If there’s a TV show that we can watch together as a family and we can all thoroughly be entertained from, it’s a win-win. With my 4 sons being tweens now, they definitely gravitate towards shows that are funny and amusing to them. They want to laugh at something when they’re watching it, and I love that because I’m exactly the same way.
Milo Murphy’s Law from masterminds Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and Dan Povenmire is an animated comedy adventure series that is a HUGE McClelland family hit! This series follows 13-year-old Milo Murphy, the fictional great-great-great-great grandson of the Murphy’s Law namesake.
It is hilarious. It is witty. It is entertaining. It is an awesome show to watch as a family! While I was in LA for the Beauty and the Beast press trip, I had the cool opportunity to get a sneak peek at 2 episodes and also meet and interview creators Jeff “Swampy Marsh and Dan Povenmire. These two guys are already heroes in my house because they also created the epic show that my kids love Phineas and Ferb. As you can imagine, these guys are PRETTY INCREDIBLE at what they do! I absolutely LOVED the 2 episodes we got to view, I laughed out loud and was really, really entertained.
Check out a clip from the show:
Believe me, the show is great! You’re going to love how easy it is to get into it! It’s clever and I think that’s why I love it so much. When I got to screen the 2 episodes, there was one on a family road trip. I loved it because we ALWAYS do family road trips, so I identified with it immediately. It was so funny because everything and anything went wrong with Milo on this road trip, but he kept such a positive attitude and just kept going. It actually really shows kids a good lesson – regardless of what life throws at you, with the right attitude and mindset, you can keep prevailing – even if you’re someone who always seems to have bad luck!
I couldn’t believe that after the screenings, we got to actually interview Jeff “Swampy” Marsh and Dan Povenmire. These guys are legends to my sons! I mean, LEGENDS! My sons knew who they were before I did! I also love that they’re a duo! I have a best friend that I work with, so I really appreciate a team coming in and doing their thing successfully. These guys were so great, they were open to any questions and then even watched the screenings with us, too!
As they came out, Dan even said, “Really fun to watch that with an audience. We forget sometimes, by the time we’re done with it, none of it’s funny to us anymore ’cause we’ve seen all of those jokes 30 or 40 times each so it’s always a matter of ‘Well, this made me laugh the first several times I heard it, so I should probably leave it in,’ because otherwise you end up changing things because you’ve heard them a lot. And it’s always nice when people laugh at the things you thought were funny originally.”
They were so appreciative that we were there AND that we loved the show! I thought it was so cool that they were excited we laughed at the funny parts. I have never really thought of how it must be for them watching us watch it! It was cool to see how happy they were that we liked it!
We were all DYING to know how they came up with “Weird Al” Yankovic for Milo. Honestly – it was one of the first questions we asked them!
Dan explained to us, “We auditioned hundreds of people for Milo. And we auditioned kids. Seasoned voice actors. You know, people whose work we love. But when they would try to do that super-positive thing, it’d always come off sort of Pollyanna and false. And we were just like, we just need to find somebody who just actually has that voice, because the character is sort of modeled after a friend of ours who just sounds that way when he talks. He just always sounds really positive. Weird Al came in and did a voice on Gravity Falls. And Alex, who runs Gravity Falls, posted it, and I was like — oh. Weird Al. I’ve seen him interviewed. He’s this super, super positive guy. What does he sound like? I look up an interview with him to remind myself what his voice sounded like and we had him come in, and it just immediately worked.”
What I thought was really cool was seeing the honesty with the two of them because Jeff laughed and chimed right in, “I was against it. We already auditioned literally hundreds of people.” But the best part was when he admitted that he was wrong. It showed truly the beauty in their friendship. The second he heard the audition tape that Dan had sent him of Weird Al, Jeff shared his reaction. “So I’m literally sitting there in bed with my wife, and I play Weird Al’s voice. She goes, “Who’s that? ” I went, “It’s Weird Al. It’s really good.” We all laughed because after seeing the show, yes… Weird Al is the PERFECT voice for Milo.
Dan and Jeff have BIG fans behind them. Since this is a new show, we were wondering – as we were thinking of their fans and new fans – what they want from people watching this show. What are they excited about people seeing? Feeling?
Dan said, “Well, a lot of times you’re looking to see what starts getting quoted, you know. It’s like, there’s always the Monday morning gag. That’s what we’re always looking for. The Monday morning gag. The gag that kids will come to school and talk about.” How cool is that? I’m telling you – my sons are their target audience and they will definitely go to school with something to talk about from Milo!
