Monday, August 30, 2021

'Middlemost Post' | Cast & Crew Interviews | Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon will be premiering Middlemost Post, a brand new animated series which combines quirky characters with hilarious adventures and unwavering friendship on July 9, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT, and to celebrate, below is a hand-picked selection of interviews with the cast and crew of Nick's all new series! To find out more about Middlemost Post, click here. To watch the animated shorts, click here.

‘Middlemost Post’ is all Smiles as Nick’s First Original Series in 5 Years

John Trabbic’s upcoming series features the hilariously comedically ‘obsessive’ and slightly illogical Parker J. Cloud, who’s misadventures as a mailman working with sea captain Angus are sure to 'deliver' even more grins than packages.

Delivering the mail - sending boxes and letters from one person to another - might sound like a less than exciting plotline for a cartoon comedy. But Middlemost Post, the first new original series Nickelodeon has produced in the last five years, is anything but less than exciting.

“When I first saw it, I immediately fell in love with it,” says Ramsey Naito, president, Nickelodeon Animation. “It’s charming, optimistic, hilarious, and awesome. And then when I met John, I equally fell in love with him because he is Parker J. Cloud. He is the character I fell in love with.”

John Trabbic

John Trabbic, known for his storyboard work on SpongeBob SquarePants, created Middlemost Post, which premieres this July; you can giggle through 3-minute “teaser” short, Unboxing, by scrolling down just a bit. Naito’s observation of the connection between Trabbic and lead character “PJ” Cloud is spot on. While the series follows the misadventures of a young cloud seeking new employment from former sea captain Angus, now mailman for the town of Middlemost, Trabbic’s own journey of transformation provided the genesis of Parker’s character.

“It's a personal story made up of little pieces and parts of my own life,” explains Trabbic of the caricatured 2D animation. “I had a troubled past and then, when I got sober, I decided to change my life. I was coming up with ideas for a show and the idea of a cloud that could transform into anything, and it could be this reformed rain cloud, a cloud that wants to brighten people's days and no longer rain on anybody, I felt like, ‘Yes, that's my story.’”

The earnest, fluffy, flush-faced, rainbow-wearing Parker works with bearded and brawny Angus in a shipwreck that sits atop a high, snowy peak overlooking the eclectic town of Middlemost, filled with anthropomorphic rodents, robots, and more. The delivery duo is joined by their pet walrus Russell with an endless stomach and equally endless love to give.

Get ready to smile!

Dave Johnson

“When we're looking for a show, we're looking for a great, standout character,” says Naito. “We look for a character that touches your heart, makes you laugh, and makes you want to be with them in their show. And that heart and soul comes from the creator.”

“Honestly, there are a lot of parallels you could make between me and Parker,” Trabbic adds. “I was a journeyman carpenter who went through an apprenticeship and there’s also that mentor relationship between Angus and Parker. And I too have a magical walrus with an endless stomach.” 

Trabbic co-executive produces Middlemost - a show that’s produced entirely from home during COVID - with long-time screenwriter Dave Johnson, who is also a featured writer on the series and describes Middlemost Post as “a series of mini-movies you can watch in any order.” “John and I both are very short attention span individuals and we wanted to create characters that could exist in any space and have anything thrown at them,” Johnson notes. “This is a super character-driven show that's really hard to explain in a one-liner. And it’s a really simple idea, about delivering mail to people. It is a boring concept on paper. But if we make it about how committed these characters are, and how obsessed they get about something, that's really what drives all of our episodes.”

He adds, “If we can get the audience to care about these characters, we can get them to care about what they’re doing, even if it’s the dumbest thing in the world. Which we love. We love extremely dumb.”

In the episode “First Delivery,” Angus, Parker, and Russell are tasked with delivering a letter to a man named “Levi Alone.” Despite clear implications of the addressee having no interest in receiving deliveries - be it the numerous “See you NEVER!!” signs or the property perimeter fence strapped with locks and barbed wire - the Middlemost Post crew force their way, braving numerous spiked and smashing “booty traps,” to help Mr. Alone not feel so, well, alone.  

The teaser short also highlights the show’s hilariously comedically “obsessive” and slightly illogical behavior tendencies when Parker receives his first package. Completely enamored with just the idea of someone caring enough to send him a package, Parker, instead of opening the box to see what’s inside, spends all his time playing with the box itself.

“It's got feels, it's got emotions, it's got ups and downs, and it's got laughs,” says Trabbic. “I feel like some shows are afraid to hit those more sincere emotions. But Dave and I really strive for contrast.”

Middlemost Post has all the familiar fingerprints of a Nickelodeon animated series - 2D animation mixed with real photos, live-footage cut-aways, highly detailed close-up illustrations, a recognizable but bizarre take on the real world and, of course, ample physical comedy. “There's something there that creates wonder and being able to have my own show and tapping into that has been a dream,” says Trabbic.

Naito adds, “Back when I started my career at Nickelodeon, the studio was known as this place where we were making cutting-edge animation with first-time creators, whether it was SpongeBob SquarePants or The Fairly OddParents. And it’s been so exciting to reignite that original animation DNA with Middlemost Post. Especially since this is also a show about a character who wants to follow his dream.”

Though entirely unplanned, another parallel can be drawn between Trabbic creating Middlemost at a time when he needed them most, and the fact that Middlemost is releasing at a time when the world may need these characters most. 

