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‘Green Eggs and Ham’ Executive Producer Ellen DeGeneres Calls Dr. Seuss ‘the First Rapper’

Netflix went all out for the family-friendly premiere of its upcoming addition to the Dr. Seuss canon: “Green Eggs and Ham.” Sunday morning’s series premiere event at Hollywood Post 43 featured a green carpet, an eight-foot-tall Chickeraffe and parody posters of other Netflix original series, ranging from the easy — “Black Forest” and “Queer Egg” (plays on “Black Mirror” and “Queer Eye,” respectively) — to the brilliant “To All the Eggs I’ve Tried Before.”

The series — featuring voice performances from Academy Award winners Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas, Adam Devine, Keegan-Michael Key, Ilana Glazer, Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Daveed Diggs, John Turturro, Eddie Izzard and Jeffrey Wright — is a dramatization of the Dr. Seuss children’s book of the same name. 

Executive producer Ellen DeGeneres opened up about partnering with Netflix and why she thinks audiences still respond to Dr. Seuss’ material today. 

“Dr. Seuss was the first rapper. I think it’s his simplicity. I don’t know, it reminds everybody of their childhood so these are feel-good stories,” the talk-show host told Variety. “It’s the kind of thing that parents are going to want to watch with their kids because it makes them feel good, too. Nobody’s singing baby shark do-do-do, either.”

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Showrunner Jared Stern told Variety that “Green Eggs and Ham” was his favorite Dr. Seuss story growing up, recalling that he learned to read with that book and would read it to his grandmother.

About adapting “Green Eggs and Ham” for the screen, Stern said his “favorite part is the animation process.

“I have to write a script, but then it gets better because I give that idea to some talented artists,” he explained. “Then we do the voices and then it goes to editors. And then it goes to animators. It’s pretty crazy to watch something start so simple, and get better and better, better than whatever dumb stuff I started with.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 03: (L-R) Adam DeVine, Jared Stern, Ellen DeGeneres, Diane Keaton, Ilana Glazer, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, Ted Biaselli, Jeff Kleeman, and Mike Karz attends Netflix 'Green Eggs & Ham' Los Angeles Premiere at Post 43 on November 03, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)
CREDIT: Getty Images for Netflix

The experience was equally thrilling for the cast, who Glazer revealed has already wrapped up recording Season 2 of the show. Netflix was the first home of, you know, Netflix and chill, bingeing and relaxing while watching a show, she said. I’m excited for people to get comfortable with this show, feel comfortable rewatching.

Even though the cast didn’t get a chance to record their performances together, the crew was already pretty comfortable with each other since Devine (who voices Sam-I-Am) already knew co-stars like Michael Key and Glazer from Hollywood’s comedy scene. But when Keaton arrived on the carpet, accidentally breaking a green ham prop off the wall in the frenzy, it was the first time that she met and spoke with the majority of the cast. 

Netflix recreated Meepville, a fictional town in the series, as an interactive experience for the “Green Eggs and Ham” premiere. Open to the public as well as cast, producers and crew, the experience involved a coloring station, friendship bracelet station, Subway sandwich machine and a large cage missing its Chickeraffe. Staffers accessorized their outfits with orange suspenders and green ham hats. It was a family affair as actors like Esai Morales (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Joe Lo Truglio (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), Blake Anderson (“Workaholics”) and Perez Hilton brought their children and young relatives to celebrate, and Hollywood’s young stars “This Is Us’” Lonnie Chavis and “Young Sheldon’s” Iain Armitage also strutted the green carpet. 

“Green Eggs and Ham” begins streaming Nov. 8 on Netflix.

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