EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Carl Jones (@iamcarljones) Exec Producer Adult Swim’s ‘Black Dynamite’ and ‘Boondocks’



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Hey Carl, thanks for taking the time in answering some questions with Bubbleblabber.com!

My pleasure Bubbleblabber. Thank you.
Are you able to tease a little bit as to what is in store for the upcoming season of Black Dynamite ala plots, loglines, etc?

Lets see…what I can say is that you can expect to see Black Dynamite face off with a giant albino gorilla named Honky Kong, a pill popping – past his prime Elvis Presley, Amazon Moon Bitches, OJ Simpson, Mr. T, The Ku Klux Klan, The Black Panthers, Michael Jackson along with a host of original villains that no one’s seen before.
Why do you think it made sense to develop a cult classic like Black Dynamite into an animated series?

The world of Black Dynamite is perfect for animation. For one there is so much texture and richness in that era of time. It was figuratively and literally a very colorful point in time. The color palettes of the 70’s were so dope which really makes our show stand out visually. And from a writing standpoint…The Dichotomy of Black Dynamite’s character is what truly inspired me the most to make this a television show. He is a an ass kicking vigilante with a pimp swagger that runs a orphanage slash Whore house, affectionately known as “The WHOREPHANAGE”. (laughs) He is as antihero as you can get. This is the type of Superhero that people have yet to see on television. He doesn’t wear tights or a cape and the most important thing is that he’s Black and still has both his balls intact. (laughs) Can we say balls? Well if not please insert testicles…pause. Often times with strong Black characters television feels a need to castrate them to make them more “likable” which in turn makes them way to vulnerable. That’s not what I wanted to do with Black Dynamite. He’s Shaft, Dolemite and Jim Kelly all rolled up in one. He had to be 100 percent pure testosterone, male bravado and ego. He’s kickin ass first and askin’ questions last…if they’re still alive. But fortunately we are on a network like Adult Swim that puts more emphasis on good honest content and they fully support their creators’ visions. So when I brought the idea to the network, they got it instantly. But instead of doing a parody of a parody, I decided to just take the humor, coolness and sexiness of the blaxploitation world and create a brand new universe. So the jokes are not on the genre. Instead my goal was to rely on really funny characters, situations and ridiculous plots to carry the comedy. Besides it’s hard to do continuity and boom mic jokes in animation, it usually just comes off like we just made a mistake…although we did manage to pull off one boom mic joke, lol.
You have an awesome history creating controversy with The Boondocks, can we expect people getting pissed off at/about Black Dynamite?

Of course you can (laughs) I mean look anytime you take a candid photo of our society, religion or any cultures sacred cows you open up the door for scrutiny and controversy. I truly believe that it is our job as writers to shake people up a little, rattle a few cages. The world needs the dialogue. I feel like there are so many ills in our societies but not enough resolve. This is partially because no ones talking about them. We have learned to become too politically correct and we are taught to sweep our honesty under the rug. But just because we don’t see the dirt, doesn’t mean your house is clean. Like the R-Kelly episode we did on The Boondocks. We were able to shed light on the reality that no matter how many kids you molested or pissed on, if you can sing really well, you can piss on as many as you like (laughs) This is how perverted our real world is. And we are not supposed to expose these realities to the world? As a writer I feel I have an obligation to do so. I love to hear what people hate and or like about my point of view. I want to invoke freedom of expression. This is how a damaged society heals its wounds through healthy dialogue. So I welcome all the controversy but not for the sake of controversy but to incite people to express their selves. The Internet is the best thing in the world because you could have a problem with President Obama, tweet about it and he might just tweet back (laughs) how dope is that? That’s very rewarding for the
average person that doesn’t feel they have a voice in the world. I mean don’t get me wrong…sometimes things are just damn funny so we do it. I don’t always have the luxury of just throwing away jokes or ideas just because some black preacher with a perm or some comedian with a radio show and a book that tells women how to think like a man is going to be pissed at me (laughs)… Funny is funny.
How difficult is it to create a show with source material attached versus something from scratch? One would think a show with source material has a great starting point but creates boundaries whereas something from scratch you can be a bit more lenient…

Well it wasn’t really that difficult at all. In fact all the materials I had access to from the film were very helpful. Michael Jai White and Byron Minns were especially helpful in giving my guidance. After all Black Dynamite was their brainchild. The toughest part was actually giving the plots of the show the same scale and cinematic storytelling that you find in the film. Then trying to squeeze it into a 22 minute format, while balancing the plot with character driven emotional stories at the same time. It takes some real coordination. The main thing that separates the show from the film is the way I chose to focus more on the family dynamic within the crew. When you peel back all the Whores, Pimps and Players in the in the show, you will see it’s really about a dysfunctional family and their trials and tribulations together. I feel that this is what gives the show heart and makes it palatable for everyone, even if you are not familiar with the 70’s or Blaxploitation.

Can you mention any upcoming potential guest stars for Black Dynamite?

Yes, we have Snoop, Charlie Murphy, Donnell Rawlins, Debra Wilson, Orlando Jones, Gary Anthony Williams, Tim Blake Nelson, Eddie Griffin, Affion Crockett, Chris (Kid) Reid, Arsenio Hall, Cedric Yarbrough, Deray Davis, Aries Spears, Jonathan Kite, Phil Lamarr, Clifton Powell, JB Smoove and more!
It was recently announced that The Boondocks is coming back for a fourth season, can you provide any plots or ideas that are going for the upcoming season?

Unfortunately I can’t.
Do you think The Boondocks could one day become an animated feature film ala Freaknik?

Man that would be dope! You never know what Mr. McGruder has up his little sleeve.(laughs)
Speaking of Freaknik any plans for a follow up for the popular show?

There have been some whispering around the halls of Adult Swim but I can’t say right now. But I will let you guys know as soon as I get the word. It was a really fun project to work on.
Are you allowed to speak of any other projects you are working on right now, both announced or unannounced?

I’ve been playing with a few ideas in my spare time. Can’t speak on anything yet but please stay tuned!

Black Dynamite is all new this Sunday Night on Adult Swim, check your local listings!

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