What is this?
An adult animated sci-fi sitcom. A parody of Quantum Leap and countless other 80's TV classics.
Every episode will follow Barack and Joe as they leap into the past and change a part of history.
You will never see Donald Trump's face. In this way, he is like our Doctor Claw from the original Inspector Gadget cartoon. A villain to be heard and felt but not seen. Except for his tiny hands, we'll see those.
Where can I see it?
The series is in pre-production and we're building the team. By joining our mailing list you'll get regular updates about when and where we can expect to see the show.
Kickstarter backers ONLY will receive an exclusive digital preview of the entire pilot episode before the rest of the world.
Why did you raise money on Kickstarter?
Lots of reasons. But mostly I think Kickstarter was a way to see if this concept was something that people wanted to see. The money we raised (minus what we'll spend on the rewards and shipping) will go directly into the development of the pilot episode.
Who is this show for?
People who miss Obama and Biden as much as we do.
Connoisseurs of brilliantly cheesy 80’s television and science fiction.
Anyone on the left side of the political spectrum who isn’t afraid to question everything they know about America.
Anyone on the right side of the political spectrum who enjoys watching the left get all worked up and finds themselves engaged by the rich storyline and surprising depth.
Isn't this just leftist fan fiction meant to give solace to those who need some hope and healing?
If I love Trump, will I want to watch this and then rant about it online?
Will there be anything educational about it?
In fact, it’s our aim to recruit Neil deGrasse Tyson to play himself with the lure of genuine science, history and education. Not for kids, but for adults who understand the difference between science fiction and actual science when it’s explained to them. Our ideas are infused with the urgency for saving our actual world by spreading awareness of climate change science and an understanding of history and our place in it.
Barry & Joe will interact with major events in history as well as lesser known footnotes. Subjects like race, sexism and equality will be addressed with historical perspective, sensitivity and grace despite the absurdity of the episodic television-flavored plot.
Things get weird. But the series wants to reflect and build on the feelings we’re having in the real world in 2017 where things are super fucked up stranger than fiction already.
But isn't this just a meme flavored cash in? A way to market and appropriate public figures who deserve our respect and not some political cartoon that puts words in their mouths?
Ouch. When you put it that way, yes. And now I have some palpable remorse about this entire enterprise.
But then I think of Obama and Biden playing skee ball together and I feel much better about everything.
I'd like to believe that there is room for more smart and delightfully weird takes on current events, politics and history.
Isn't time travel played out? We have so many things with time travel right now.
I love pizza. It would never occur to me to want fewer pizza places or less great pizza.
I love time travel too. Especially when it comes out of a wood burning oven with a slightly burnt crunch and a chewy melty-ness. My point is, the art of time travel storytelling should be rich and ever-evolving.
Where's my overpriced mug? Did you ship it yet? Do you need my shirt size? I need the largest hoodie you can make. What does the mug even look like?
We can't wait to ship you cool stuff!!! If you backed us on Kickstarter for some of the sweet rewards, you'll receive a "reward survey" through Kickstarter soon where we'll confirm your shipping information and any other details we need to fulfill your reward such as shirt or hoodie sizes.
Offering cool rewards is just one way we can say thanks to everyone who wants some Barry & Joe in their life. We ask for patience as we ship our kickstarter rewards in the order they were received as fast as we can.
Where can I find the posters, shirts, mugs and hoodies that were available during the Kickstarter run? I have money now, will you take it from me?
If overpriced merchandise is what you want... then... uh... we want you to have it. Look for a shop here on Barrandjoe.tv very soon. Our priority at the moment is fufilling the rewards we owe so far and developing the animated series.
When did this idea first come to you?
I was in an emotional hangover the night after the election like a lot of people, I think. I instantly thought of "Quantum Leap," the silliest kind of science fiction show from the '80s. But the heart of '"Quantum Leap" was generally humanist. Dr. Sam Beckett would leap into people's bodies, trying to correct things from the past. I was thinking about that — thinking about being able to go back in time and fix what has happened. The world just felt broken that morning. And then I thought of the [Obama/Biden] bromance and how much I was going to miss them. The ideas merged instantly in my brain and I pictured this Saturday morning cartoon starring the two of them re-booted, kind of like the "Star Trek" movie in 2009. It can have a really cool positive message and at the same time be complete escapist liberal nerd candy. We're escaping a little bit into truth, only in the form of a Saturday morning cartoon show — something that's comfortable and cozy.
I let some time go by, almost six months before I did anything about it. I was holding myself back from developing this concept for real out of fear that it was too weird and f*cked up to be a thing. But then the reality of Trump happened, he was sworn into office and he says what he says and does what he does and we can all see that this an actual nightmare and not some overblown reaction.
Barry & Joe: The Animated Series was always a cartoon for adults in my mind. The swagger, tone, color, and style all lend themselves to a traditional Saturday Morning Cartoon approach that feels like an old friend. This is my way of combining the things I loved growing up (and still nerd out over) with the themes and issues I care about most as a forty-year-old with two kids.
