Sit Down Shut Up / Bob and Doug – Talkback

Big day in the U.S. and Canada for prime time animation. The folks behind the hilarious Arested Development have concocted Sit Down, Shut Up for Fox. The first episode airs tonight at 8:30pm. Meanwhile, in the Great White North, the McKenzie brothers return to Canadian television in the new half-hour animated series Bob & Doug, premiering tonight at 7:30pm on Global. Any thoughts?

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  • Starsky

    I’m as big an Arrested Development fan as anyone, but based on the previews, this doesn’t look too good. Hope I’m wrong, though.

  • Vincent

    Jerry. its not “the folks” behind Arrested Development that have made “Sit Down Shut Up” it is only one guy; Mitchell Hurwitz. He had plenty of help making “Arrested Development” and didn’t have it this time around. Fox learned very quickly that this new show was not near the quality of “Arrested Development” and they have retooled the writing process on the show because the first episodes that were delivered were abysmal.

    Wen a promo for an animated show refuses to show ANY animation, you know to expect problems:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwkjQFPIyy4

    Same can be said abut a focus on celebrity voices that is so shameless, you can safely expect another “radio show disguised as tv”.

    Everyone can make their own judgment on that painful laugh track….

  • Kyle Maloney

    The artwork looks horrible… can our standards get any lower?

  • chdr

    Sit Down, Shut Up look really good. It’s a shame that it will probably get canned after a season or two, or forgotten like every other show that isn’t “The Simpsons” or “Family Guy”.

  • http://mruttan.ca Jack Ruttan

    I so wish Canadian animation would take a few risks, rather than recycling decades-old characters in flash cartoon form, safe, ‘good for you’ kids shows, goth-lite and anime rip-offs. Darn!

    Where’s the adventurous stuff? Sadly, they’re cutting back things such as the NFB (sorry, don’t have a reference), and Canadian production has become incredibly corporatised and central-ised. And they still draw the square eyes that John K. complains about.

    I like “Arthur” and “Roly-Poly Olie” (no longer produced, I think), though.

  • Cyber Fox

    I hope Sit Down, Shut Up does better the last US adaptation of an australian sitcom namely “Kath and Kim” (Which sucked horribly)

  • s porridge

    Animated “Bob & Doug” gestated a longgggg time: A preview was among the supplements on the “Strange Brew” DVD from 2002.

    The thought of “coo-roo-coo-coo-coo-coo-COO-COO!” returning to slanguage warms the heart of this ol’ hoser.

  • s porridge

    In the hope of catching an episode online (apparently not — yet, anyway) visited

    http://www.globaltv.com/entertainment/shows/bobanddoug/index.html

    and guess what accompanies “Bob & Doug”? “American Dad,” “The Simpsons,” “Sit Down Shut Up,” and “Family Guy.”

  • Starsky

    >I so wish Canadian animation would take a few risks

    Clone High. And look how long that lasted.

  • Vincent

    Is there a promo for the Bob & Doug Mckenzie show anywhere online?

  • Peter F

    Is there a dead pool yet for “Sit Down, Shut Up”? I’d like to put money down on three episodes.

  • Brent

    It’s a shame that “Wild Canadian North” was the only thing that stuck out of all the more brilliant stuff these two created for SCTV.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Yeah they style doesn’t appeal to me. I have a feeling sit down shut up will be canceled very quickly.

  • http://www.io.com/~o_m OM

    Bob & Doug will help determine whether audiences on both sides of the Canucklehead line can accept a version of Canada that isn’t the one most are familiar with. That is, the one depicted and invaded at least twice by Saddam Hussein on South Park. While I wish this show to be a success, it’s about 30 years too overdue.

  • Kevin Martinez

    Everything about SDSU screams “failed live-action pitch that’s been wrapped up in animated window dressing”. We don’t need this kind of crap on the airwaves.

    It won’t last more than a season.

  • Anonymous

    Neither look like anything worth looking at.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Was this animated by ANIMAX?

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    Geez, am I the only one who thinks the visuals in “Sit Down Shut Up” aren’t THAT bad? Not the greatest designs in the world, but not the ugliest. More appealing than, say, “Family Guy”.

    I’ll take a peek at the show. Hopefully it’s better than the Simpsons.

  • http://www.artisticanatomyblog.com/ Chris Hatfield

    Wow, something interesting for prime time television. Lets see how long they last in the wild west of programing. I’m still weeping over the cancellation of King of the Hill.