“I'm so excited to release the rainbow and introduce PJ Cloud to the world,” says Trabbic. “When we were developing the show in 2019 and 2020, there were a lot of difficult times. We kept saying, ‘Man, I wish people could meet Parker J. Cloud right now. He would brighten everyone’s day up.’ So, I really think releasing the rainbow that is Parker is going to be awesome. Hopefully, it resonates and just makes people smile and helps us forget about things for a minute.”

“We couldn't predict this last year, but it's been dark for everybody,” Johnson adds. “And it sounds a little corny, but you can't have the rainbow without the storm. So, we're coming out of this dark period, and we want to share this with everybody, because it really kept John and I going this last year. I’m excited for others to finally join us on this mountain we created.”


John Trabbic III & Dave Johnson Deliver Smiles in Nickelodeon’s ‘Middlemost Post’

***This article was written for the August ’21 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 312)***

John Trabbic III, the creator of Middlemost Post, can’t wait for audiences to discover the wild, optimistic world of his new Nickelodeon show. “My own backstory is that of a troubled youth, who went down the wrong path, got into a bunch of trouble and then, hit rock bottom,” he says. “Then, I got sober and decided to turn my life around. That’s why the main character of the show is Parker J. Cloud, an exuberant character that used to rain on people’s parades. But he also decided to transform and shine.”

As Trabbic mentions, Middlemost Post, which is billed as Nickelodeon’s first original animated series in five years, centers on a dynamic rain cloud who lives and works in the Middlemost post office with Angus, a rule-abiding mailman, and Russell, their magical pet walrus whose stomach is so huge that it also serves as a storage room. The three unusual characters travel through Mount Middlemost and the “six territories of Somewhere” to deliver packages, meeting quirky people and having terrific adventures along the way.

The show creator’s partner in crime is exec producer and writer Dave Johnson. “I was brought in to help on the development side to work with show creators at Nick to get them ready for the greenlight process,” he recalls. “Middlemost Post was one of about half a dozen shows on the block, and it was the newest one. I loved the show concept, because it was weird and very character driven. John and I worked on the bible and wrote the pilot, and put it together in about nine months all the way to the pilot and presentation to the studio. It was the one show that really stood out and was greenlit in February of 2020.”

John Trabbic III

Adjusting to Rainy Weather

Trabbic and Johnson were excited about their new show and looked forward to putting their team together and to move to the new space for the production at the Nick studio in Burbank. Of course, that’s when the first wave of the COVID pandemic happened, and the studio had to shut down. “We were all sent home, so we ended up doing the show entirely from our homes, without even meeting our staff in person, and I think it has actually helped the show,” notes Trabbic, who worked as an Illustrator on the FX show Archer and moved on to be a storyboard artist for shows such as Pig Goat Banana Cricket and SpongeBob SquarePants.

“I guess you can say it was a blessing and a curse,” he adds. “We were so stoked to have our own offices, but then, I ended up doing the show in my garage! But as Dave mentioned, the whole working-from-home factor ended up being one of our strengths. We were presented with this challenge and didn’t let it get us down. We rose to the occasion and we’re proud of that!”

Johnson agrees. He points out that they had to change the rules to adapt. “People who know us, know that we like to go rogue once in a while,” he admits. “We’re always looking for a better way to do things. We learned quickly that having a writers’ room via Zoom is not ideal because only one person can talk at any given moment. So, we had to modify it to make it work for us. We learned to work more efficiently. We had three writers, a script coordinator and myself in the room, and ended up using more freelancers on the show. Both John and I did some of the voices on the show because we had to keep the number of the voices on the show smaller than usual, because not everybody had the equipment in their homes.”

Dave Johnson

Northern Help

The show’s animation production is handled by a team of 200-plus at Toronto’s Yowza! Animation, which uses Toon Boom Harmony to create its 2D animation. Middlemost Post also incorporates some mixed-media animation. “A local Burbank stop-motion studio called Apartment D Films helps us with that,” says Trabbic. “We also use a lot of freelancers on some of the specialty projects, so there is some TVPaint, some Flash, and most of the show is done with Harmony.”

“I’m very proud of the work John does on the show,” says Johnson. “He’s one of the most creative people I know. He would just go to the craft store and buy the material and build it all in his garage. I’m a big fan of things like Pee-wee’s Playhouse and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and we wanted the show to have the same kind of do-it-yourself feel.”

Trabbic says he has always been inspired by animated shows that are wacky, imaginative and that trigger wonders. “I love things like Tex Avery and Looney Tunes cartoons, Pee-wee’s Playhouse and even the California Raisins, because they were so wild and surreal,” he mentions. “I wanted the same things in my own show!”

Middlemost Post‘s optimistic hero, Parker J. Cloud.

Going for the Dream

Trabbic remembers a time in his life when he had given up on his dreams and was working as a journeyman carpenter back in Michigan. “I was about 27 or 28, and my son was just one year old,” he says. “My wife and I had just bought our house, and I had the American dream, but I wasn’t fulfilled. One day, I came home from work and told my wife that I felt unsettled and wished that I could do art for a living. My wife said, ‘We can move in with my parents and you can go to school!’ So, that’s what I did. I quit my job, sold my house and went to art school.”

So, Trabbic studied art for three semesters, and before long, he was hired as an illustrator on the FX show Archer, which then led to storyboard artist positions on Pig Goat Banana Cricket and SpongeBob SquarePants. “I got this bug to be a show creator,” he adds. “The dream is to have your own show, because then you can hire all the people you admire and you put together a team that is better than you!”

