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Interview with David Hornsby of "Unsupervised" on FX 1/12/12
FX NETWORKS: Unsupervised
January 12, 2012/10:00 a.m. PST
David Hornsby, Unsupervised Creator / Executive Producer / ďJoelĒ
Kristy Silvernail, FX Media Relations Manager
Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to
the Unsupervised conference call. At this time all participants are in a
listen-only mode. We will conduct a question and answer session. As a
reminder this call is being recorded. Your host and speaker, Kristy
Silvernail. Please go ahead.
K. Silvernail Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Unsupervised
conference call with series Creator and Executive Producer, David
Hornsby, who also stars as the voice of ĎJoel.í In addition to his
duties on Unsupervised, David also serves as executive producer and
writer of Itís Always Sunny in Philadelphia, plus stars as ĎRickety
Before we get started I just to thank all of you for joining us today
and especially David. Itís certainly a pleasure to have you.
Unsupervised is FXís newest original animated comedy series that
premieres its first season on Thursday, January 19th at 10:30 p.m.
Eastern and Pacific behind the season three premiere of Archer. So with
that said, letís open it up for questions.
Moderator We do have a question from the line of Diane Morasco from
Morasco Media. Please go ahead.
D. Morasco Thank you so much. Good morning, David, how are you? I want
to know what are you looking forward to most with the unveiling of this
new original animated series?
D. Hornsby Hey, there, hello. I think weíre just excited. I work with
Rob Rosell and Scott Marder. We all worked on Itís Always Sunny in
Philadelphia and branched off to do this project. I think weíre just
excited. We feel like this show has a really unique point of view,
coupled with the type of humor that I think people enjoy from Itís
Always SunnyÖ, but different enough to where it feels like this has a
real unique point of view to the show.
So weíre all excited to show itís about two kids, these high school kids
who are very optimistic and earnest freshmen in a very bleak world. And
they have a very bleak living situation in the sense that neither of
them have parents. My character has, heís the kid thatís a 15 year old
with 65 year old parents and I feel like everyone has that person from
their high school. And Justin Longís character [ĎGaryí], his father ran
off and left him with a step-mom who does not want a child.
So they have these very bleak circumstances and yet, theyíre very
optimistic, so that point of view in the show paired with a very bleak
world, we just think it makes for a great show. Weíre really excited, I
think, for people to see that because it does feel different to us.
D. Morasco Thank you. You know what; I want to comment on that about not
having any parents. I think that itís a fresh and original touch because
youíre basically dealing with the family situation and the dynamics of
whatís going on today, so I really want to say good job, way to go, and
I canít wait, so thank you.
D. Hornsby Oh, thanks, yes. We see them as the children left behind and
there are unfortunately plenty of those. So we feel like weíre trying to
reflect as much as we can; not only the real high school experience, but
also the reality of what the world is like and how people have to
navigate it on their own, even if youíre 14 or 15.
D. Morasco Thank you so much. Oh, and one more question if I may, how
does it feel to be animated? Are you really excited? What did you hope
to get from that?
D. Hornsby Itís really fun. Itís a completely new thing for all of us. I
actually draw the characters as well, so that for me is a really
exciting in terms of having in them a show, itís something that Iíve
always done, but never been able to share, because Iím not a
professional artist. So for me it makes it even more exciting toóI
basically design the characters, all the characters and then send them
to Floyd County, who does the production. Theyíre in Georgia and they do
Archer as well.
It has its own set of limitations as well. You think itís animated, we
can do whatever we want, but you still have to worry about sets and all
that adds upÖand budget. But itís really exciting for all of us and I
have to say itís mostly been a learning curve, as itís our first
But I would say in terms of the animation side of it, we write it just
like we write Sunny in that we approach it like itís not animated. We
just approach it as breaking good stories and writing the best comedy.
Itís very character driven comedy.
D. Morasco Thank you so much.
Moderator The next question is from Earl Dittman, Wireless Digital.
Please go ahead.
E. Dittman Hey, guy, how are you this morning?
D. Hornsby Hey there.
E. Dittman I have to say that a show like yours and FX is a perfect
marriage. It seems like theyíre made for each other. Did you feel that
way when you were shopping it around?
