’t be an every episode kind of thing. Kind of how Neil shows up for a taste in each movie, he would show up for a sort of taste in each season I feel like.”

Finally, when asked whether doing the series would diminish the chances of them making another feature film Harold & Kumar adventure, Schlossberg said they’re hope is to continue doing both:

“Our goal here is not to end the Harold & Kumar movies, it’s just something that seemed like fun for us, to keep it going. It’s a lot of time in between Harold & Kumar [movies] and I think fans would like to just see those characters on different adventures, and that type of comedy works well in 30 minutes. Our hope is that we can continue doing that and continue doing movies.”

Here’s the part of the interview on the animated series, and if you missed them be sure to check out Steve’s interviews with Cho and Penn, Neil Patrick Harris, and Thomas Lennon.  Look for more with Schlossberg and Hurwitz in the coming day.