Stars flocking to guest on BoJack Horseman
In the past few years, Tatiana Maslany has received many honours. The Saskatchewan native just picked up a second Emmy nomination for playing a woman cloned on “Orphan Black.” That star turn has also earned her three Canadian Screen Awards, two Critics’ Choice Television Awards, a TCA award as well as Golden Globe and SAG nominations.
Her biggest thrill? Last season she got to do a voice-over on “BoJack Horseman.”
“That’s dream stuff,” says Maslany. “It’s so good, isn’t it? And so smart, too.”
Maslany is part of a growing list of entertainers who have lent voice to the animated series, which premièred for a third season Friday on Netflix. Paul McCartney, Daniel Radcliffe, Naomi Watts, Henry Winkler and Lance Bass have all spoken for themselves on the series.
The characters can be people, animals, fish or fowl. The series stars another Canadian — Toronto-native Will Arnett — as the voice of BoJack, a horse who is trying to make it in Hollywood. BoJack’s fits of depression lead this edgy comedy into many dark places, not unlike themes explored on contemporary shows such as “Louie” or even Arnett’s recent live action drama for Netflix, “Flaked.”
Other regulars include Amy Sedaris as Princess Caroline, a Persian cat who is BoJack’s agent and occasional girlfriend. Alison Brie plays a Vietnamese-American ghostwriter from Boston who lives with former sitcom star and current game show host, Mr. Peanutbutter (an anthropomorphic yellow Labrador retriever voiced by comedian Paul F. Tompkins).
Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) voices Todd Chavez, an unemployed, 24-year-old slacker who, Kato Kaelin-like, crashed at BoJack’s house and never left.
Maslany played a mouse who worked at Mr. Peanutbutter’s game show. She was trying to impress J.D. Salinger, voiced by Alan Arkin.
In three short seasons, “BoJack” has rivalled “The Simpsons” as the place to be heard but not seen. Others who have recorded for the series as recurring characters include Patton Oswalt, Olivia Wilde, Wendie Malick, J.K. Simmons, Ken Jeong and Lisa Kudrow.
“BoJack Horseman” is the brainchild of 31-year-old comedian Raphael Bob-Waksberg, who pitched Netflix on a show that was honest about sadness.
Depression, unhappiness and loneliness are themes expressed in many of today’s dark comedies, from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” to “Man Seeking Woman” to “You’re the Worst.”
Why are so many of today’s comedians exploring the dark side?
Louis C.K., pretty much the father of the modern movement, says he simply wants the freedom to explore dark and light in what he does. “It’s not like I’m playing basketball and I want to play baseball,” he told critics in Los Angeles last year. “You can do them both on the same court.”
He’s put “Louie” on hiatus while he works on other things, including the FX series “Baskets” as well as the upcoming Amazon Video black comedy “One Mississippi.” He feels comedians should be free to explore dramatic moments within a comedy framework.
Diane (left, voiced by Alison Brie), Todd (centre, voiced by Aaron Paul) and Bojack (right, voiced by Will Arnett) are back for season 3 of Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman.”