Valdosta Daily Times


September 1, 2013

Brickleberry Memories

Lanier High grad prepares for the second season of his popular Comedy Central cartoon series

- — Some people may think life has dramatically changed for Lanier High School graduate Waco O’Guin since his Comedy Central animated series “Brickleberry” debuted last year.

Sure, there have been some changes. He and his young family moved from Athens, Ga., to Burbank, Calif. Given his association with Daniel Tosh, host of Comedy Central’s “Tosh.0” and “Brickleberry’s” executive producer, O’Guin admits, “I get to do a few more cool things like go to the (actor James ) Franco roast and do a panel at ComicCon,” but for the most part ...

“I’m locked away in a windowless room,” O’Guin says, “working on a cartoon.”

“Brickleberry’s” first season aired last fall. Its second season of 13 shows is scheduled to start Tuesday, Sept. 3, on cable TV’s Comedy Central.

Creating a comedy cartoon is full-time work.

“For six months, during post, it’s a full-time job,” O’Guin says. “For the other six months, during writing, it’s a seven-day-a-week, panic-attack-producing, insane job.”

Rarely does any creative impulse go to waste.

“We haven’t ever tossed out a script,” says O’Guin; the “we” being himself and creative partner/fellow “Brickleberry” creator Roger Black. “There have been a few ideas that we killed. This usually happens when we try to break the story — figure out what the A and B story is exactly — and it just doesn’t come together.”

“Brickleberry” came together through a life-long dream and perseverance.

As a Lanier High student, O’Guin participated in a national Butterfinger candy bar contest which requested drawings of Homer Simpson for a Father’s Day card. O’Guin entered the contest. He won a big-screen TV and saw his cartoons published in a national magazine.

In 1993, he graduated Lanier High School. He attended Valdosta State University for a couple of years before transferring to the University of Georgia.

The son of Waco and Peggy O’Guin, he has said in the past that he considered the name “Waco” a horrible name as a kid, though it became the perfect unforgettable name to use as an adult seeking a comedy career. Waco is a name he shares with his grandfather, father and one he has passed along to his son.

With creative partner Roger Black, O’Guin also developed the irreverent MTV sketch comedy “Stankervision,” a show which lasted one season and featured both men as performers. The “Stankervision” premise was developed while attending UGA.

Initially, they intended to develop “Brickleberry” as a live-action comedy series, but realized special effects would cost a fortune. So, they further developed the idea as an animated show.

“‘Brickleberry’ is an animated series that follows the misadventures of a motley crew of inept national park rangers,” according to Comedy Central.

Inspiration for this show came to O’Guin from his wife, whose father is a park ranger named Woody.

The partners shopped the concept around. Fox believed the pilot “too edgy” for its network programming. Comedy Central saw the pilot and wanted O’Guin and Black to push the premises even closer to the edge, leading to the show’s TV-MA rating.

O’Guin has said in a past interview that “Brickleberry” is not a show for the easily offended.

“If you have ever been offended by anything you’ve seen on TV or in a movie, this show’s probably not for you,” O’Guin said. “However, if you like to laugh hard and don’t take things too seriously, please tune in.”

Looking for a new project, Tosh became involved with “Brickleberry” through his and O’Guin/Black’s mutual agent. Tosh’s involvement opened many doors for “Brickleberry’s” development and a place on the Comedy Central schedule.

Since the 2012 debut, O’Guin has been adjusting to the concept of having fans — ones who can quote “Brickleberry” lines to him.

“It’s cool,” he says. “We got to meet some hard-core fans at ComicCon. We also check Twitter for feedback. Our show is on in many countries now. It’s amazing to see people talking about ‘Brickleberry’ all over the world.”

What can fans expect from “Brickleberry’s” second season? “Bigger, better and crazier.”

Meanwhile, O’Guin and Black consider other potential projects, but “Brickleberry” keeps them focused.

“We have a couple ideas,” O’Guin says, “but we just don’t have time to work on them now.”


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