In 2009, The Paloni Show was an upcoming Fox series billed as a variety anthology of animated shorts, not so dissimilar from Seth Macfarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy. Focused on a host known as the Paloni family, the series was originally created by Justin Roiland, the mind behind Rick and Morty and the co-creator of Solar Opposites.
We spoke with the creators behind the Paloni Show! Halloween Special! at NYCC, which is the spinoff sequel series created exclusive for Hulu. We were also given access to some early screeners, of which, I’d only gotten to review right now. What we saw with these thirteen episodes, was a pretty ridiculous amount of antics varying in animation and directorial style, along with the comedy. Gratuitous, ridiculous, offensive, and at moments, outright stupid, the Hulu Halloween special is more hit-than-miss, carried heavily by its vocal talents of Justin Roiland, Zach Hadel, and Pamela Adlon.
In Paloni Show! Halloween Special! The Paloni family decide to host a Halloween special for Hulu (there are a lot of Hulu self-referential jokes) and so the family tries playing narrative host of the night, while also, going along their own Halloween misadventure. With featured story cutaways serving as the nice sort of jump cuts between their strange progression in their stories.
As a Halloween special everything is pretty ridiculous and very Justin Roiland styled in comedy, in that the jokes leans heavily on the absurd and strange vocal gags at first. With plenty of improvised takes in between. As for the family, the horror fully overtakes their storyline, all for a plot riddled with serial killers, chucky-like dolls, cults, and a strange Michael Myers and Dana Carvey gag that’s meant as a play-on names from both the Halloween series, along with Waynes World.
Though what I think works best is that the runtime for each guest animator and director, features only short minutes-long series. It’s just enough of a bite for a tiny bit of a payoff, with a splash of horror, meant to make you laugh uncomfortably given the amount of murder, viscera, and… well, let’s just call it: goop. The styles of each short utilize a wide range of aesthetics from animation, live-action, claymation, and more as well, meaning each short feels distinct from another and well worth the price of admission (of a monthly cost for a streaming service, anyway).
As for the comedy, the jokes are similar to Rick and Morty and the type of improvisational weird horror led by Justin Roiland. For instance, in lieu of baby legs (like in Rick and Morty’s Inter-dimensional Cable) you’ve got little long legs of a child with… well, elongated legs. It’s again, that strange Justin Roiland type humor, yet also, serves a pretty funny purpose when put together.
It should also be noted, that this is the last voice-over role of the late Gilbert Gottfried. Whose role in this one was… something to say the least, though the voice acting was superb. Again, the shorts themselves can be a bit hit-or-miss depending on what you find funny and given that it’s a horror comedy, expect some of the grotesque, such as plays on cannibalism, aliens trying to microwave babies, and a whole lot of serial killer chase sequences.
If you like animation this is probably worthwhile as the pool of talent makes for some entertaining shorts of, mostly absurd and extreme types of comedy. Likewise, if you find Solar Opposites or Rick and Morty funny, you’ll likely enjoy this anthology too.
My only qualm with the series is that it does feel sort of aimless and the stakes lack the heart of other Justin Roiland creations. Still, if you’re here for a fun thoughtless anthology of blood splatter, jokes, and Halloween parodies, this is definitely one for you.