Both Trabbic and Johnson hope that their show will bring some much-needed light and humor into everyone’s lives. “Looking back, our show was built through a dark, unprecedented time, during COVID and the whole election year landscape,” says Johnson. “This show kept me out of the real world. John and I laughed so much because we are actually 10 years old in our brains. But we’re not pandering to our audience. It’s a very layered comedy. We’re OK if it gets sad or emotional, too. Because you know what? You can’t lie to kids after these past two years!”

Adds Trabbic, “Our show was spawned during a dark, difficult time, and we didn’t know what the future was going to look like. This show brought us all together and gave us something to look forward to every day. You will see a lot of love on this show. It wasn’t all blood, sweat and tears. It’s also a lot of joy, fun and laughs. We want our viewers to forget about the dark stuff and feel the same joy from our cloud and his friends.”

Middlemost Post premieres on Nickelodeon on Friday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m.


From LRM:

Becky Robinson And John DiMaggio Introduce Us To Nickelodeon’s Middlemost Post [Exclusive Interview]

Nickelodeon has such a great history with cartoons. What I have always found fascinating is how you can take simple ideas and build lasting and memorable stories and characters. For example, a sponge that lives under the sea in a pineapple. Or what about a hybrid cat/dog? Or a group of babies that go on wild adventures via their imaginations. So big shoutout to all the creators that have the outside-the-box minds to bring these kinds of animated series to life! 

For the first time in five years, Nickelodeon is debuting a new original animated series titled, Middlemost Post. In this series, we are introduced to a reformed raincloud named Parker J. Cloud. All he wants to do now is to spread cheer and deliver mail with his boss Angus Roy Shackelton.

Middlemost Post is created and co-executive produced by John Trabbic III. Dave Johnson serves as co-executive producer and story editor for the series. Production is overseen by Kelley Gardner, Vice President, Current Series, Animation, NIckelodeon. The incredible voice cast for Middlemost Post includes Becky Robinson, John DiMaggio, Colton Dunn, Kiren, and Johnny Pemberton.

Here is the synopsis for Nickelodeon’s Middlemost Post:
In Middlemost Post, Parker J. Cloud (Becky Robinson), an exuberant raincloud, lives and works in the Middlemost Post Office with Angus (John DiMaggio), a burly, rule-abiding mailman who cherishes his solitude and values efficiency, and Russell, their magical pet walrus whose stomach is so big that it doubles as a storage room. 

Together they journey through Mount Middlemost and the six territories of Somewhere to deliver the mail while meeting some exceptionally quirky and peculiar people along the way. But as this loving and unconventional trio grows closer, they remain blissfully unaware that they have been brought together by one fateful stormy event.

Ahead of the release of Middlemost Post, LRM Online’s Emmanuel Gomez talked with the two lead voice actors for the series. Including the voice of Parker J. Cloud, Becky Robinson. As well as Angus, voiced by John DiMaggio. While we learn a little more about the series and the characters, what is clearly evident here is their fun chemistry. You can check out the full interview [up above]!

The Patrick Star Show and  Middlemost Post, premiering back to back Friday, July 9, at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT) and 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.


From LRM:

Bill Fagerbakke And Jill Talley On What To Expect From The Patrick Star Show [Exclusive Interview]

Since 1999 we have followed that pop-culture phenomenon that lives in a pineapple under the sea. Spongebob Squarepants has been plastered all over media including the television show, films, comic books, theme park rides, and endless merch. But ever since there has been the title sponge character, there has also been a loyal starfish friend by the name of Patrick Star. Despite the fact that he lacks common sense and is lazy, he has also captured the hearts of audiences everywhere.

It is because of that, Nickelodeon will debut a new animated series featuring everyone’s favorite starfish titled, The Patrick Star Show. On July 7th, we will travel back in time to a younger Patrick. One that still lives at home with his parents Bunny and Cecil. As well as his younger sister Squidina. In this series, he is a host for a neighborhood talk show that he does from his bedroom.

If you’re a long-time fan of the Spongebob content, The Patrick Star Show should be right up your alley. Continuing to voice Patrick will be voice actor Bill Fagerbakke. This series should be a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see what kind of wacky content will be featured on Patrick’s show.

Here is the synopsis for Nickelodeon’s The Patrick Star Show
The Patrick Star Show follows a younger Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke) living at home with his family, where he hosts his own show for the neighborhood from his television-turned-bedroom. His little sister, Squidina (Jill Talley), works behind the scenes to make sure Patrick’s show is always running smoothly, while his parents, Bunny (Cree Summer) and Cecil (Tom Wilson) and his grandpa, GrandPat (Dana Snyder), each support Patrick in their own hilariously absurd ways. The Star family’s unpredictable adventures often inform, integrate, and sometimes even interfere with Patrick’s TV show, but one thing is for sure: his bizarre life always makes for great television!

Ahead of its release in a few weeks, LRM Online talked with two of the stars of The Patrick Star Show. Voice actors Bill Fagerbakke and Jill Talley. As mentioned before Fagerbakke will continue to voice Patrick. Talley will be the voice of his sister Squidina. During the interview, we talked about what to expect from this new series. Talley lets us know if Squidina is going to steal the show and we find out their thoughts on Patrick’s lasting impact on them. You can listen to the interview down below!

