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Inside the Crazed World of Brad Neely's Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio

“Style shouldn’t be something you choose, but something you can’t shake,” Brad Neely, creator of a new show on Adult Swim, tells The Creators Project.
All images from Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio. All Photos courtesy of Adult Swim.

From dubbing over Harry Potter to chronicling the strange, sad lives of college faculty in China, IL, Brad Neely’s built a career out of staying on the cutting edge of comedy. Now his new quarter-hour animated variety show, Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio (yes, that’s the actual title), brings even more chaos and razor-sharp absurdism to Adult Swim. The show officially premieres on Adult Swim on Sunday, July 10th at 11:45 PM, but they’ve released the entire first episode on Vine. As the launch of the series approaches, Neely talks the genesis of the Harg Nallin’, why he settled on the name, and how the goal of his work is to crack up a 14-year-old version of himself.

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A Swamp Hag airs her grievances at a town hall meeting.

Neely got his start making comic zines, but he didn’t burst onto the scene in a huge way until 2003, when he released Wizard People, Dear Reader, a recorded narration meant to be listened to alongside a queued up, muted Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. “That blew up, and people wanted to write about it, and I started touring live where they would play the movie, turn down the volume, and I would talk over it. That got me excited to be like okay, I did this thing initially just to make my friends laugh, and now the New York Times wants to write about it. So then I made George Washington, YouTube was new, and there were only a couple things on there, and I don’t know anything about animation or care about animation, and it just blew the fuck up.”

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According to the press notes, this image has something to do with Taylor Swift.

From there, he fell further into animation, eventually landing work on South Park and with his own show on Adult Swim, China, IL. Neely thought up the idea for Harg Nallin’ while working on China, IL. “As you probably know,” says Neely, “Adult Swim is not your usual television network, and so I was able to just approach [Adult Swim Executive Vice President] Mike Lazzo and be like ‘I was thinking about doing an animated sketch show, 11 minutes, just real fast with lots of music, like an animated SNL.’ and he was like ‘Make six!’ [Laughs] So we didn’t even really do a pilot project.” This laidback attitude and willingness to take a chance on undeniably strange projects is a hallmark of Adult Swim. “It was a very fast and furious 2015 for me.” Neely sounds amazed and slightly in awe when he talks about the cast of the show “We have Ilana Glazer from Broad City, Darrell Hammond from SNL, and Affion Crockett, a veteran comic who can do all sorts of things with his voice, and then Gabourey Sidibe who on the first day of recording was like ‘I don’t know why you called me’ and then ended up being a superstar at this job.”


Harg Nallin’ captures his inimitable style, full of odd-looking characters, funny little songs, and Neely’s iconic vocal performances. “I always think that style shouldn’t be something you choose,” Neely says. “But something you can’t shake. An inevitable aggregate of what your gut is saying to do, and keeping out.” So how did he come up with a title like Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio? “It is so hard to make up a new word and have it not evoke some close sound, like ‘Oh that sounds Irish,’ or ‘that sounds Viking.’ The goal was to make a title that only meant this show. These words mean this show, and that’s that. And I was really trying to make sure that they didn’t accidentally mean other things as well.”

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Bubba Gump Shrimp in their natural glory.

Neely says he created over 300 bits for the show, and "75 or 80" original songs, from scratch. In the first episode alone, there are around 18 original bits, including a swamp hag taking up her grievances at the local town hall meeting, and a “Lord of the Things” who lives a boring life, despite the booming voice-over narration declaring his deeds. “A show like this was a fun, freeing time to just be like ‘fuck it, if it’s funny we’re going to do it until it’s not funny, and then we’re gonna get out.'” And no matter the pacing, Neely stays focused on keeping it light and goofy. “Is it going to make a 14-year-old version of myself giggle? Because that’s kind of my secret goal here, to tap into that great time of being a 14-year-old, skateboarding, silly little kid who wants to laugh with his friends and do gross drawings and make up stupid songs, and is it going to pass the mustard for that guy?”


Tune in to Adult Swim on Sunday, July 10th at 11:45 PM for the premiere of Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepioor watch the first episode on Vine right now.


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