“The Awesomes” are suiting up once again. Hulu’s popular animated superhero comedy from the minds of Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker returns Sept. 8 with more laugh-out-loud moments. With “The Awesomes” now in its third season, the cast have found their stride and mastered the voice-recording skills necessary for the tongue-in-cheek adult show.
“For me, doing the voice work is easy, because I’m recording basically my own voice and not playing a character,” Meyers told Variety at the show’s screening party Wednesday evening at the Microsoft Loft in New York. “For the rest of the people, we tried to make it very easy for them because so many of them are friends who are giving their time, and we just wrote towards their strengths. Kenan Thompson never needs more than two takes because we know Kenan really well. We don’t try to write things outside of his wheelhouse. Instead, we try to put everything in his wheelhouse. So ultimately, because this is not anyone’s primary performing job, we try to make it as easy as possible.”
For the new season, “Late Night” talk show host Meyers has invited many of his famous friends to lend their voices to the show. Guest stars include Andy Samberg, Billy Eichner, Jack McBrayer, Fred Armisen and Cecily Strong.
“I’ve never been a cartoon character before, so it’s pretty crazy,” said Strong while mingling at the party. “It’s weird to see what they made me look like, but it’s really fun. During the recording session, it’s only me and it’s for about an hour. Some of the voice work is harder than others. Anytime it says to make running noises is a little harder. But I love working for Seth.”
For Meyers, the biggest obstacle was making crucial decisions about the show’s script one year in advance, unlike his job at “Late Night” or at “Saturday Night Live,” where he’s allowed to make adjustments at the last minute.
“Once you turn the script over to the animators, it’s a lot harder to move one degree one way or the other once it’s been drawn, so learning that process and having to lock in the script level earlier has been a challenge and a learning experience for me,” said the comedian. “Another challenge is physically getting our dream cast to record. They’re not always available, so we start to record them in weird times and piece it together. We have a lot of temp voices up until the last minute.”
At the screening, Meyers celebrated with the show’s cast that included Shoemaker; Rachel Dratch; Steve Higgins, the announcer on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”; and Taran Killam, who admits that voicing a cartoon character is a career highlight.
“It is a dream come true for me. I was a Saturday morning kind of kid,” said Killam. “I watched ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,’ ‘Thundercats,’ ‘Silverhawks’ and ‘He-Man.’ I was all about cartoons, and to be one is so cool. During my second season of ‘SNL,’ Seth called me down during a writing night, and he and Shoemaker said, ‘Hey, can you come down to the ninth floor and just record something for us?’ What was seemingly just a favor and has become an ongoing series three years later, it’s one of the best things I’ve done.”
Season three of “The Awesomes” streams weekly beginning Sept. 8.
(Pictured: Taran Killam, Mike Shoemaker, Cecily Strong and Seth Meyers)