Names like “Pickle” and “Peanut” are ones that you’d give your cats. However, if you’re execs at Disney XD, you’d give names like that an entire TV show.
That said, the upcoming animated series Pickle and Peanut isn’t about two fluffy creatures. It’s about a pickle and a peanut—and as you’d imagine, it’s pretty weird. It’s not just weird because the main characters are living, breathing, and sometimes screaming pieces of food. It’s because it revolves around two pieces of food entering their last year of high school, and experiencing all sorts of wacky adventures. (You can sample some of those in the video featurette below.)
Adding to the weirdness is actor Jon Heder, who voices Pickle, the emotional half of this comedy team. (22 Jump Street‘s Johnny Pemberton is Peanut.) You probably know him best as Napoleon Dynamite, the 2004 indie film phenomenon, with all sorts of sweet jumps and even sweeter dance moves. I know him as one of the weirdest, most entertaining people I’ve ever had the opportunity to interview.
Here’s what happened when I asked Jon a few questions about his role in Disney XD’s Pickle and Peanut.
GeekMom: Exactly what kind of personality does Pickle have? (Do pickles have a personality?)
Jon Heder: No, pickles do not have a personality. They are inanimate objects and are only for human consumption. But they taste like silliness and mild annoyance mixed together.
GM: What do your kids think about their dad voicing a pickle?
JH: One thinks it’s funny and the other rolls her eyes. Yeah, she started rolling those eyes a year ago, and life has been lovely ever since.
GM: This show has some serious weirdness to it. What age group do you think it’s designed for—and why?
JH: Well, it’s on Disney XD, which caters to the 6-11 year-old boy audience, but I think Disney wants this show to step outside the normal demographic and appeal to young girls too and especially dads who like a little irreverence in their cartoons, such as Ren and Stimpy.
GM: What are some of your favorite cartoon characters—and did you draw on any of them for inspiration? If so, how?
JH: Pickle is the Stimpy in this show. He is the Flapjack. Fat Albert might also be drawing some obvious comparisons, but they both have similar emotional personalities. I love Scruffy from Futurama. Uncle Iroh from Avatar: Last Airbender is also one of my favorites. They both have deep emotional cores that carry the morals in each of their shows.
GM: Do you have a favorite type of pickle (half sour, etc.)?
JH: Are there many different kinds of pickles? I know there’s dill and sweet. That’s about all I know of. I mean, dill is delicious, especially chilled in a mountain stream overnight and enjoyed on a hike the next day.
GM: I have to ask: Did you keep anything from the Napoleon Dynamite set?
JH: I kept a wolf and unicorn poster, some boondoggles, a stinky foot fungus given to me by the moonboots, and the “Vote for Pedro” shirt.
Pickle and Peanut debuts Monday, September 7, on Disney XD.