The animated series “Ugly Americans” has its season premiere on Comedy Central at 10:30 p.m. tonight.
The comedic cartoon appropriately takes place in multicultural New York City. The plot follows Mark Lilly, a social worker at the Department of Integration, as he assists and accommodates new citizens to the chaos of city life.
It should, however, be duly noted that the word citizen does not necessarily imply being human. In this NYC Department of Integration, beasts, freaks and fairies can obtain citizenship.
A twist of dry humor and morbid mockery is supposed wisecracks.
“The show is edgy and dry. We’re never going for the big whammy laughs. It’s a little more subtle,” said Natasha Leggero, the voice of Callie Maggotbone, in a phone interview.
A refined flare is added to the animation because the actors relate so closely with their characters.
Matt Oberg, the voice of Mark Lilly, sees a fair amount of similarities between himself and Mark and it’s not just because they both wear navy blue trousers with blue shirts.
“I’m square just the way Mark is. He is more kind, though,” Oberg said. “I strive to be like Mark every day, but my friends are not as cool as his.”
Callie makes a bigger statement than just having large breasts, Leggero said.
“Callie is impatient; she has a terrible temper, but she’s relatable,” she said. “Callie is a reflection of women’s new place in the world.”
It’s still undetermined if the writers and producers had underlying puns for the recent controversial immigration laws, but the actors say that wasn’t the initial intention.
“Cartoons in general are good opportunities to comment on society. We are able to say something bigger through comedy, and it diffuses things since it takes place in a make-believe world,” Leggero said.
Even if the show doesn’t have intentional messages about U.S. immigration legislation, the actors say it depicts two sides of America. The good and of course, the bad.
“There are some disgusting things in America and some great things about America. Bristol Palin on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is disgusting,” Leggero said.
One thing the comedians knew for certain is that NYC was chosen to host such a diverse cast.
“New York seemed like the means to get a different group of people together. It’s an interesting and funny setting for all of these people,” Oberg said.
In an era where television programs are becoming increasingly animated, the actors say “Ugly Americans” offers a different kind of “make-believe.”
“It has the right mix of being funny and being smart,” Oberg said. “We’re going for the cheap laughs.”
The actors announced one perverse secret that viewers might be surprised to see this season.
“The episodes are a little dirty,” Oberg said. “I haven’t seen this type of dirtiness before. It’s more of a creative dirty than a dirty-dirty.”