The Black animation world changed in 2005 when “The Boondocks,” a satirical sometimes brutally honest cartoon, debuted on television.
The series started as a comic strip from the creative mind of Aaron Mcgruder.
However, popularity never shielded the creators from controversy.
There were several times backlash ensued due to the shows ‘N’ word usage or Black political figures caricatures.
But controversy doesn’t matter to Brian Ash and Carl Jones. They have both written and produced “The Boondocks” episodes. The creative duo cares more about the truth.
They will continue holding a mirror to society in their latest creation “Sugar and Toys.” The Fuse late night television sketch comedy series highlights social commentary using humor.
The Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper spoke with both Ash and Jones over the phone about their latest show, social media, and their creativity.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL NEWSPAPER (LAS): It looks like ‘Sugar and Toys’ requires immense creativity. What’s the driving force behind it?
CARL JONES: The process varies because your dealing with a show that speaks to things that are going on in the world and pop culture. So, our ideas can be generated from social media, observations, or our own personal views. A lot of it is sitting in a room with other writers
BRIAN ASH: With a format like this, the creative process continues to develop even after we have written it. Sometimes in the recording session, we might put a brand new sketch together. For example, we recently had a sketch that wasn’t that funny at first, but by the end, it became the funniest thing ever. The process is all about energy and inspiration.
LAS: You mentioned social media. How do you guys gather influence from social media and use it in the show?
ASH: ‘The Boondocks’ was an early adapter for social media especially season two going into season three. A huge amount of the story came off social media. We were basically doing meme culture before there were memes. We were doing 20-minute memes instead. We try to hold a mirror to what’s going on in society.
JONES: The show is basically a roast. Hopefully people have a sense of humor and know its all fun and games. Even if they don’t like it, that’s cool too. They have the right to be upset. A lot of our material has been polarizing but we never work in a vacuum during the creative process. We write about what is honest and true. We embrace all of it no matter what the reaction may be. I mean there is some social responsibility as creatives but that responsibility is to tell the truth.
LAS: Yeah, I guess that’s why so many people give you backlash because the truth can sometimes hurt.
ASH: We don’t go out of our way to be cruel or bully. It’s really about conversations that define our culture. For example, the constant thirst for attention by millennials. That’s the main thing that kids are facing today. It’s the culture of social media. I think a lot of comedy comes from that view. People are trying to get their 15 minutes of fame. That’s a theme that comes up in the show.
LAS: Both of your works cater to satire humor. What makes satire a main ingredient in all your projects?
JONES: What I like about satire is that it really blurs the lines. It can’t be put in a box. It’s all up to other people’s interpretation, which is rewarding to me. It’s dope for you to be able to make a statement without people truly knowing if they should be upset about it or just laugh. I think we all need to be uncomfortable sometimes. We all are vulnerable because everyone has insecurities. We can look at ourselves honestly without putting ourselves in a position where we are the authority on how you should think or feel.
ASH: As I kid, I loved Mad Magazine. It was the satirical humor. I was able to learn about culture and political issues. Satire is unintentionally enriching. I owe a lot of my worldview to that. I learned the joke version first and became curious. I hope we are doing that to some of the viewers.