Starring Mark Gagliardi as Jumbo the Elephant and Samm Levine as Wyatt the Rabbit. Also starring Brian Stack, Annie Savage, Craig Cackowski, Hal Lublin, and David Fury as Mr. Passover. Recorded May 7, 2011
I honestly don’t know what to say about this. We had a great time writing Jumbo the Christmas Elephant for our 2010 holiday show, but, frankly, I couldn’t imagine that we had more stories to tell with this character, funny as Mark Gagliardi is in the title role. Jumbo isn’t exactly a character begging for a larger world or any deep mythology.
However, we hit upon two things that made this piece worthwhile (for me, anyway; Acker was an easier sell on the idea):
First was not repeating ourselves in the way the story is told. When we hit upon writing a Seussian rhyming story about Jumbo saving Easter, a number of aspects came into focus, including how simple the story had to be and some of the plot elements that should be included. The initial brainstorm included Jumbo hatching an egg, obviously, but that got nixed when we came up with the very silly idea of revelation #2.
That idea was the introduction of Mr. Passover, which started as a much more Rankin/Bass type of villain (i.e., Mr. Heat Miser), but became a more specific thing when we came up with strange specificity of a character who wants to claim every day as his holiday. We had worked with David Fury in our Christmas episode, and we knew that he would bring a fun, sinister spin—not to mention that beautiful voice—to Mr. Passover.
So, the thing works, I think, and while I can’t imagine diving into the Jumbo pool again, it seems silly that we haven’t done a Thanksgiving special.