  • Anthrocoon

    I liked the idea of using real backgrounds and animated characters but I didn’t think it was too funny. Family Guy right afterwards, though,
    wasn’t bad, especially the song “Everybody Needs A Bag Of Weed”.
    And: after Peter says he loves it when movies have a character say the name of the movie, one of the cops who arrests Brian for pot possession says, “I don’t like the idea of drugs in our community.
    I’m a real FAMILY GUY.” HA!

    Sit Down…is set to only air five episodes, I believe.

  • Chris Leonido
  • http://www.schlafman.com Dave Schlafman

    I was disappointed by the writing in SDSU, especially b/c I was such a huge fan of Arrested Development. I also love Mo Willems artwork, and I think they work for this show. Overall, I think the biggest thing missing from this pilot was…the students. It’s going to be hard for the general public to relate to this show unless you’re a high school teacher. I could be off the mark. I’ll tune in for a couple more weeks with the hopes the show finds its voice.

  • Jim Chute

    I watched both programs tonight, Bob and Doug might grow into something better given time and more effort, but I think they were best in small doses as on the original SCTV program. The best characters are ones which have more than one side. Bob and Doug are just lovable knuckleheads and I don’t know if they can be developed beyond that or whether that is enough to carry a show for long, maybe with a better developed group of supporting characters to play against.
    Sit Down, Shut Up is just awful, I gave up half way through. Was there any real comedy in the show? The characters are unappealing, why are we supposed to care about anyone on this show? SDSU might have worked as a one time short but as a continuing series it just doesn’t have any redeeming qualities that I can see.

  • http://animationapocalypse.blogspot.com/ Baron Lego

    The first episode of the Bob and Doug cartoon should have been titled “When do the laughs start?” considering how many times I asked myself that very question while watching it.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    Kevin – SDSU is not based on a failed live action pitch.
    It’s based on a successful live action pitch.

  • http://spacejet.blogspot.com Mike

    Ok, so I haven’t watched Bob & Doug yet, but I liked Sit Down, Shut Up. It’s not ground-breaking, it’s not amazing, but it was decent, and may pick up. I’m willing to find out, and I like Mo Willems’ art.

    But seriously, when is the last time anyone on here liked a new animated series? Everyone complains about the standards of design, failing to see how limited their own tastes are.

    Every time I look at these Cartoon Brew talkbacks for new shows it seems more than 90% of the people are complaining about how everything sucks, and has sucked since the 60s and more than a few people ALWAYS find a way to fit in a dig at The Simpsons or Family Guy. Let it go and give something a chance for once.

  • vzk

    Did Craig Bartlett design the characters for SDSU or is it just me?

  • http://venadoinstantaneo.blogspot.com diego

    I heard Mitchell Hurwitz was going to do this long ago. But it was a live action project. It should still be a live action project: the cast is great, but great for live action, not necessarily for a cartoon. Something went wrong.

  • http://sketchblakey.blogspot.com Stephanie

    I didn’t know anything about Sit Down Shut Up, but I saw it on earlier tonight and the style really grabbed me. I liked the photo backgrounds and thought the characters were neat- and I really like Will Forte as a voice actor (Abe from Clone High? Yes please!) but I didn’t bother watching the rest of the show as I had something else to do. I’m still curious though, I might watch it later.

    More than anything, it just reminded me of a much less weird-looking version of Bromwell High.

  • Mel

    SDSU is the nadir of primetime series animation in every department. And Fox only spent enough to bail out the U.S. Treasury on it.

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    The only thing interesting about this so far is Kenan Thompson voicing Principal Sezno.

    The only consequence of Sit Down, Shut Up getting canned is having to deal with THREE Seth MacFarlane shows for next season. :(

  • http://www.sandboxworld.com tone

    Sit Down, Shut Up was horrible. The art is so bad. It has a feel of I’ve seen that before. Some of the crowd scenes reminded me of cartoonist Seth from Canada. Very disappointed. This is no Family Guy. Don’t Sit Down for this show again. Bob & Doug looks so lame as was the original from SCTV, I had to pass on this one.

  • chris robinson

    If Clone High is considered risky then that pretty much sums up how tepid Canadian animation is. Canadian animation students dont even know how to make risque/edgy work, so why expect any Canadian TV animation to be any more provocative?

    Sit down shut up was abysmal.

  • Anthrocoon

    I did like the McKenzies during their time, and also enjoyed the movie Strange Brew and the album. Of course the chars were created when someone pointed out there needed to be Canadian Content on the show and they said, what, do you want a couple guys wearing toques, drinking beer, and frying backbacon?

