Gotcha. Well let’s talk a little bit more about how you’re presenting information. I think it’s really interesting. The thing that really stuck out to me is the animated segments of the show are brilliant and really brought me back to School House Rock and even the conversational nature that Kal has when he is talking directly to you almost reminds me of a grown up Sesame Street. Can you talk to me about some of those influences you had when developing how you wanted to present the show?
RB: I appreciate that. Look, there are some absolute titans out there, when it comes to presenting issues and information in a fun and palatable way. We are honored whenever we get compared to Samantha Bee, and John Oliver, and Hassan Minaj, because a lot of these folks have found ways to take really dense, and sometimes really dark topics, and again make them fun and ensure that our viewers are eating their peas and carrots along with dessert.
So, that has been one of the fun parts. To get to say, you know, we may be a show about important issues, but we are also a comedy show. You know? Kal [Penn] came up making stoner movies [Laughs] with the Harold and Kumar franchise. So I think that his own experience going into the political sector, and coming out of it to, is the perfect example that having fun and being silly and talking about serious issues are not mutually exclusive. And I think our audience are people that like to have fun and people who like to be goofy and be silly, but also care very deeply about these issues.
So it’s been an absolute blast to find that intersection. And I appreciate you saying that you’ve enjoyed it.
Yeah, I mean absolutely! Even along those lines more, a lot of the show is unscripted, right? How do you organize the flow of the show and integrate all of the improvisation that could come?
RB: It’s a great question. I mean I…it’s hard to imagine a more talented team than the folks that are working on our show. Our researchers are just incredible in making sure that before anything else, we are giving people completely accurate information. We have a team of writers who can help us craft our comedic voice, really just hardworking all across the spectrum.
And then you know, you put the ball in Kal’s hands and he’ll deliver as we’ve really been seeing. So, it’s a team effort. It is a massive, massive team effort on short time with plenty of restrictions that current climate has thrown at us. But you know, I think that we are all really having a great time and hopefully making a difference.
How have the conditions of the pandemic helped or hindered your shooting. I mean it looks like it’s just him talking to the camera primarily, unless he you’re going out in the streets type of stuff. Has it really hindered you or have you been able to kind of navigate it in these crazy times?
RB: It’s a great question. I mean look I think anyone, really in any field right now, would tell you that they’re sort of building a plane while flying it, when it comes to getting back to work in a COVID age. I think that more than anything else has been the safety of everyone involved and the health of everyone involved. From our production and crew to the talent that we use.
But look, we are so honored to be able to make this show right now and I think, you know, we keep in perspective the folks who have lost their lives. Who have been decimated by the pandemic. There’s certainly nothing for us to complain about. The fact that we are able to get to do this at all really, hopefully leads to folks getting involved in our political process in a way that maybe helps fight some of those issues that we are reeling from right now.
Kal is well connected. Obviously that’s a help. So how were you able to wrangle such huge figures like Bill Nye and Hilary Clinton and on and on…?
RB: It’s a great question, I mean look. Everyone even folks who are traditionally non-political understand the importance of this moment and getting young people to vote is a non-partisan issue. We’ve been so excited by how many people are just willing and eager to help out in any way to make people laugh. To entertain. And I think that our mission is one that aligns pretty well with a lot of folks of all political backgrounds.
There you go. The face of politics is starting to change, particularly with the Democratic party, with younger and more progressive people coming into politics, whether you are talking about A.O.C. or Ilhan Omar or just the whole new generation coming up. Can we expect to see more of those faces, who arguably speak to a new generation on your show in the future?
RB: There’s no doubt about it! I mean, the reality right now is that our candidates for president are both in their seventies. But beyond looking solely at that fact, you have as you mentioned, candidates running for every office who are first-time, more gender diverse, and culturally diverse than we’ve ever seen before. And this is not a one-time thing. This is a much needed shift in our political process. We are so excited to cover this and celebrate it and this is just the beginning. I believe when it comes to a new type of politics that are more representative of everyone and you know, we are just so inspired to see that shift, in both parties.
So the election is coming up, obviously in couple of weeks, what do you have planned for around the election time and what guests or surprises could you tease for the rest of the season?
RB: It’s an excellent question, but unfortunately it wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you right now. But we got some fun stuff and some big guests so far… At the end of the day our goal is first and foremost to get people to vote. But also to get folks to understand that voting is the first part of the process and while the votes may start being counted on November 3rd, there are still so many ways to get involved and make a difference. And we’re thrilled to be a resource for folks.
Absolutely! Well thank you for doing your service. You are doing a great job and it’s needed right now!
Well thank you so much. We hope to get to continue making a difference. Thank you so much Brax. I really appreciate it.
Kal Penn Approves This Message Synopsis
KAL PENN APPROVES THIS MESSAGE – Hosted by Kal Penn, “Kal Penn Approves This Message” is a smart, irreverent unscripted comedy series that explores issues relevant to Millennial and GenZ voters. Each episode consists of comedic field pieces as well as sit down interviews with Kal and a featured guest. With topics ranging from voting basics to voter empowerment, the economy to climate change, the series breaks down key issues young voters are passionate about, and arms them with the tools they need to make an impact and vote. “Kal Penn Approves This Message” premieres on Tuesday, September 22 at 10:30p.m. EDT/PDT on Freeform. (Freeform)