(CBS Local)– Paramount+ has many great offering from live sports to thousands of episodes of your favorite TV shows and tens of thousands of hours movies, but there is nothing quite like “Tooning Out The News” on the ViacomCBS streaming service.
The series from executive producer Stephen Colbert is back for season two and the political satire does a parody of the top news stories in the world with animated characters interviewing real newsmakers. Past guests include Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Alan Dershowitz, Representative Ted Lieu, Alyssa Milano and many others.
CBS Local caught up with showrunner RJ Fried to preview season two, discuss why this show works in today’s political climate and the end of “Our Cartoon President” on Showtime.
“Not having this attention suck which was the Donald Trump presidency has been very liberating,” said Fried, in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “A lot of comedians would agree because this is fun, new territory where we can actually focus on some issues now. It’s very strange to wake up and not feel the need to check Twitter to find out what fresh hell awaits. It’s definitely a different news cycle and I think comedically it has been very liberating.”
Fried says season two of his series will feature appearances by senators and governors from both parties. They also plan to have some Hollywood activists on the show as well. There are also some other exciting things coming out for season two.
“We introduced a new show called The Establishment, which is more of our center-right show,” said Fried. “We’re also going to introduce a new show called Smart Talk Tonight, which is going to be something different than we normally do. We are actually going to put cartoon characters into a live action set. It will be almost like Between Two Ferns with cartoon characters.”
The showrunner hopes to attend real life events with his cartoon characters once the pandemic ends. Fried and his colleagues are constantly working on the show. They write in the morning, record in the afternoon and by that night they have an animated segment.
“All of the work that goes into making a same day animated show really blows my mind,” said Fried. “I don’t come from an animation world, I come from a comedy background. The infrastructure that they used to put the show together is truly fascinating. I can’t believe they do it. The show is done about four or five hours after we record. The performers perform with the real guests and simultaneously there are animators who are doing a motion capture animation at the exact same time of the animation. We’re animating and recording at the same time and it gets married up. For those who watch the show, I can’t believe we get away with it every day.”
Watch Stephen Colbert Presents: Tooning Out The News on Paramount+ and watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.