Comic-Con 2011: Panel Recap and Pilot Review for ALLEN GREGORY Starring Jonah Hill

     July 27, 2011

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Coming October 30th to Fox is Allen Gregory a new animated sitcom co-created by Jonah Hill. During the last day of Comic-Con, Hill along with much of the show’s primary voice actors and writers hit the stage to promote the racy new cartoon.  As Hill describes it:

“We wanted to make a show about the most pretentious seven-year old in the world and his two fathers and his fucked up life.”

And indeed they have. Hit the jump for a recap of the panel and a short review of the show’s pilot.

As the pilot begins, Allen Gregory (Jonah Hill) – who is apparently based largely on Truman Capote – prepares to give a short speech at a cocktail gala. He wears a precocious brown suit and saunters into the room as Serge Gainsbourg influenced tune wafts through the air. Only after he takes the podium do we see his pudgy little prepubescent face.

Allen Gregory is the kind of person who demands to be referred to as his full name. He is sharp, articulate and unbelievably condescending. His pretentious mannerisms are matched only by his total naiveté. Though he claims to have written genre shattering novels and organized peace treaties in the Middle East, Gregory has no idea what it is to a child, much less an adult.

Endlessly coddled by his bickering gay fathers, Richard (French Stewart) and Jeremy (Nat Faxon, writer of Alexander Payne’s upcoming The Descendents), Allen Gregory is entirely sure of his own superiority and makes sure that everyone around him knows this.

The black-tie event has being organized to celebrate Allen Gregory’s latest challenge – entering the second grade.

Much to Allen Gregory’s chagrin, the public school system isn’t like the ‘real’ world: he can’t disrespect his teacher (Leslie Mann) to her face, he can’t drink white wine at lunch, and worst of all, he can’t always be the center of attention.

What follows is the usual series of fish-out-of-water jokes taken to the N’th degree. In addition to featuring a seven-year old casually drinking, the pilot also has a fantasy sequence where Allen Gregory imagines a torrid love affair with his principal; a morbidly obese geriatric woman with rolls of arm fat bigger than his entire body. It starts out simply but then goes further and further over the top: first dating, then kissing, then silhouetted sex. The sequence climaxes with Allen Gregory fingering the septuagenarian administrator as they hit the first drop of a rollercoaster.

“This is the only show on television with a seven-year old doing things with a woman comfortably into her 70’s,” said Hill.

Shortly after this sequence, the Principal tells Allen Gregory off and he messes himself. He walks around in soiled trousers for the rest of the episode, complete with squishing sound effects.

And while the gags are often truly disgusting, the show is more than just another Family Guy clone. With a unique art style, inspired by The New Yorker’s political cartoons, and a preference for character-based humor over arbitrary cultural references, Allen Gregory seems poised to join the ranks of The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers instead of American Dad! and The Cleveland Show.

During the panel, the show’s creatives describes several future episodes.

In one, Allen Gregory learns about childbirth in school. He’s confused because, thanks to a poorly photoshopped family album, he think that Richard is his father and that Jeremy gave birth to him. Horrified by the truth, Allen Gregory tracks down his fathers’ surrogate and tries to get Richard back together with her even though they never had a relationship of any kind and Richard doesn’t like women.

In another, the family falls on hard times and Jeremy is forced to get a job as a maid…working in his own home. Richard has great fun abusing this.

Fox has ordered seven episodes of Allen Gregory, which premieres after this year’s Simpsons Tree House of Horrors. Start those cancellation protests now; if the pilot is any indication, this is a show that is too good to last.

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