D. Hornsby Well, actually, we didnít really shop it around. Myself and
Rob Rosell and Scott Marder, again who work Always Sunny, this show came
out of Ė in a sense Ė a room bit where the three of us were always
joking around about these sort of characters. And so we started
realizing like we have these characters with very strong points of view
and whenever you have that feeling of strong point of view from a
character in the back of your mind, that is a flag of this could be
And so we went to FX, who know us very well at this point, weíve havenít
done much more with my career at this point, Iíve just been there for so
long that we said we have this idea for a show. What do you guys think?
And they said thatís almost exactly what weíre looking for. We want
something that feels like it could appeal that Sunny crowd, but almost
even skew younger if we want, almost like a Superbad in a way, so for
whatever reason, it was Ö is what it was.
E. Dittman So have you always been a fan of animation? Has that always
been your first love?
D. Hornsby Not necessarily. Iíve always drawn, for example, and I did
consider when I was younger, it was either do I become an actor or do I
become an animator cartoonist at that point. Do I work at Disneyworld or
something and do animated cells or something? But Iíve always loved
animation, but itís not like itís been some priority of mine and Iíve
always said I want to make an animated comedy some day. I think youíre
always trying to challenge yourself to do new things and not repeat
yourself. And so this was a way to be able to do something different and
see how that went.
I think maybe at first we thought itís going to be fun. Itís a cartoon,
itís going to be a little bit easier and itís not. Itís just as much
work and you approach it like a live action, but itís been really
E. Dittman But it sounds like youíre having fun anyway.
D. Hornsby Yes, absolutely, absolutely.
E. Dittman Fantastic. Well, thank you so much. Weíre looking forward to
a great season.
D. Hornsby Well, thanks, man.
E. Dittman Thanks a lot.
D. Hornsby Thank you.
Moderator We have a question from John Schwarz, Bubbleblabber, please go
J. Schwarz Hello, Dave, how are you doing? Iím more curious as to your
inspiration for some of the characters. Are you pulling from anything
when youíre writing, like ... when I was in high school, or I knew kids
that were just like this and we did things just like this, or are you
pulling from any personal experiences from when you were a kid?
D. Hornsby Thereís not usually one specific person weíre talking about,
but the three of us with our combined high school experiences have
different stories and itís funny. We try to find that universality
between all three of us because we had very different high school
experiences in a sense. We have different backgrounds, but thereís
something thatís true to all of it.
Thereís always the slut in school or people who they consider the slut.
Or thereís always the druggie kid, the drug dealer whoís also super
nice. Or thereís the ĎJoelí character; thereís that kid that has a super
old parents whoís maybe a step behind. Thereís a kid that Rob Rosell
plays [ĎRussí] that has always seem to have a broken limb. He always
seems to be in a cast.
So we were just trying to find what is true to that always happens, we
have to do that. We have to put that in because that totally happens in
high school where you almost kill yourself doing something, throwing a
party even if itís that simple. We do open the yearbooks and we do talk
about maybe different people or experiences and they can inspire, but
nothing is like particularly based on one person.
J. Schwarz Got you. Yes, I have to tell you just from watching the
trailers, I saw the little kid serving the cereal at a party. I was like
yes, that sounds like me. Thank you.
D. Hornsby That joke was initially thatóand it got cut away in the
pilot, but that our character just eats cereal everyday for dinner
because thatís what heís left with. And he doesnít have a mom thatís
making him food and he feels like it fortifies him with a daily dose of
vitamins and minerals.
J. Schwarz Love it, thank you. Iím so excited. Thank you so much, Dave.
D. Hornsby Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Moderator Now at this time we have further questions in queue.
K. Silvernail All right, I guess we can be done then, so thank you so
much to everybody for participating. As a reminder Unsupervised
premieres its first season on Thursday, January 19th at 10:30 p.m.
Eastern and Pacific.
Moderator Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude your
conference. We do thank you for joining while using AT&T Executive
TeleConference. You may now disconnect.
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