The Patrick Star Show and  Middlemost Post, premiering back to back Friday, July 9, at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT) and 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.


From ScreenRant:

Becky Robinson & John DiMaggio Interview: Middlemost Post

We speak to Becky Robinson & John DiMaggio about the upcoming Nickelodeon animated series Middlemost Post, which is set to arrive on July 9th.

Fans of SpongeBob SquarePants have a new animated series on Nickelodeon to look forward to in the upcoming Middlemost Post. Led by executive producers Dave H. Johnson and SpongeBob storyboard artist John Trabbic III, the series follows Parker J. Cloud, his best friend Angus, and their pet walrus Russell as they deliver mail across the town of Middlemost Mountain. With 20-episodes on the way, Middlemost Post will arrive on July 9th on Nickelodeon.

Becky Robinson and John DiMaggio provide the voices of Parker and Angus. Robinson previously voiced Jenny Droneberg on Doug Unplugs, while DiMaggio is a name well-known to SpongeBob fans for providing the voice of his cousin Blackjack. For fans of animated adventures, Middlemost Post promises to be the same kind of blast of wackiness that made SpongeBob one of Nickelodeon's longest running series.

We talk to Robinson and DiMaggio about their roles as Parker J. Cloud and Angus on Middlemost Post, what some of their favorite moments of the show were, and what Nick viewers and SpongeBob fans can expect from the show.

Becky, John, nice to see you guys today, and yeah, why don't we start off with Middlemost Post, what can people expect from the show, what's the essence of your role in it?

John: Well, I guess I'll start. It's wonderful story, Becky actually pretty much nailed it. It's a story about a reformed cloud who ends up putting pirate ship - not a pirate ship, a mail ship on the top of a pirate ship. Ding dong, there's no pirates. There's not a pirate in the show, actually maybe there is a pirate - I'm not saying anything! Listen, the story is...

Becky: Just take it from the top John!

John: I've got to take it back! Hold on a minute Brad! Listen, you can at least put on a Henley, kid! Come on, you know, I saw you, you looked at yourself and you were like 'Oh man. (grumble) Jerk.'

Listen, Middlemost Post, reformed cloud, wonderful character, adorable. Parker J. Cloud, the best. He used to come from a dark place, and then he has a storm and he ends up putting this mail ship on the top of this mountain. I play Angus, who's the mailman, and my sidekick is a walrus named Russell who's actually my mailbag, too. But we end up staying together and we all become friends and we all go on adventures and deliver the mail, and it's pretty awesome. And the art direction is fantastic.

Becky: Amazing.

John: And Becky is amazing as Parker J. Cloud, cause it's this beautiful, wonderful, energetic positive character, and nobody else could do it like my pal Becky right there. So that's pretty much Middlemost Post.

Becky: And I learn a lot of lessons from Angus, and I'm neither he nor she. I'm a little nimbus, as Angus calls me.

John: A little nimbus right there.

Becky: Because, you know, I like to have fun, I like the make people happy, and sometimes, that ends me up in hot water, and Angus is the first to, you know, yell at little Parker. But we learn a lot of lessons together, we have a lot of laughs, and you know, we see a lot of people. We meet a lot of fun, interesting, wacky characters all across Mount Middlemost. It's fantasy rooted in reality, and there's some very, very fun characters that you'll see along the way and you might recognize some voices and it's a lot of fun.

John: Yeah.

What would you say is maybe your favorite episode to voice of the show?

Becky: Oh, I know what mine is.

John: Oooh, um, one just came to me, and I can't bring it up because of who is in the cast. So, I gotta, I gotta (locks mouth shut). Plus, I can't, like, give away something that's like 'This is episode 12, the one you were supposed to wait for and I'm going to tell everyone about it!' So, yeah, no. They're really great stories and really funny characters, I will reiterate the fact that the town of Middlemost, you know, it's hilarious. The art direction, I mean, John Trabbic just did an incredible job, and I read something the other day that he talked about, and it really...Parker's him, and it's really kind of cool like how, you know, he used to be in a dark place himself and now he flipped over to the light, and he let's Parker be that guy, and it's his baby. He did art direction for SpongeBob SquarePants, which is nothing to scoff at! He did a lot of work on that show, and I'm proud and so is Becky that we're bringing it to life. It's really a special show about a special relationship in a special place, across the board.

Becky: It's been really fun getting to know the creators of the show, too, and my favorite episode is one where, Parker transforms a lot, but there's one where Angus and Parker go through a situation where, I'm a stand-up comedian and John does a ton of stage performing, as well, and there's an episode where I can't say too much, but the giving away too much of yourself type of thing happens, and it can happen sometimes I think in stand-up or comedy, sometimes you can give away too much of yourself and you go home and you just, sometimes after we finish recording, there's just so much energy out, there's just so much laughing and so much crying that I just like flop onto my couch. And I remember after this episode, we put so much into it, that it was like 'Oh, I got nothing left!' And sometimes, you can feel like that when you get offstage, and there's an episode where Parker transforms because of that happening into a specific way that is so funny, and Angus responds in such a classic way that I think parents will really resonate with. But I can't say the name of it, cause I don't want to get in trouble! But there's a lot of really fun episodes to look forward to, so we're excited.