    I remember when Bob & Doug appeared on WBCN Boston to promote their movie. WBZ-TV, then the NBC affiliate, didn’t show SCTV as they had Hawaii Five O reruns instead. When asked to define what a hoser was, they said, “Well, the guy at the Boston station that won’t show us? THAT is a hoser.” And someone called in to say, How do they spell the name of their country? CND. C, eh? N, eh? D, eh?

  • http://woweh.com Cadychan

    I feel a bit bad that I missed the Bob & Doug show; I instead made the mistake of leaving Fox on while drawing. =p As a Canadian, I guess it was at least my duty to watch it.
    As for ‘Sit Down, Shut Up’ – what a huge steaming load of crap. Good God – is production down SO MUCH, and they’re starving for people that badly (oh hey, why all the layoffs then?) that they couldn’t even DRAW REAL BACKGROUNDS? Pathetic. I’m all for putting animators to work, but I hope they cancel this ‘show’ post-haste.
    I hope to see the Bob & Doug one just to say I’ve seen it though. >_>

  • Klyph

    I’m surprised the amount of hate coming at Sit Down, Shut Up.

    I thought it was a funny pilot and with time can become a very welcome addition to keep the Fox animation block from growing stale between the Simpsons and the full hour of Seth Macfarlane shows.

    Give it time people, tv shows (especially animated ones) take a season to establish itself and get in the groove with it’s characters before they become great.

  • Paper addict

    Watched SDSU last night… Didn’t laugh.. it didn’t go ANYWHERE it was like one failed gag after another for me… Not a fan of the Character Designs at all, they feel really empty and void of any personality and boring.. the live action BG’s Im not into, and the animation was lackluster at best… I don’t want another Seth show on Fox but this isn’t the kind of prime time animation that is gonna stop that from happening…

  • http://voyagesextraordinaires.blogspot.com Cory

    I haven’t seen “Bob and Doug” yet, since I don’t actually… y’know… watch TV. Not when there’s “G.I. Joe: Resolute” webisodes floating around. However, I might try and track it down because, hey, Bob and Doug!

    What strikes me about the preview I did just now watch on YouTube is that this can only be understood as a Canadian show first and an animated show second. While nestled in with “Family Guy” and “The Simpsons”, it’s probably more in the same class as “Corner Gas” and “Trailer Park Boys”. The animation might be incidental, which is probably the problem you’re picking up on.

    Granted, it’s not risky. But this is CANADA. I have it on good authority that we’re like mashed potatoes without gravy. Ours is just a different culture, and I’m not sure how risky or edgy or whatever we’re supposed to be relative to what measuring stick. Even NFB animations bore the heck out of people unless it’s Richard Condie, and that’s just because he’s funny.

    All that said, I’d like to see it rise to the kind of insanity of that other SCTV spin-off, “The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley”. We’ll have to see how it pans out.

  • http://tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

    @vzk: It’s not Craig who designed the characters, but it’s Mo Willems (Sheep In The Big City) that did the direction. It looks like an interesting series, just have to see how it goes….I feel like it’s inspired by “Drawn Together” for some dumb reason…..how the characters act…but the design has a Seth MacFarlane feel to it a bit, mixed in with the designs from “The Critic”. *shrugs*

    I still think it was a bullcrap move to get rid of King of the Hill. If King of the Hill was dropped just to give space and room for this project, I won’t be a happy camper.

  • http://michaelvdb.shawwebspace.ca Michael van den Bos

    “Sit Down, Shut Up” should have paid attention to the second half of its title: SHUT UP! Christ, it was an onslaught of dialogue that was written and delivered to be mostly incomprehensible, and what you did manage to decipher came off as written by smug writers deluded into thinking they are sparkling wits. It truly was a bad radio show coupled with bad design and pointless use of live-action backgrounds. Yuck! Based on the first episode, “Sit Down, Shut Up” is a callous and disgraceful waste of money. Your time is better spent watching old episodes of “Clutch Cargo”.

  • chdr

    I love how everyone complains about SDSU’s animation. Not every cartoon needs vibrant colors and lively animation, and SDSU is one of them.

    Really, I would love to know specifically how Spumco-style animation (considering that’s the only type of animation accepted on the internet) would somehow improve on the jokes. Same thing with Family Guy. Or KOTH. Or American Dad. These shows rely on subtlety and small movements and don’t need spectacular animation to get the joke across. Asking for everything to have the same type of animation is like liking only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then complaining about every other type of food in the world should also have peanut butter and jelly, regardless of context.

    If anyone is continually expecting every animated show on television to be the next Ren and Stimpy (the only good thing that ever came out of Spumco IMO), they are setting themselves up for disappointment and are probably missing out on some good dialogue-driven shows.

