Dan Harmon, most known as the creator of cult classic television comedy Community and co-creator (with Justin Roiland) of [adult swim]’s cosmic success Rick and Morty, is a busy man. Between the ongoing promise of a Community movie, the third season of Rick And Morty, and the weekly Harmontown podcast (of which there’s even a frigging documentary), you would think the man would be unable to give us any more than he already has— and yet, today he announced another show coming soon to our screens!
HarmonQuest is an upcoming cartoon series based on the aforementioned Harmontown; an admitted lifelong fan of tabletop roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons, Harmon played the popular Pathfinder game with a panel of celebrities (including Paul F. Tompkins and Aubrey Plaza) in front of a live audience. An admitted fan of the Ricky Gervais Show on HBO, which has cartoon animations to correspond with the audio produced, Harmon found inspiration for his next project.
“The Ricky Gervais Show—I was endlessly entertained by impromptu audio coupled with animation, with the animation bringing what was being said to life, especially when what was being said was absurd. In TV or all things creative, it’s your job to follow your own laughter. When I was watching that show I’d be laughing so hard my sides would hurt, which is a rare thing.”
Harmon as discovered that fans of his had been animating audio from the podcast already, and this led to an internal confirmation that the HarmonQuest show idea could work. He approached Universal Cable Productions to pitch the idea for online distribution on a low-budget; Evan Shapiro, the new vice president of the operation, had other plans. Shapiro had been developing the Seeso comedy network within and saw an opportunity in Harmon’s project, giving it a larger budget to make it the star launch of the new platform.
The show is also largely in thanks to Spencer Crittenden—initially a fan of the Harmontown podcast who ended up becoming a part of the team and the game’s Dungeon Master. Crittenden, due to his role as god of the game and narrator of it’s story, is given credit for having written much of the series and his own executive producer credit. In reference to Crittenden’s involvement, Harmon was enthusiastic.
“I made sure he didn’t get paid a penny less than I did because all I’m doing is showing up and playing. He has to write all those things, and then sit on camera and improvise. As time went on I loosened my grip with editing and let him step into the role.”
HarmonQuest, on the whole, is an exciting adventure in both scripted, but mostly improvised comedy, with a live studio audience and a Rick and Morty animated feel. The first episode of the show is available now on the Seeso Network and Youtube, and you can watch the trailer in all it’s glory below.