John: And a lot of great imagery and a lot of great comedy, and a lot of great things that kids will be able to relate to. It hits on many levels, and that's the sign of a good show. I've been fortunate enough to be involved with a lot of projects that do just that, many generations watching the same show, and I have a feeling that this is going to be the same situation.

Well, I look forward to that. And yeah so, Becky, John, thank you so much for your time today, and look forward to seeing it drop in July!

Becky: Thank you so much, Brad!

John: Absolutely, thank you Brad, you're a good sport. I'm sorry I, like, took you too the roads. I apologize, that was really rude!

Take care!


From Kidscreen:

Will Middlemost Post deliver an original hit for Nick?

Nickelodeon's first original animated series in five years may not be a franchise just yet, but it's built to last, says president of animation Ramsey Naito.

When Nickelodeon’s president of animation Ramsey Naito rejoined the kidsnet in 2018, she was looking to take risks on new original animated series. She wanted a show with franchise potential that could stand out in a growing lineup of key legacy titles and spinoffs. Now Middlemost Post—Nickelodeon Animation’s first original series in five years that isn’t based on a well-known IP—is set to premiere on July 9.

The last original animated series Nick greenlit was action-comedy Glitch Techs in 2016. Since then, it has instead focused on big tentpole spinoffs such as SpongeBob’s Kamp Koral and Patrick Star Show,  Star Trek: Prodigy and a CG-animated Rugrats reboot.

But with so much legacy and third-party content coming down the pipe, it was high time for the network to pick a standout original project.

Mixed-media concept Middlemost Post, from SpongeBob alum John Trabbic III, caught Naito’s attention with its character-driven comedy, which is what has worked in Nickelodeon’s most successful franchises to date.

The primarily 2D-animated show features a former rain cloud who wants to brighten everyone’s day, a burly rule-abiding mailman and a magical pet walrus. They all work together delivering packages to the odd inhabitants of Mount Middlemost, having many misadventures along the way.

The first 20 episodes of the series were greenlit in June 2020. “This will be a defining show for us, and I hope it becomes a franchise,” says Naito. Trabbic is co-executive producing with story editor Dave Johnson.

To some, an aspirational, anthropomorphic cloud character might not seem that different from Nick’s famously optimistic sea sponge. But Naito says Trabbic’s unique artistic vision for Parker J. Cloud—and the show as a whole—is what separates Middlemost Post from the kidsnet’s legacy titles and new non-original series.

“The show stands out because of the artist behind it,” says Naito. “What really struck me was the strength of the character [Trabbic] created, and the heartfelt relationships Parker has with the other characters.”

To make the comedy more dynamic, Trabbic also tapped into his experience boarding more than 30 episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants.

“One of the things I liked about working on SpongeBob was they encouraged us to push the bounds of animation, so occasionally we could shape-shift with SpongeBob,” says Trabbic. “It inspired me to design Parker so that he could shift whenever he wants to enhance jokes and visual gags.”

The show’s use of stop-motion, live-action cutaways, photo imagery and claymation should also help it stand out in the kids and family market. “The multimedia elements mix it up in a refreshing way,” says Naito. “The styles are a really fun aspect of [Trabbic]‘s brain.”

For all of its different techniques, though, Middlemost Post follows a tried-and-true Nickelodeon strategy. “We lead with character, comedy and relatability to the audience,” says Naito.

And if Trabbic gets his way, the series will be around for a long time. “We definitely built a world in which to tell oodles of stories,” he says.


From The Beat:

INTERVIEW: Becky Robinson and John DiMaggio deliver friendship in MIDDLEMOST POST

"We haven't been in the same room since we recorded the pilot!"

For the last few years Nickelodeon has had a stellar streak of incredibly successful original shows including The Loud House and It’s Pony. The “First Kids’ Network” seems poised to keep up the success with its latest wildly imaginative cartoon, Middlemost Post. Announced last year, the series follows Parker J. Cloud, an exuberant rain cloud, and brawny mailman Angus Roy Shackleton III as they deliver packages to the unusual inhabitants of Mount Middlemost accompanied by their magical walrus Russell.

It probably doesn’t come as a complete surprise then that the creator of such a wacky show, John Trabbic III, previously worked on SpongeBob SquarePants. You can only imagine the challenge of producing an animated show remotely for the past year with nobody on staff ever meeting each other including the cartoon’s lead voice actors Becky Robinson (Parker) and John DiMaggio (Angus).

Watch our exclusive chat with Robinson and DiMaggio about the unique experience of recording their voices at home during quarantine and how the relationship between Parker and Angus mirrored that of the performers.

Middlemost Post premieres Friday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon





Meet The Star of Nickelodeon's Middlemost Post! | Young Hollywood

From the mind of "SpongeBob SquarePants" artist John Trabbic III comes Nickelodeon's first new animated series in five years, "Middlemost Post", and Young Hollywood catches up with voice actress Becky Robinson to introduce you to the star of the show, Parker J. Cloud, an exuberant little cloud that just wants you to get your mail intact and on time! Becky tells us how she grew up with "SpongeBob" and felt right at home at Nickelodeon, as well as how she relates to her cloudy character and how she came up with his voice! She also describes the perfect Summer day for Parker, plus she reveals his favorite emoji and tells us how the series appeals to viewers of all ages! 

Becky Robinson on How ‘Middlemost Post’ Shows the Rainbow After Storm

What happens when a reformed raincloud, shipwrecked sea-postman, and magical walrus get together? No, this is not a fever dream. It’s Middlemost Post, Nickelodeon’s first original animated series in five years.

