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SYFY WIRE San Diego Comic-Con 2019

Bless the Harts creators reveal Kumail Nanjiani as the voice of Jesus during hilarious SDCC panel

By Donnie Lederer
Bless the Harts

When it comes to prime time animation, not many do it better than Fox. The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Bob's Burgers have all been Sunday night mainstays on the network for years. This year, they are welcoming a new family to the neighborhood. 

Brought to you by Emmy winner Emily Spivey and Oscar Winners Phil Lord and Chris MillerBless the Harts is a new animated comedy starring Kristen Wiig, Jillian Bell, Maya Rudolph, and Ike Barinholz. Jenny Hart is the head of her household, as the Hart family does their best to make ends meet. She lives with her mother Betty, Daughter Violet, and is in a loving relationship with her boyfriend Wayne. What they lack in money, they make up for in laughs. The cast and crew brought this new show to San Diego Comic-Con 2019 to discuss the newest member of Animation Domination.

Moderated by TV Guide's Jim Halterman, the panel started with EP Emily Spivey discussing the origins of the show. "I've wanted to do a show about North Carolina for so long," the SNL alum said, "Everything I write takes place in North Carolina anyway, so it was time I wrote about it for real." When asked about other animation inspirations, Spivey gave a great, yet unsurprising answer, "I believe out show and King of the Hill take place in the same universe," she said to applause.

The discussion moved to the characters on the show and Ike Barinholtz talked about what drew him to his character, Wayne. "Wayne is a sweet, but dumb guy. He's also a very caring guy," he said, "It's easy to make a show that can make people laugh, but one that makes people care takes some nuance." He went on to say that he enjoys the relationship between Wayne and Violet, Jillian's character.

Speaking of Jillian, she talked about how her character couldn't be more different than her real life. "Violet is a cool, gothic 13-year-old. She's way cooler than I was as a teen." What drew Jillian to the character (besides the show being on after the Simpsons), was that even though she plays this rebellious teen, she shows she genuinely cares about her family, which goes against the normal tropes for a character like this.

An animatic video of the first episode was shown, which involved Jenny (Kristen Wiig) and Betty (Maya Rudolph) trying a get rich quick scheme by selling "pop-culture related" toys on eBay. Very fitting during Comic-Con. The episode also revealed that Jenny talks to Jesus, who lives in a mural at the diner where Jenny works. Spoiled just before the footage was shown by EP Chris Miller, he is voiced by Kumail Nanjiani.

The panel then teased future episodes. Their "Thanksgiving" episode is actually a "Black Friday" episode, and another has Jenny working both sides of a tobacco debate to increase her tips.

Closing out, Lord discussed the confidence he has in the people working on this show, "This is the easiest job we've ever had," he said emphatically.

You'll be able to see what the creators of Spider-Verse have confidence in when Bless the Harts debuts September 29th (after The Simpsons) of Fox.

Click here for SYFY WIRE's full coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.

Preview: A Star-Studded New Family | Season 1 | BLESS THE HARTS