Wonkybot Greenlights Supervillain Comedy Podcast “Almost Epic” from Creator Stewart St John
Wonkybot, the award-winning content company known for creating the best in scripted, cinematic audio series including the wildly successful award-winning superhero podcast Tara Tremendous and teen horror series Origins Unknown, today announced it has given Stewart St John’s original supervillain workplace comedy podcast Almost Epic an eight-episode order and cast The Nanny alum Lauren Lane (pictured above) in one of the lead roles. The series is set to premiere in May and will be available at http://www.wonkybot.com and worldwide on all podcast platforms, and ad-free with a subscription to the Wonkybot Channel on Apple Podcasts.
Described as a cross between Arrested Development and the 60’s Batman show by way of Futurama, Almost Epic centers around Dr. Ezekiel Epicopolis (St John), a flamboyant, mad-scientist suffering from delusions of grandeur and crippling arrogance who uses his world-renowned laboratory as a front for his secret evil empire as he plots to take over the world; but his desire to become the world’s most feared supervillain never materializes due to his inept schemes, dysfunctional crew of workplace misfits, and an overbearing mother who fuels his feelings of worthlessness as she plots to take over his business.
Lane, who starred for six seasons as the WASPy businesswoman C.C. Babcock on CBS’ “The Nanny”, will star as Epicopolis’ mother, the alcoholic, emotionally manipulative and hysterically acidic Mitzy Epicopolis, aka ‘Epic Mama’.
“I’m so excited to move forward with Almost Epic and thrilled to welcome the incredibly talented Lauren Lane to the show,” said St John, who created, wrote, and is starring, show-running, directing and executive producing Almost Epic alongside his Wonkybot partners Todd Fisher and Michael Plahuta. “We are such huge fans. Lauren is an amazing force of comedic energy who we all wanted to play this character, so when we approached her and she said yes it was a dream come true!”
“The Wonkybot team are fabulous collaborators who welcomed my initial response to this outrageous character as a mix of Margo Channing and Bette Davis as Baby Jane,” said Lane. “I’m having such fun with them, the writing is excellent and I’m now officially a member of the Wonkybot army!”
The series, a mix of mock documentary-style interviews, pop culture references and lots of camp, has its roots in an earlier incarnation called The Dr. Epicopolis & 1102 Show of Shows which St John created for a younger audience. “I realized that the characters were maturing and would be better served outside of the kids genre allowing me freedom to explore their dysfunctional relationships and storylines,”explained St. John, whose television credits include writing/producing the comedy feature Seventeen Again. “It aligned perfectly with Wonkybot’s expansion into older-skewing content.”
Other series regulars include Michael Plahuta as 1102, a six-foot-five inhuman slog created by the doctor to be his obedient assistant but whose naiveté and innate humanity manages to keep his boss’ hubris in check; Jessica Magers-Rankin as 1102’s new bride Milliana, an outspoken Eastern European farm girl worth billions who locks horns with Dr. Epicopolis; Todd Fisher as EB3, a cynical, diabolical robot with a crush on Apple’s Siri and a secret desire to destroy mankind; and Svettlanna, the transgender Eastern-European head of a Kardashian-style cosmetics company who is also a sex-mad super-villainess longing to marry Epicopolis while secretly lusting after 1102 who has just married her niece.
Added St John: “Almost Epic is like a wild, edgy animated series — minus the animation. What I love about working in the audio/podcast format is that it challenges me to tell a story using audio only, and at the same time an opportunity to experiment and develop characters and storylines without the pressures of a television budget. If something works, then we can take that and expand it into a visual medium like television — if it makes sense.”
The new series exists in St John’s “Tremendous Universe", a shared universe of superhero and sci-fi audio series being produced by Wonkybot Studios.
“We take enormous pride in the creativity and passion we infuse into our audio series and we are elated to expand the universe with Almost Epic,” said Plahuta, who has also co-composed the show’s big-band theme song with St John. “And having someone as fabulously talented as Lauren Lane be part of our ensemble cast speaks volumes about the quality of content Wonkybot is producing.”
Wonkybot, which has built an audience across 170 countries now has several projects in development for Film/TV based on its audio series, including the Tara Tremendous property which is currently with Marc Platt Productions as a live-action musical written by St John and original songs written and produced by St John and Plahuta.
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