HBO Max and Cartoon Network announced today that Sacha Baron Cohen (Academy Award-nominated Borat and Who Is America?) has teamed up with Greg Daniels (King of the Hill) and Mike Judge (King of the Hill) of the newly formed Bandera Entertainment, as well as Michael Koman (SNL, Co-Creator of Nathan for You, and Executive Producer of HBO’s How To with John Wilson) to bring their fresh wit to new, younger audiences with the family-oriented animated special, Chelm: The Smartest Place on Earth.
Set in the mythical “Town of Fools” and originally told in Yiddish, Chelm: The Smartest Place on Earth shares the absurdist humor and interpretive questioning that is a nod to Jewish intellectual traditions. Narrated by Sacha Baron Cohen, the special will present a fresh take on the silly antics and exaggerated conflicts of the town, while also preserving the essence and heart of the classic folktales.
“This pitch was so hilarious; we just knew the HBO Max audience needed to get a dose of this original brand of storytelling. Chelm: The Smartest Place on Earth is a perfect pairing of comedy and satire, and no one does that combination better than Sacha, Greg, Mike, and Michael,” said Amy Friedman, head of kids & family programming, Warner Bros. “This unique project will breathe new, hysterical life into the nonsensical Chelmic wisdom that originated from this imaginary city of folks who aren’t quite the sharpest tools in the shed.”
Sacha Baron Cohen, Greg Daniels, and Mike Judge are developing the story with Michael Koman, who is also attached to write. The four will executive produce the special, alongside Bandera’s President Dustin Davis.
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About Bandera Entertainment
Greg Daniels & Mike Judge’s partnership first began on the long-running, critically acclaimed animated show King of the Hill. Following that success, they spent the next years working on projects independently, but their shared sensibilities and love of animation led to the foundation of Bandera Entertainment, where the goal is to curate a relevant, diverse slate of animated programming. With President Dustin Davis, who was most recently Head of Comedy at YouTube Originals and before that had stints at ABC and Spike TV, their aim is to expand the animation genre into as many modern types of storytelling as live action, guided by an excitement for artists and writers and ideas. Bandera is currently in production on Netflix’s Bad Crimes, a dark comedy procedural created by Nicole Silverberg with Nicole Byer and Lauren Lapkus voicing the leads, as well as Freeform’s Praise Petey, created by Anna Drezen, with Annie Murphy, Kiersey Clemons, Stephen Root, Christine Baranski and John Cho lending their vocal talents. Additionally, Bandera is in production on Netflix’s adult comedy Exploding Kittens, based off the beloved card game, showcasing the voices of Tom Ellis, Lucy Lui and Abraham Lim.