Kentucky is the home to one of basketball’s most influential college programs. It is also the home of the Lenwood Colts, the fictional high school team that Ben Hopkins coaches in the new Netflix adult animated series, Hoops. Sunday morning during Comic-Con@Home, the show held a panel with creator, Ben Hoffman, and voice cast Ron Funches, Natasha Leggero, A.D. Miles, Rob Riggle, Cleo King and Jake Johnson.
Hoffman talked about how he worked on a show for Comedy Central that was not well received and cancelled quickly. As a response, he created Hoops – something with a lot of anger, frustration, screaming and yelling. It’s about a foul-mouthed high school basketball coach hoping to make it to the big leagues.
It’s been a process to get the program on air. The pilot was made five years ago and the idea was to be so dirty, no one would pick it up. From watching a heavily edited version of the opening scene and credits (Hoffman sings the opening) that began the panel, there is definitely a lot of profanity.
Don’t look for deep meaning in Hoops. Johnson says there isn’t much heart to the story and they just wanted to fit in as much bits and fun as they could. It’s a throwback comedy for comedy’s sake with no big message or lesson.
The cast then described their roles. Johnson is the lead (as well as an EP), Coach Ben Hopkins, who is an angry guy. Miles’ Manny is a seven-foot-tall 16-year-old who’s good at basketball but has trouble with his own body and is sexually inexperienced. He plays a pivotal role in the plot. Ron is voiced by Funches and is giving, sweet, and a great lover. He’s pretty much the opposite of Ben in all positive ways.
Ben’s estranged wife, Shannon, is played by Leggero and her character is openly dating Ron, Ben’s best friend. Opa is the school’s principal and is voiced by King. She described Opa as someone who doesn’t like her job too much but does have fun putting Ben in his place all the time. Riggle’s Barry Hopkins, is Ben’s dad and owns a steakhouse. Moderator Max Greenfield, also has a small two-episode part as an ethics professor.
If the present cast wasn’t enough, other voice talent for the show include Eric Edelstein, Steve Berg, Sam Richardson, Will Forte, Hannah Simone, and Damon Wayans Jr. Wayans Jr. portrays an old nemesis of Ben who also has a good relationship with Barry. In the episode, the two enjoy teaming up on the younger Hopkins.
As the panel came to a close, Hoffman really liked the clean Bob’s Burgers look that animator, Bento Box, used but appreciated how it is not the same aesthetic. Hoops has a Sunday night prime time network look but with a premium channel’s language. Think of it as an X-rated Simpsons.
All episodes of Hoops will be released August 21st on Netflix.