Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!
Something old and something new: For new G4 cast members Fiona Nova and Kassem G, this week’s network relaunch means loading up the laughs alongside original host Kevin Pereira to revive the retro comedy vibes of Attack of the Show! But it also means intrepidly treading, torch in hand, into D&D territory as complete role-playing newbies.
Both stars will be sharing screen time on the newly-resurrected AOTS! as well as the all-new Invitation to Party, G4’s first-of-its-kind playthrough series that takes viewers on a turn-based trip through the deep, dark world of Dungeons & Dragons. Making Attack! feel instantly accessible to new (and returning) G4 viewers is pretty much a no-brainer: The flagship variety show has that kind of uncanny knack for rolling out the pop culture welcome mat. But getting new fans into D&D while keeping things real for the old-school RPG faithful? That’s a different Demogorgon altogether.
What better way to spice up Dungeons & Dragons than with comedy? That’s the thinking behind Invitation to Party, a series that aims to get fans invested in players’ weekly fortunes (or misfortunes) by yanking at the the silly emotional nerve pulsing just beneath the triumphs and travails that mount with every roll of the dice. “The voice is very comedic — but it’s like comedic improv,” says Fiona, who, like Kassem, confesses to being a D&D newb.
“Essentially, what’s different about Invitation to Party is that it is the same heart; it is the same role playing [as classic D&D], but we’re actually doing a lot more improv,” she recently explained to SYFY WIRE. “The main thing in Dungeons and Dragons is, there’s always a plot; there always is a story around it. And we kind of create and build that story and immerse ourselves into it. I think the special thing about this is how immersive we’re going to be getting, especially in the comedic and improv sense…we’re leaning very comedy-heavy.”
“We’ve been saying it’s like Whose Line is it Anyway? meets Dungeons & Dragons,” adds Kassem. “To be honest, I haven’t had a lot of experience with Dungeons & Dragons. I think that’s part of why I was asked to do at least the first season. My strengths are improv comedy, so as a player, I’m learning how to play D&D in real time. The goal of the show is to make the game accessible!”
Fiona and Kassem both cut their creative teeth in the online world of indie entertainment. Kassem’s YouTube past is strewn with hilarious man-on-the-street clips and skits from the Steam Award-winning California On series as well as Going Deep and Street Music. As for Fiona, a Rooster Teeth alum who seems to turn up just about everywhere you look online these days — well, the G4 relaunch is just the pinnacle of what’s been a seriously busy 2021.
“A lot of things are happening all at once!” she says. “But with the launch of G4, and getting a voice in a video game [the upcoming open-world adventure game The Gunk, where she voices Rani, the main character] and doing something with Mark Hamill [just check out this tweet], it all just came on at once. I’m on auto pilot right now!”
Back in the days before the internet matured into the pop culture beast it’s since become, the old G4 melded the web’s anything-goes indie spirit with big-budget TV production. Kassem says the new G4 has lost none of that fan-facing ethos in its 2021 revival. If anything, in fact, it’s doubling down on saying “yes” to the frontier feel of today’s always-online world.
“It’s been so fun and so surreal — and it’s a little hectic at the moment,” he jokes. “But it’s like an energy in the building that reminds me of what it was like when we started a YouTube studio in the early 2010s…If you were ever here [in the studios] on like, a lunch, and just heard what everyone was talking about — it’s the stuff that gets put on the show. Everyone’s legitimately interested in the things that they see, and that is so fun for me.”
He’s talking about the new incarnation of Attack of the Show!, but that same vibe also applies to his and Fiona’s crossover roles on Invitation to Party. “I’m really excited about the D&D show,” Fiona says. “It’s gonna be new; it’s gonna be fresh; it’s gonna be something that people haven’t seen — and I think people are gonna love it.”
Anyone who tuned in for G4’s first flicker back to life on Nov. 16 got an immediate (and nostalgic) blast of the authentic, behind-the-scenes cast chemistry that made old-school series like AOTS! such a nail-biting exercise in catching your breath from laughter. As if we needed any more convincing that these guys are pretty much the same exact goof-off characters behind the scenes when the cameras aren’t rolling, Fiona mysteriously invites us to ask Kassem about a little G4 in-group that goes by the cryptic code name “The Cream Team.”
“Ohhhh, The Cream Team,” laughs Kassem. “I don’t know if you’re allowed to know about The Cream Team, but…it involves three people: myself, Fiona, and Kevin.
“Maybe once or twice a day, we’re sending each other videos on TikTok back and forth, in the hopes of making each other either laugh…or, sort of recoil in disgust — one or the other. It’s turned into sort of a daily tradition…I have to probably toot my own horn and say that I have the ‘creamiest’ ‘Toks. She wouldn’t [tell you that], because she’s jealous, and hers are sub-par!”
That’s the sort of trash talk we imagine we’d be hearing 24/7, if only we could be a fly on the wall in the new G4 studios. Then again, that’s exactly the vibe fans are already getting from watching the relaunch unfold with the cameras turned on. Catch Fiona Nova, Kassem G, and the rest of the G4 geeks as Attack of the Show!, Invitation to Party, and the full relaunch lineup rolls out fresh geeky goodness — on the reg, of course — via cable, YouTube, and Twitch.