By Josh Taylor
The Paloni Show Halloween Special! arrives on Hulu October 17th. The animated special consists of several shorts (mostly animated) tied together under the celebration of Halloween. The special is part of Hulu’s annual Huluween. Creepy Kingdom had the chance to sit down with executive producer Ben Bayouth and Zach Hadel, who voices Reggie, one of the special’s hosts and talk about the special. “Justin Roiland had the idea that he wanted to make some kind of format where he could showcase other creators, it just so happens that he's steeped in the world of animation. That being said, not all of the shorts are animated,” Bayouth stated. Roiland, the other executive producer on the show, put the special together with Bayouth in an attempt to give more animators and storytellers a platform. Bayouth said, “A lot of the creators who are involved in this special are people we plucked from YouTube and other platforms that don't have a massive audience, but we just love their voice.” The Paloni Show mixes tons of different styles and stories together, creating a bit of chaos and magic all at once. Hadel chimed in saying, “, It's really cool to see all of the shorts. Even though they're all Halloween themed, some go more towards comedy, some go more towards horror. There's a good blend. Not only thematically does disease short bring something new but I think stylistically nothing feels too similar. So it really is a nice buffet.”
Part of the reason for how the special looks and feels is because of how Roiland and Bayouth presented it to those who were involved. Not everyone worked together. Instead, the executive producers asked everyone to submit something separately. “We didn't really put a lot of limits on people's creativity. Obviously, it needs to be watchable content that isn't too absurd or too vulgar to put on tv, but we really didn't want to handcuff anybody when it came to creativity.” Bayouth continued, “ I always feel like putting limitations on writing. It allows you to explore things in a much deeper way than you didn't think you were able to. We said it had to be Halloween themed. Looking at our shorts, I'm so surprised with all of our creators and with how different everything is. We didn’t get 15 shorts back about Jack-o-Lanterns or Slashers. They are all very different.” In a way, this is like a festival of shorts, reminiscent of some of the touring shows that animators like Mike Judge or Don Hertzfeldt have done. The Paloni Show. is something it’s creators are passionate about and are interested in continuing with, whether its a continued holiday special format or as a regular show for Hulu. For those involved, it not only gave them a chance to play in an open sandbox, but it gave others an opportunity to, something that Bayouth is passionate about. “Best case scenario for me would be for someone to finish watching our special and then run over to their sketch pad and start drawing or record something and feel inspired to make cool stuff. I think it's totally in the realm of possibility for people to make something cool and then become part of something like this if they have something to say.” Summing everything up, Hadel stated, “I love ritualistic stuff that I watch every Halloween. I'll put on television show episodes like a Treehouse of Horror or a South Park Halloween episode. So hopefully people aren’t just inspired, like Ben said, but also entertained. We’d like to do more”
The Paloni Show Halloween Special! is now streaming exclusively on Hulu!