Created and co-executive produced by John Trabbic III (SpongeBob SquarePants) alongside story editor Dave Johnson, the show centers on three characters and their adventures delivering packages throughout Mt. Middlemost.

The show is a fantasy come true for Becky Robinson, a stand-up comic and voice of series character Parker C. Cloud. She is joined by John DiMaggio (Kim Possible, Futurama, Adventure Time), voice of Parker’s friend/boss Angus Roy Shackleton III; rounding out this motley crew is Parker’s pet walrus Russell, a magical marine animal whose stomach doubles as a post office storage room.

Robinson tells us how Middlemost Post delivers both heart and humor.

Did you have a favorite Nick toon growing up?

Becky Robinson: I grew up on Nickelodeon. I used to watch Hey Arnold! and SpongeBob SquarePants every day. I still watch SpongeBob.

Any particular character you gravitate toward?

I love Sandy, but I gravitated toward SpongeBob. I was a gymnast growing up and my friends used to always say I had a “SpongeBob Square” figure. The character I play on Middlemost Post is kind of like Sponge; happy and bounces around, getting into pickles with friends that help him get out of sticky situations.

It must be cool then to work with someone from that show.

I’m always doing voices, whether I’m washing dishes or showering. Then when you walk into Nickelodeon you think, “There is a place for me and this mania. I’m where I belong.” The moment I met John I found out he went [to Middlemost Post after] being a storyboard director on SpongeBob. Right before we were going to record our first episode I was so nervous. I asked if I could call my friend Carson’s dad, Bill Fagerbakke, who voices Patrick Star. He was so cool and was like, “They picked you for a reason. Your voice is your instrument. Have fun with it.” Then during the premiere, I got to meet him and gave him a big hug. It was a really cool moment. The Patrick Star Show is premiering the same night as our show. So it’s all really special.

How did you picture Parker sounding?

Throughout the audition, I got to know John and Dave. I initially auditioned for Russell, but they asked if I could audition for Parker. They said, “We don’t want a boy or girl, but somewhere in the middle.” That is what I’ve been told I sound like my entire life. I joke on stage I sound like Jonathan Taylor Thomas had a rough night out or Rugrats going through puberty. The description read, “a little nimbus that can transform whenever and however it wants.” It’s the full spectrum of emotions in Parker. I latched on to that really quickly. In [terms of humor], Parker represents the rainbow after the storm. A lot of times jokes come from really dark places and hard things you go through. Being able to laugh at them helps at least get me through. I love that Parker is not just joking all the time. In the first episode I saw, I was actually crying because you really feel for Parker. All Parker wants to do is spread joy. Parker is naive and just winds up in hairy situations.

With the pandemic, you had to record under some unique circumstances.

I was moving so much equipment. I would go into my parent’s closet. I would go back and forth from L.A. My sister is an ER nurse. I went up to Portland to help her out during the pandemic and cook her meals because things at the hospital were getting so crazy. I made so many makeshift voice studios. At one point I was doing a voiceover inside a dog kennel. I kept buying foam on Amazon, trying to figure out space. I tried it at my parent’s closest friend’s house and ultimately moving into the house I’m in now in L.A. I completely soundproofed what should have been a walk-in closet and now have my SpongeBob pictures on the wall. I have a little voiceover studio. We recorded the pilot together, we got to be in person for that.

Then when things went down and went into lockdown, we were all doing it from home. We all got to know each other so much better. They would set aside five hours and really only needed two to three. You see a lot when you’re at home. Everyone is comfortable and you get to know things. You end up meeting each other’s families and seeing pets. It helped with chemistry at that time.

How was it building chemistry with John DiMaggio?

At first, I was wildly intimidated by him. He is such an OG. I’m newer to voiceover,coming from standup. I’m used to being on stage and saying whatever I want. After a few times recording together he made me feel so comfortable. He terrified me at first. Now it’s almost like we are too friendly where the recording guys are like, “Can you stop riffing?” We have a lot of fun together. I’m in awe and learn so much from him. It’s like having a mentor, having spent so many hours with him. He is such a pro.

What else can you tell us about these 20 episodes?

Parker joins forces with basically the mailman of the sea and a magical walrus named Russell. Together they form the wackiest postal service on Mt. Middlemost t called the Middlemost Post. You see a lot of similarities with people you may cross paths with but in a Nickelodeon specialty way. It’s so colorful and has so much heart and humor. Kids haven’t seen anything like it. There are a lot of surprises and special guests.

I think parents will get a kick out of the way these three interact and see the way the jokes come across. I have a feeling parents will hear the banter and go, “ I need to watch this.” They will relate. It’s just an explosively fun rollercoaster of a ride.

Middlemost Post, July 9, 7:30/6:30c, Nickelodeon


From CBR:

Middlemost Post's John DiMaggio & Becky Robinson Deliver Lovable Chaos

Middlemost Post stars Becky Robinson and John DiMaggio found the animated series to be the perfect artistic outlet amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Middlemost Post is Nickelodeon's newest animated series, focusing on an energetic raincloud named Parker J. Cloud (Becky Robinson) and the serious but sweet-hearted Angus (John DiMaggio) operating a postal service for the fantastical realm of Mount Middlemost. Due to the exuberant performances by DiMaggio and Robinson, the bright series has a lot of promise.

