A youngster’s misadventures fuel animated Fox comedy
Amy Poehler doesn’t mind getting cartoonish in her latest television role … actually, roles.
The “Parks and Recreation” and “Saturday Night Live” veteran supplies the voices of both the young central character and his mother in “Duncanville,” joining Fox’s Sunday “Animation Domination” lineup on Feb. 16. The life of Duncan might not seem special on the surface, but his adventures in adolescence and family life are enough to fuel a series also featuring Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”) in the regular voice cast, with Rashida Jones and Wiz Khalifa among guest stars. Poehler is a creator and executive producer of the series as well, along with “The Simpsons” alums Mike and Julie Scully (Mike also worked with Poehler earlier on “Parks and Recreation”).
“The mom is, frankly, just based on my own mom,” Poehler explains, “a Boston mom who is very worried all the time and high-strung and likes to yell — although my mom doesn’t like to yell. And Duncan, just take anything you are doing and then cut the enthusiasm and effort in half, and you’ve got kind of a 15-year-old boy. I so admire incredible female voice actors, like Nancy Cartwright and Pamela Adlon, who have played young boys. I just love that sound, so I’ll just stay up at night and try to copy them.”
Mike Scully notes that Poehler’s real-life role as a mother of two sons came in handy as “Duncanville” was being developed. “The teenage boys are basically all like Larry David,” he reasons. “They are very put-upon. Everything is a huge effort and exhausting.”
“Duncanville” is far from the only project on Poehler’s docket: Her NBC do-it-yourself series with Nick Offerman, “Making It,” has been renewed for a third season – and she and Tina Fey are booked to return as hosts of next year’s Golden Globe Awards, plus she’s producing the women’s-soccer sitcom “Division One” for the forthcoming Peacock streaming service (which also will have “Parks and Recreation” in its entirety).
Still, “Duncanville” has a major place on Poehler’s agenda. She reflects that in watching television with her sons (whose father is her ex-husband, Will Arnett), “it’s hard to find stuff we can watch together that they are interested in and that I’m interested in. ‘The Simpsons’ was one of the first shows we really watched together and laughed at the same things for the same reasons, so that’s what’s really exciting about working on this. It feels like this is the kind of stuff that we all get to watch with our kids, as well as our friends, and all be laughing at the same joke … because they like a lot of things that I think are not funny.”