Jeff spoke from the heart with this question. It really touched me because it was so honest and it’s such an important message. “The other thing I’m always looking for is the people out there who were me. That if I had had somebody much earlier on in my life say “you should do that,” then maybe I would have found this gig a lot earlier. I didn’t get into animation until I was like, 28. And I like finding those kids that are out there, looking for somebody to say, ‘You know, hey, this doodling and storytelling you do? Or singing funny songs? There is a place for you out there that do that.‘” I loved hearing this because it’s crucial for kids to know that there’s a big wide world out there for them to discover their passions.
One key piece of this show is that it’s a family show. You can watch this with your kids and enjoy it. You can laugh with them. You can talk with them about it. There aren’t that many “kid” shows like that out there. We were VERY curious to ask Dan and Jeff, how important it was for them to create a show the whole family can watch together? Since we’re ALL mom bloggers, this question just seemed extra appropriate.
Dan said, “That’s the best thing that we hear, ’cause when we started Phineas it was right at the time where TV watching had gotten so segmented. There’s cable stations that are just the Food Network, and Home and Garden Television, and what the research was showing was that every age group in the house had its own TV. So, family viewing as we remembered it, from when we were kids, has sort of disappeared. You know, when we were kids, it was the whole family on the couch watching TV. It was everybody watching one show, and you had to pick something that everybody liked, and since that was no longer the norm, people weren’t doing as much shows with the whole family to do. So, when we hear that, to us, it just warms our heart, that we’re bringing back family viewing to the family.”
What Jeff said, too – really made a lot of sense because it reminded me of my family. “People have this language with their families, they have shared jokes, because the show talked to everybody in the house. And I think that’s awesome. I had a guy when I was talking at a college, asked if I would call his dad and tell his dad to send him more money. As Monogram [from Phineas and Ferb] I did it as Monogram, because they shared that whole thing, and I did it.”
I love their rule, which Dan explained, “Our only rule is, if the adult in the room laughs, and the kid asks what they’re laughing about, that conversation can’t be an uncomfortable conversation.”
Amen! I loved hearing that because when you sit and watch a show with your family, you want it to be just THAT – family entertainment. It’s also a great show to teach a child a lesson in life, which I also think is a great family topic to discuss, too. I love when a TV show opens the flood gates to discussion, it’s important and essential many times in a family. I loved what Dan said about Milo, “I think that’s part of what we were trying to do with Milo is that, things are going to go wrong for everybody, for all — if there’s anything that we want the kids to know from this, if things go wrong in your life, don’t let it ruin your day, much less your life. You know. Find the positive spin on it.” Such a powerful lesson for kids to embrace and know about life.
We ended our interview with a great question for Dan and Jeff, “What advice would you have for young kids who are into drawing and doodling and those kind of things?” One of my son’s LOVE to draw and to doodle, so I was very interested to hear what they were going to say… and Jeff’s advice in particular really made me smile and touched my heart. I have ALREADY started this at home!
“Throw away their erasers. The whole thing that I always see people doing, or kids, that are drawing, or trying to create perfect drawings or beautiful drawings, and somebody much wiser than me once said, ‘There’s 10,000 bad drawings and your job is to get them out as quickly as possible, and you only do that by doing more drawings.’” We all started clapping at this because it’s so true. Everyone is looking for that perfect drawing without any mistakes and that’s just not reality. Jeff went on, “One of the first guys who kind of helped teach me said, ‘You should just draw with a Sharpie. It’ll keep you fiddling with stuff and fussing with stuff, it forces you just to make bold shapes.’ And for a year, I didn’t draw with anything other than a Sharpie when I was drawing my own stuff, and it had a huge, positive impact. You can’t erase it. You can’t fiddle it. And I started filling books with drawings. More drawings, no erasing.”
I love that. More drawings, no erasing. Such incredible advice.
Dan and Jeff were awesome to meet and interview. They really are such funny and smart and creative guys. These guys are heroes to my sons, so it really was an incredible moment to be with them and listen to them speak. I can’t thank them enough for taking the time with us, they were beyond kind and gracious.
Make sure you check out Milo Murphy’s Law. All info here!!
Disclosure: This was a Disney Press Trip. All travel covered.