The social media comedy series Blark & Son, about an out-of-touch dad trying to relate to his awkward adolescent boy, is coming to Verizon’s Tumblr and go90 platforms.
The quirky live-action puppet series, which got its start with weekly 30-second installments on Instagram, will expand to seven-minute episodes that premiere on June 4.
“They’re the quintessential odd couple: an overly manly dad who had a kid later in life and the son is very nerdy,” the series’ 29-year-old creator, Ben Bayouth. “The age gap is big, their interests are so different.”
Bayouth voices Blark, who launches each episode by bursting into the bedroom of his 12-year-old gamer son (voiced by Superbad and How to Train Your Dragon 2 star Christopher Mintz-Plasse).
The awkwardly comedic exchanges seem to amplify their differences, rather than forge a closer connection. Deborah Baker Jr. (Stan Against Evil), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty), Jim Rash (Community), and Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) also join the cast.
Bayouth said he sketched out the original concept, then began making puppets to breathe life into the characters. He brought on Executive Producer Adam Aseraf, and the duo conceived of 15-second, staccato exchanges, but found he wanted more substance than that limited time would allow.
Blark & Son’s creator built a set, and planned to produce the show out of his apartment.
“This project is so big, I would love to give it more time than weekends and nights,” Bayouth said, so he and Aseraf pitched the concept to Seth Green’s Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which funded the series.
Blark & Son debuted in 2016 on the Instagram, where the 30-second episodes found its voice and a following. Buoyed by the fan response, Baymouth and Executive Producer Adam Aseraf decided to expand the characters into an animated comedy for Verizon’s digital network.
Executive Producer Chris Waters said Verizon’s funding allowed Bayouth to expand the world, creating full body puppets (the originals were merely head and shoulders), adding more characters and building out the setting (a complete house versus the hints of a child’s bedroom).
As Blark & Son makes its transition to Verizon, it will get a fresh look. (Check out the trailer here.)
“It’s taken on a charming quality, sort of cartoon meets sitcom,” said Waters.
Ivana Kirkbride, general manager for digital/original content for Verizon’s Oath, said she was impressed by how Bayouth used Instagram to pilot and refine their concept. “The impact that this may have for writers and content creators in the future, is enormous. We are extremely excited to see how the new series will do,” she said.
Blark & Son is produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. Green, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich and Eric Towner serve as executive producers.