Penelope Princess of Pets
Penelope: Princess of Pets is a comedy series by comedy duo Kurt Braunohler and Kristen Schaal, in which Schaal stars as Penelope, a woman who can talk with animals. On a mission to save the world by killing a legislator named Stone before it's too late, Penelope is accompanied on her quest by her pet bird Ruby, and orphan friend Kyle (played by Braunohler). The theme song is written and performed by comedian/musician Reggie Watts. Originally a web series of 3- to 5-minute webisodes for comedy website Super Deluxe, Penelope premiered online in March 2007, with nine webisodes released before the site was shut down in December 2008. It was picked up soon after to be adapted into a television show for United Kingdom broadcaster Channel 4.
Produced by Avalon Television and billed as a "one-off special", the half-hour television format backdoor pilot was first broadcast on Comedy Lab on 21 April 2010. Although including various elements and bits from the original web series, the television show has a number of key differences, including altered character back-stories. Whereas the web series title sequence states that Penelope has 3759 hours to save the world, the title sequence for the television show states that Penelope has 3769 hours. The television show features a legislator named Stone like in the web series, but since the TV show is set in the UK rather than the United States, Stone is a Member of Parliament (MP) rather than a senator. While Senator Stone is played by Ali Reza Farahnakian in the web series, in the television show MP Thomas Stone is played by Julian Barratt of The Mighty Boosh. The henchmen played by twin comedians Todd and Adam Stone in the web series are replaced by MP Stone's adopted sons, played by twin actors Sam and Matt Kennard. These secondary characters play a more prominent role in the television series, with MP Stone given main billing in the title sequence.
- McCarthy, Sean L. (27 October 2008). "Penelope: Princess of Pets, the finale?". the comic's comic. Retrieved 2010-05-13. "The final three episodes of web series, Penelope: Princess of Pets, finally went online at Super Deluxe this morning."
- Emma Kat Richardson (12 January 2009). "Kristen Schaal: Indie comedy goddess". Punchline Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-13. "Well, this just came up recently, but me and my friend Kurt Braunohler made this web series called Penelope: Princess of Pets, and it looks like we’re going to turn it into a pilot for Channel 4 in London. So yeah: this year, it’s going to be me trying to figure out how to make a pilot in London."
- "Penelope Princess of Pets". Avalon Television. Retrieved 2010-05-13. "Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees Kristen Schaal (star of BBC Four’s Flight of the Conchords and US Esquire’s ‘Funniest Woman on Television’) and Kurt Braunohler are joined by The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt in Penelope Princess of Pets, a one-off special for Channel 4’s Comedy Lab"
- "Penelope Princess of Pets". Comedy Lab. Channel 4. Retrieved 2010-05-13. "First shown: Wednesday 21 April 2010: 11.05pm: Channel 4"
- Penelope Princess of Pets web series at Funny or Die
- Penelope Princess of Pets at Comedy Lab
- Comedy Lab 2010 Review, The Independent on Sunday
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