More than a decade after $h*! My Dad Says was canceled, the entertainment industry is once again looking to Twitter accounts for inspiration. The Zola movie finally came out earlier this summer, and now Netflix has logged onto Twitter and discovered a fabulously zany character, perfectly suited to an animated series, and she happens to be from a little town in the middle of the country known as Chicaaago—a city where you can’t put ketchup on your hot dog, where you pick up your groceries at Da Jewels, and everybody definitely still talks about the ‘85 Bears constantly even though the Bulls, White Sox, Blackhawks, and Cubs have all won championships since then.
If those Chicago-area references really tickled you, boy have we got a Twitter account and animated series for you! The Twitter account is Chris Witaske’s Chicago Party Aunt (bio: “If life gives you lemons, turn that shit into Mike’s Hard Lemonade.”), and Netflix has just ordered a 16-episode season of a Chicago Party Aunt animated series created by Witaske, Jon Barinholtz, and Katie Rich. The premise of the Twitter account is that Chicago Party Aunt is a woman who lives in Chicago and likes to drink, eat Italian beef sandwiches, and talk about the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and the TV show will expand that into a whole neighborhood of wacky Chicago-types. The aunt is now Diane, voiced by Lauren Ash, and she lives with her gay nephew Daniel (Rory O’Malley) who is taking a “gap year” from Stanford to have wacky Chicaaago adventures. There’s also Gideon (RuPaul Charles), who moved to Chicago from New York and is forcing some “bougie” New York style into the second city, and Zuzana (Katie Rich), who is “straight off the boat from Poland” and puts a “very unique Polish spin on modern-Chicagoan scenarios.” (Chicago historically has had a large Polish community, you see.)
The teaser image released by Netflix shows Diane and Daniel sitting on a New York-style stoop and eating deep dish pizza with their hands, which both feel kind of weird for such a “hey, Chicaaaaago!” thing (it’s all very North Side, which is very much a specific kind of Chicaaago thing), but the press release does name-check Malört. Only people who live in Chicago care about Malört, so that goes a long way toward legitimizing this whole operation. Another thing that would legitimate this operation: put Eagle Man in the show.