How much marijuana were you smoking when you came up with this idea?
I wanted to be higher when I came up with the idea, but remember that this was Nov. 9. I had hit a saturation point. And when the fog cleared, the idea was still sitting there. I put it in a drawer because it was clearly silly. But now it's like dragonglass [the substance that can kill the White Walkers in "Game of Thrones".] It might just take a really silly thing to slay this dragon.
Why are you calling Barack "Barry"?
Barack actually went by Barry growing up until he started to become more proud of his roots and how unique he was. That plays a big part of the series since young Obama is also a character. Don't worry, Joe does not start calling Barack "Barry". Joe calls Barack a lot of things, but Barry isn't one of them.
Isn't this just a reimagining of Quantum Leap?
So it's EXACTLY like Quantum Leap except that it's a cartoon, and it's about the relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden after they're separated by space and time when the whole experiment falls apart. We parody a lot of different science fiction and buddy show tropes, but more than anything it wants to be it's own thing.
Its much more about what's happening now and what it feels like to find some perspective in this moment and keep hope alive. But you know, in a "bromantic comedy" science fiction format.
You have Trump as a villain. What do you say to people who say this is just partisan politics?
I know that an Obama / Biden Time traveling cartoon might make anyone on the right side of the political spectrum want to vomit. I can’t change that.
I also really believe that anyone who watches it will also see that we’re making fun of ourselves, the left, so much more than the right. And THAT’s something that we’ve forgotten how to do in the age of Trump. So while Trump is a common enemy in the series, he’s mostly invisible in the show, and he’s more of a kryptonite. Something we have to learn to deal with and understand so that we can keep going and heal and grow. We never see his face in the series, that’s a promise I’m going to keep.
This is a time-travel story, and for people of color these stories aren't always as fun and adventurous as it is for white people. Do you plan on addressing issues like racism, immigration and civil rights?
This is such an important question. Especially right now.
I’m white and I’m Jewish and I have no business pretending I understand what it’s like to be black, or a woman, or any other minority for that matter. I also don’t want to shy away from telling stories that deal with sensitive issues. So the only thing I can think to do is include as many people of color and other marginalized voices in our process at every level. To stay open and learn as we tell these stories together. I want to get it right, and while I’m only human, I think it’s worth trying.
We’re on full blast doing social media and of course, Trumpers are saying the craziest shit imaginable about our concept but I am actively seeking thoughtful feedback about our images and stories. Tell me how you feel. I want to win hearts and minds and that will require working together to make it as bad ass and empowering as it can be. I’m proud that the team I’ve collected so far is truly diverse and super passionate about what we’re doing. It only makes our message of brotherly love more powerful and it makes me feel like I’m on the right track.
Are there any, you know, WOMEN in your series? Will Michelle and Jill show up?
Yes! There are women! In fact, it’s my dream that our theme song is by the “Michelle” character, and I also have plans to feature characters of Jill Biden, Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg), Maxine Waters and hopefully many more in future episodes.
That said, this whole concept is admittedly dude centric (it’s a bromantic comedy!) History has a funny way of being made up by men, but I think we can also call attention to that and tell stories that swing the other way. Do you have ideas for characters or moments in history that were defined by women? Send me your ideas and I promise to dork out researching and learning about it.
Do you have any, you know, animation experience?
I've directed animation for commercials and short films but nothing even remotely this long or ambitious. That's why we're working with award winning animators with decades of experience to help bring this insanity to life.
I love to draw, but I'm TERRIBLE compared to the real artists who will work on Barry & Joe. The goal, being completely transparent, is to build this with our resources and community to make the greatest machine possible from scratch. As artists and animators you know and recognize join the team, we'll brag about that as soon as we can.
My personal heroes in Animation are Brad Bird, Adam Reed (Archer), Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack), Laika and the beautiful minds at Rick & Morty. If I listed all the Animation I appreciated we'd be here all day.
What do you hope viewers will take away from Barry & Joe?
This is a political cartoon. And I didn’t invent that. It’s just a different type of political cartoon than I think people are used to.
By using comedy, science fiction, and 80’s television tropes as a common language… we open up this opportunity to speak to people who are maybe not as interested in actual science and actual politics. It’s not about making up history or spreading misinformation, or calling people names and placing blame. It’s much more about “how did we get here?”
It’s also a relationship story, about who these two guys are and how they come to love each other. How even though they have these wildly different backgrounds, and approach things differently, they share the same value system. Also, you know, great time travel stories. This whole paragraph makes me feel like the show is preachy or self-important, it’s not and that ’s a big part of it. I need this show to exist because it’s an escape and the nerdiest kind of epic fun. It just so happens to have this amazing backdrop of America and the fabric of our history and be about two guys I never tire of spending time with.