  • Keith Paynter

    Kill me…please…kill me…

    Between these two shows, there’s one hour of my life I’ll never get back. Sit Down, Shut Up? Roll Over, Die…Bob & Doug? The only saving grace is Canada’s own Maurice LaMarche. It says a lot to me when Rick Moranis won’t provide the voice of his own signature character, but receives Executive Producer credit.

    I’m not really a fan of Flash, but bad is bad. I’ve seen better animation on my television while playing Pong…

  • Paul K.

    Well, this is a dilemma, usually I careen into such hate-fests in defense of some aspect of the topic… yet I honestly bring my self to find one good quality from Sit Down Shut Up. Sure, it’ll probably take them a season to work out all the awkward timing, flat jokes, and simplistic characterization, but no property is afforded that much levity these days.
    Despite my vocation & this site’s premise, the real problems with the show are not the mediocre design, sparse animation, or bland poses. The true ruin is 3 fold: One-note ensemble cast, inconsistent attempted meta-humor, and weak/tired motivations.

    The most glaring (and perhaps in need of explanation), would be the one-note cast. Simple characters can be successful, but usually they are short lived, never favorite, and always considered periphery to any success.
    Worse, the SDSU cast are introduced as having a catchphrase or assigned a personality based on typical stereotyped summations of their age, sexuality, or nationality. None are interesting juxtapositions of traits, rather usual formulas that reinforce stifling predictability which spoil most punchlines.

    And John Kricfalusi would probably agree with you chdr, not even kinetic Spumco-style animation could make SDSU tolerable.

  • Yvette Kaplan

    To Tres Swygert:

    Just a clarification: Mo Willems did not direct the show. He designed the main characters– and according to Mitch Hurwitz, the show’s creator, Mo’s children’s books were the inspiration for the combination of photo BGs and hand drawn characters. Personally, I find the design of the show to be quite appealing. Good work on the part of the design team- the characters seem to live in their world rather than slide around on top or compete with it like too many shows seem to do.

  • Enoch Allen

    Rather than rag on Sit Down, Shut Up–I’m just going to quietly hope that the series gets its six episodes to prove itself. I’ll certainly give it 6. After that, given the cost of keeping some of this stuff on the air, the ax must fall, if you can understand where I’m coming from with this. . .

  • http://www.randombrainwave.com John Surname

    Actually, the Australian Sit Down Shut Up was a failure. It was really, really awful and a lot of people are surprised that Fox picked up an animated version after 8 long years after the live action version failed.

  • http://www.forthebirdsblog.blogspot.com Michael J. Ruocco

    I just watched the pilot over on Hulu. I thought it was pretty OK. The character designs were alright, the episode was funny, & the voices were pretty good. I really liked the photo backgrounds, they’re very new to me & they pull it off decently.

    This might become a show that I’d actually watch if it’s picked up. Sure, it ain’t gold, but I’ve definitely seen a lot worse.

    As for Bob & Doug, since I haven’t seen it yet, I really have no right to say anything about it at this point.

  • http://tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

    @Yvette Kaplan: That’s what I meant about the design, on his direction…didn’t mean to confuse the two roles. BTW, does anyone know if this was done in Flash? It looks like it is, to me…and if so, I am getting impressed with the improvement of Flash quality for the fluid animation.

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    Tres,

    The show’s hand-drawn. Doesn’t use Flash.

  • http://gogopedro.com Gogopedro!

    I just checked out the show, and I think its a little too early for me to have any concrete verdict of how I feel about it….Some of it was promising…Some of it was unexpected, and yes some of it made me groan a little. But, heck I’ve seen other shows that did that right off the bat and they got better. I’ll let time do the talking on this one, I’d like for it to do alright.

    As for the live action bgs and animation, Its certainly a little jarring but, after a long period now of shows that seems sorta formulaic (i mean Fox runs family guy and american dad which are vary similar shows design wise. I like the idea of seeing something different, the designs seem like they might work.

    But, again I say time will have to decide this one for me….
    Gonna, See what next weeks episode does.

  • BT

    Ha ha, nowhere better than Cartoon Brew to read that some harmless show is the worst thing ever made. Personally I thought Sit Down and Shut Up showed plenty of promise. No, the designs aren’t particularly appealing to me, but they’re not unappealing like the McFarlane shows, and the use of the photo backgrounds and 3-D models for vehicles and stuff actually looked really good and different from other things on TV.

    More importantly it made me laugh and didn’t remind me of any previous animated show I could think of. As dense as the jokes are in the post-Simpsons era of prime time animated programming, this one was so loaded it was hard to keep up with, and I enjoyed that. Who knows how it will go, but it seems presumptuous to judge the whole show based on this episode that was clearly just set up – they even wrote the names and positions of the characters on cards. It seems like if it works it will have to build the jokes throughout multiple episodes like Arrested Development did.