Ahead of Middlemost Post's July 9 premiere on Nickelodeon, Robinson and DiMaggio sat down with CBR to discuss recording the show during the COVID-19 pandemic and what it meant to both of them personally to star in such a colorful and energetic world.

For Robinson, the show was rooted in her love of the network and her comedic roots. "Being the star of a Nickelodeon show means everything to me," she said. "I grew up watching Nickelodeon, it was my first network as a kid. Just this past year, we recorded the pilot right before the pandemic hit, and historically I was a stand-up, and that kind of went away when lock-down started. So not only getting to play a Nickelodeon character but Parker J. Cloud, the happiest, buck wild, exhilarating character of all time, who goes from zero to a hundred, from happy to tears, and just leads with the most jam-packed fits of emotion was a really fun way to channel that energy I used in performance into Parker and watch the character come to life.

"The whole team that made the show, it's just so beautifully illustrated and it came to life so colorfully that, I'm so excited. I want to do everything for Parker, I wanted them to be as full of life as the rest of the show... There are times after recording episodes of Middlemost Post and I'm laying on my couch, I can't breathe, I can't move, I gave it my all. You give so much in every episode, you see so much Parker, you see such a spectrum of emotion."

With production taking place remotely during the Pandemic, Robinson embraced the chance to help bring the world of Middlemost Post to life. The sheer energy of the show ended up having a profound effect on Robinson, who said, "Having the world of Middlemost Post as a creative outlet this past year has been everything. I'm so thankful to Nickelodeon, I'm so thankful to [Executive Producers Dave H. Johnson and John Trabbic III] for creating this show, it's just been everything. We get to go to work every day with our pants off -- every week, not only do I get to see this amazing team of people, John DiMaggio, and we're acting together and improvising together, we're getting to work our brains a little bit... that was the best. And then we actually to see some of the first episodes, that was really the cherry on top."

John DiMaggio has played several major animated characters throughout the 21st century -- with his two most notable roles being Futurama's chaotic robot Bender and the perpetually zen-like Jake from Adventure Time. But his new role as Angus is a more straight-and-narrow figure, serving as one of the few sources of stability in the Middlemost Post. Looking at the chance to play a character so different from his iconic roles, DiMaggio shared, "It’s wonderful, it's one of the joys of being an actor. Getting to play such different characters, being trusted to help breathe life into them. It's a privilege, an honor, and with this show, a blast."

It isn't just Angus that caught his attention, however. "The characters are just so great," he said. "Parker, Russell and Angus. I love their relationship. What also caught my attention was how it's absolutely fantastical and somewhat mundane at the same time. Who would think that delivering the mail could be so incredibly adventurous? Well, in this world, it is. And if there's one thing I know, it's about adventures. See what I did there? I did the thing."

As with Robinson, the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdown ended up forcing DiMaggio to embrace recording remotely. DiMaggio recalled, "We recorded everything from home, over Zoom, during the pandemic, so this was a great thing to do during this really tough time we’ve all had to go through. It was a joyous outlet, that I think we were all lucky to have. Plus recording with Becky, John, and Dave has been just such a blast, I consider myself very fortunate. I really think Nickelodeon has a hit on its hands."

Middlemost Post, created by SpongeBob SquarePants alum John Trabbic III and featuring the vocal talents of Becky Robinson as Parker J. Cloud and John DiMaggio as Angus Roy Shackleton, premieres Friday, Jul. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT.


From Extra:

Double the Fun Tonight on Nickelodeon!

What do you get when you bring together a rain cloud and a starfish?

A night of fun at the drive-in!

Nickelodeon hosted a double-feature drive-in experience to celebrate the premiere of their new series “The Patrick Star Show” and “Middlemost Post.”

On “The Patrick Star Show,” the second spin-off of the #1 rated animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” fans will see a younger Patrick Star as the host of his own variety show straight from his bedroom!

On “Middlemost Post,” Nickelodeon’s first animated series in five years, fans will follow a former rain cloud, a brawny mailman, and a magical pet walrus as they deliver packages to the residents of Mount Middlemost.

Watch the casts talk about the shows below!

Catch the back-to-back premieres of “The Patrick Star Show” and “Middlemost Post” tonight at 7 p.m. (ET/PT) and 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.


Becky Robinson – Middlemost Post

Q) Please tell us the premise for the new series “Middlemost Post.”

A) YAY! “Middlemost Post” is a fantasy rooted in reality animated series about a reformed rain cloud who joins forces with the mailman of the sea and a magical walrus to create the wackiest most lovable Postal Service on Mt. Middlemost, the Middlemost Post!

Q) Talk about your adorable cloud character Parker J. Cloud and how he was described to you originally. 

A) Well, sweet Parky J. Cloud is neither a he or a she, it’s a joyous little nimbus! Parker is a reformed rain cloud who represents the rainbow after the storm. Parker just wants to spread joy and make people happy, but sometimes doesn’t know the correct way to do so, which is why Angus Shackleton III (voiced by the amazing John DiMaggio) helps guide and mentor Parker along the journey of life they embark on together working at the Middlemost Post.

Parker is exploding with emotion, from the get-go, the character (in being a “reformed rain cloud”) reminded me of one of my favorite Robin Williams quotes where he said, “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.”

That is Parker. And coming from a standup/character background, I immediately latched onto the emotional intelligence that is the backbone of this character.

Q) Was there anything that you added to him that wasn’t in the initial breakdown?

