Another FOX program (aside from Glee) being showcased at the Television Critics Association this year with a queer character is is Sit Down, Shut Up, a new animated sitcom (set against a live backdrop) starring Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Kristin Chenoweth and created by Arrested Development’s Mitchell Hurwitz.
The Simpsons has given us a number of gay characters and American Dad has Roger, the bisexual alien. How might this new character stack up against those?
Find out after the jump!
Andrew Legustambos is voiced by Nick Kroll and if you know a little Spanish, that last name translates roughly to "he likes both". In fact, Andrew is actually a bisexual man teaching at a high school in a small Florida fishing town. The official synopsis of the show says Andrew is "proud" and is "the flamboyant drama teacher".
Really? Another non-straight character who is flamboyant? And a drama teacher?
Are there really no bisexual or gay biology teachers, math teachers or principals who don’t wear banana hammocks?
During the TCA panel for SDSU, Kroll spoke about his character, saying, "I spend a lot of time — I’m
the drama teacher, and he spends a lot of time working on
high school musicals and doing musical mash-ups of, like, Peanuts and Reservoir Dogs together and Apocalypse
Now and High School Musical, and he’s just a real –
he’s a terrible person in a lovely way. He spends a lot
of time — he and Helen are losers among a group of
teachers who are losers."
Nick Kroll at Television Critics Association in Los Angeles
Getty Images/Frank Micelotta
After the panel, I chatted with Kroll (seen most recently in the failed sitcom Cavemen) about what seems like a seriously cliched character. Kroll said that Andrew is "very out" though he never actually sleeps with any other characters, not as a function of the closet, but because "it’s funnier to have him very overtly sexual though not dating a ton. There are a lot of double-entendres, a lot of pun work. … We’ve had a lot of gay caricatures on TV and I think the idea was it would be fun to see someone who is … making fun of all those sterotypical gay characters … even though he comes across — I wouldn’t call him effeminate, he sort of talks like this [demonstrates] … a modern-day Snagglepuss."
Kroll assures me that "all of the characters on the show are stereotypes and that what will come through is commentary on those stereotypes and he [Andrew] is very self-referential. There are jokes that he’ll make along the way that seem very prototypically gay and that would be made by the gay character, and then there is commentary on the gay character making those jokes."
Only time will tell if Andrew is something new and different or something old and tired. Sit Down, Shut Up will debut later this spring.