    The breaking of the fourth wall is not exactly new in animation but it almost reminded me of It’s Gary Shandling’s Show the way they did it in this one. I particularly liked the Jason Bateman character’s disappointment when something he said didn’t lead into a funny flashback he thought it would. That seemed like a swipe at Family Guy (although of course Arrested Development and even this show also do a lot of flashback jokes).

    As much as I admire lush animation and love to see the artform progress, as a fan I can’t understand the crusade against animated shows that rely on writing. I’ve never heard of anybody who gets mad at every live action show that doesn’t tell its story primarily through great cinematography. I mean I hate shitty animation as much as the next guy but since it is in fact a medium and not a genre I think it’s okay for people to use animation in different ways, including some ways that lean more heavily on the writers than the artists. If it works it works.

    Anyway, I’ll be watching the show.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Photos for backgrounds? PHOTOS….FOR BACKGROUNDS???

    Why God…why?

  • http://spacejet.blogspot.com Mike

    “Matt Sullivan says:

    Photos for backgrounds? PHOTOS….FOR BACKGROUNDS???

    Why God…why?”

    Why not?

    There’s nothing wrong with trying something different. It’s a cartoon, not the end of the world as we know it.

  • Cam Lizotte

    I am a fan of Bob and Doug but I was never really a fan of Flash animation. When I had heard about a Flash animated series in the works for B & D I called Animax and asked them to indulge me and let me pitch them on the beauty of stop motion. I wanted to see the series done in stop motion rather than Flash.
    I knew it was a long shot since Animax is A) owned by Dave Thomas, B) is a Flash animation studio and C) who the heck am I to tell them what to do but I still held out a glimmer of hope.
    I read that they were hoping to stand out in the prime time arena and I believe that stop motion (combined with good writing) would have helped them achieve that. Animax allowed me to pitch them.
    A small team put together a 15 second stop motion pitch in 8 days and we sent it off, along with the puppets, to Animax packed in a Molson Canadian 6-pack box.
    The pitch was successful in that Animax liked the end result but they were definatley not going to change their minds about Flash. It was a fun effort but it wasn’t meant to be.

  • http://juanmanimation.blogspot.com JhonnyM

    None of em made me laugh,

    I specially think the Canadian one is boring,
    those canadian characters are boring.

    Nice concept in the Bgs for the Sit down Shut up one ,dontcha think?

  • http://mruttan.ca Jack Ruttan

    I think Sit Down Shut Up is pretty clever. Gotta get used to the characters, though. I’m so depressed about Bob and Doug (saw it on another channel the same night).

  • Milo Kalighan

    Cam those puppets look really good. Likeness really comes across. Maybe they’ll consider that type of art direction on a future project but if anything I hope they focus their efforts on better writing because wow this new series is lacking in that department.

  • Paul Watson

    Here we go again….what is with the Canadian acting community that goes about thinking they are legends…..legends in their own mind possibly but not anywhere else in the world. Now we have have to suffer through another incarnation of a bad Canadian entertainment display….first there was Degrassi High now Bob and Doug the cartoon….oh puhlease. What a piece of crap….these two were morons live so how could you possibly think a cartoon reincarnate was going to do it…..their humor was low brow hockey moron humor that few people cared for or bothered with. That whole comedy troupe from the 70′s that infested the air waves for 10 years until cable diversified and saved our sanity, was just too much to bear. They made weekends at the cottage a nightmare and forced many of us into unnecessary debt so we had tape machines that allowed us to avoid the Peterborough channels late at night and let us watch decent programming. When will Canadians get it……Red Green is as good as it gets for Hamilton comedy, Rick Mercer sucks and always did, Celine Dion is a nightmare of diva egoism and Derek Edwards is great psycho comedy and Russel Peters show everyone how sad Brampton really is.

  • Pete J

    I thought Bob and Doug animated was the funniest cartoon I have ever seen. I loved Bob and Doug back in the day, but I actually thought the new cartoon was allot more funny and fast pace to meet today’s comedy standards… as it turns out though no one agrees with me as I keep reading people bashing the show. I’m fairly sure it got quietly canceled as global no longer has it listed and they never aired the last 4 episodes that are mentioned on sites like wiki and tvcom. Wiki claims they aired these but their info is way off because I can confirm they were never shown. It seems like they were slated to air so wiki thinks they did. The odd part is I cannot find any mention of the shows status or cancellation.