A) The first pieces of artwork I saw of Parker were Parker transforming into all kinds of different shapes/sizes/things – from a lightning bolt to a badminton shuttlecock. When I learned PJC had a malleable form based on emotion or situation, it immediately struck a chord with me where I felt like we were one and the same. My goal as an entertainer is to spread joy via telling jokes and/or transforming into characters or objects in videos or live performances – all inspired by real experiences, situations or encounters. John Trabbic (the creator of “Middlemost Post” and Parker J. Cloud) based Parker’s character on so much of his personal life story and background that I wanted to honor everything he invented artistically while focusing on making sure every part of that emotion, spark, spunk and heart came to life through the vocals. We’ve had an amazingly collaborative experience where John Trabbic and Dave Johnson will say, “Hey, we saw you did ‘Wild ‘N Out’ and can rap, let’s have Parker rap in this episode!” So, I’ve added quirks, squeals, noises, certain pre-existing skills, jokes (when they let me [winks]) to just make Parker everything John envisioned for this brilliantly colorful character.

Q) What was your audition like for Parker? 

A) It was a very special day for all of us. It was like magic. Those days are rare and hard to come by in this industry. I initially went in to audition for a different character, Lily, and they were like “Eh,” but also like, “Ooooh.” While we were joking around when I was in the recording booth they heard my natural voice, which is very androgynous, which is Parker J! I also have a sh*t ton of energy and go from zero to a hundred and back again about a million times a day, so I think they recognized I had very Parker like characteristics naturally and it all just felt right. I also wore a really cool red full body jumpsuit that they thought had swagger so, ultimately, I think that’s why I got the job.

Q) What was it about the series or the role that really made you want to be a part of it?

A) Everything I read about the show made me think, “Wow, I wish this show would have been on TV when I was a kid. I wish I could have seen an unlikely trio of characters come together and take on life while leading with love. Especially a show containing a character that can transform at a moments notice into whatever it wants to be. People try to put others in boxes way too often. This show and Parker J are here to let you know you can be whatever you want whatever you want as long as ya don’t hurt anyone. The show has something for everyone. It’s so full of heart and humor and really allows the viewer to let their imagination run wild. The entire team that brings Middlemost Post to life is so extremely, truly WICKEDLY amazing at what they do, I feel honored to be working with such good company.

Q) This show has a lot of cute humor to it. What were some of your favorite lines to say?

A) Ah, there are so many! The writers constantly have me dying laughing in the recording booth. Parker humanizes random things sometimes and it cracks me up, like, “Does your butt know that?” Parker also transforms into different little versions of Parker, which I can’t exactly break down full details of – because you’ll have to watch the show! No spoilers here! But there’s some classic transformations that I think both parents, kids and any person at any age can really relate to.

Q) What episodes stand out as some of your favorites?

A) “Darker Parker” and “First Delivery” (the premiere episode).

Q) What do you think it is about “Middlemost Post” that will make it a fast fan favorite kids show?

A) Parker J. Cloud represents the rainbow after the storm. “Middlemost Post” is so explosively colorful, so bursting with heart and humor and is truly the show everyone needs after such a dark, difficult year. Kids had to experience things in so many difficult ways this past year, and I think this show will allow the chillun’s imaginations to just run wild.

Q) You’re also a standup comic. What have you missed most about being on stage because of the pandemic?

A) I like to live in the moment – maybe even too much! I try to involve the audience a lot, and I missed being able to have that connection and electricity you feel in a live show. I tried my darnedest to pivot and put out as many sketches and virtual one woman shows throughout the pandemic to continue engaging with people going through dark times who needed a break or a laugh. I always try to answer every DM and engage with people online at every chance because we all were put on this earth to help each other and if I can spread joy in any way I try to do so!

Q) Is comedic timing something that comes naturally to you, or have you had to work at it?

A) I was born with it. I always know when to fart on queue. And if I mess it up, the directors scream at me until I get it right. JK. But sometimes I’ll say a line a couple of ways, and then they’ll re-direct specific comedic timing/inflections so incredibly well that I never would have thought to do. It’s a very collaborative experience.

Q) For those interested in a career in standup, what advice would you give to beginners?

A) Make sure the pants you wear on stage aren’t too tight because they can and WILL rip. And it sounds simple, but ultimately just be you and go for it, and champion your ideas. No one else can do you as good as you can.

Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way to keep in touch with your fans?

A) I love DM’ing and getting to know biggles fans on social media. They fill up my tank with joy equally as much as I try to do for them! Sometimes I can get so caught up in the business of it all I forget to have fun, or sometimes I feel down in the dumps, worthless and unfunny and I’ll pop on IG and read a message about how a video turned someone’s whole week around and that is so special and nice to hear. It’s like running low on gas. If you need a refill and can’t see a show, you can always pop open your apps and watch your favorite funny people do funnies digitally. We need constant refills!

Q) What would you like to say to everyone who are fans and supporter of you and the work you do?

A) Thank you, I love you and the best is yet to come.


Originally published: June 13, 2021.

Additional source: @snorbertd1, ASF @SweetShop209.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, via RSS, on Instagram, and/or Facebook for the latest Summer on Nickelodeon and Middlemost Post News and Highlights!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say by leaving a comment below! NickALive! welcomes friendly and respectful comments. Please familiarize with the blog's Comment Policy before commenting. All new comments are moderated and won't appear straight away.