Though Hacks is a comedy about a legendary stand-up whiling away her career in Las Vegas, its origin traces back to a surprising place: A monster truck rally in Portland, Maine. Series creators Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky had hit it off while working on Comedy Central’s beloved Broad City, so the trio were collaborating on Downs’ episode of Netflix’s erstwhile (and underrated) sketch showcase, The Characters. En route to a monster truck rally to film the “Big Trucks” sketch, they found themselves reminiscing about women in the entertainment industry—like Broad City supporting player Susie Essman—who haven’t received the same kind of industry veneration as some of their male contemporaries. In the video above, Aniello, Downs, and Statsky share how that discussion spun out into their new dark comedy, Hacks, starring the great Jean Smart as Deborah Vance, a very funny woman who has resigned herself to thinking her best days are behind her. The group also shares their favorite Smart performances, discusses how they knew newcomer Hannah Einbinder was perfect for the series’ co-starring role, and reveals just how quickly the first season came together.
Hacks first two episodes premiere on May 13 HBO Max, with two new episodes dropping every Thursday.