You don’t have to be a hip-hop head to get the outlandishly animated jokes on Kyle’s new Fuse show, Sugar And Toys. You also don’t have to be a veteran of waking up early on weekends to enjoy Saturday morning cartoons on your day off from school. While Sugar And Toys is pretty clearly rooted in rap music and the cherished ‘90s rite of passage of wolfing down a bowl of cereal while catching up on your favorite cartoons, Kyle and Cartoon Network veteran Carl Jones of The Boondocks produced the show to evoke that feeling while still relating to the experiences of a generation that gets all its viewing on demand via Netflix and Hulu.
The show is also very clearly geared toward a much older audience than the classics it pays homage to. In just one episode, there is a bloody violent vegetable version of The Purge, a collection of confounded Kanyes explaining how the real-life Mr. West went full alt-right in 2018, Cardi B cussing out a spelling bee contestant for messing up her favorite catchphrase, and a live-action sequence involving a geriatric stripper. It’s a lot, but in a good way.
The humor toes the line between wildly inappropriate and stoned-at-two-in-the-morning surreal, but it works because most of the sketches start with an element of childlike whimsy. And by injecting a dose of gross, weird, adult humor with hip-hop flair, they transform into laugh-out-loud snapshots of the natural absurdity of modern pop culture.
In a fittingly hilarious phone interview about Sugar And Toys, Kyle broke down the show’s creative process, its scathing social and political commentary, his favorite sketches, and of course, his favorite breakfast cereal and cartoons growing up. Read an edited and condensed version of our conversation below.
Sugar And Toys, clearly, is a reference to the nostalgia of waking up in the morning and turning on that television set and grabbing a bowl of cereal. So, why did you specifically want to evoke that emotion and what was your favorite cereal and cartoon?
I really like relating to the most innocent parts of people. The most innocent memories we have, the purest kind. So, the morning cartoon is just such a nostalgic thing that every human, every race, ethnicity, rich, poor… we all experience the same thing. We all went through it, we all have those memories. And I’ll say my favorite cartoon and cereal combo ever was for sure Lucky Charms and Recess, Recess the show. Not Reese’s Puffs.
Do you have a favorite sketch?
I would say my favorite sketch is probably “Leggo Atlanta” because watching Atlanta, there’s such a defined flow to all of the characters. The way that they put their spin on it and completely make fun of it is hilarious to me. Like the deep sh*t that [Leggo Darius] is saying the entire time is just so confusing, it makes literally no sense. It is hilarious in the Lego form. For whatever reason the “Leggo Atlanta” one made me laugh the hardest.
How much creative input do you get into the actual cartoons? The ‘Lil’s’ sketch feels like something you would do, just because you’re friends with Yachty, you probably know Uzi, and just being able to play off of that. But [The Littles] was a really, really old cartoon, that was even from before my time. Carl grew up watching that.
Oh definitely, bro, there’s new batch of Lil’s everyday. Just go on SoundCloud and one of them is bound to become super famous, so we’ve got a lot of ammunition.
As for how much input I have… being a co-producer on the show, they really just gave me all the freedom to do as I wanted, but what’s more important than getting my vision across is making something really, really good. I like to credit a lot of my success to collaborating.
I really liked the interstitials, just you and your homeboy sitting on the couch eating your Woke Tarts. And it was like, “Let’s call Common!”
When you’re your younger more woke self, you just think about [politics and] the environment, but it’s like, “Okay, relax now. Relax. You actually don’t know as much as you’re talking about.”
But I was thinking like, “Damn, what is the most woke thing somebody could try and do?” Boom, make an album with Common. If you make an album with Common you best believe it’s all woke sh*t going on there.
The thing that messed me up though was how I kind of really want you to do a song with Common.
I would love to do a song with Common, are you kidding me?
The funniest thing is in my music I’m Mister Message. I’m always trying to put some deeper message into it and it’s like, “Aw, well, we could all just be like this.” I’m always trying to do that. So, it’s really funny to parody myself a little bit.
Speaking of messaging, there’s this really interesting last cartoon in the pilot episode with some interesting political commentary on Donald Trump. Did you really want to use the cartoon to address current events, social issues, or is this going to be a one-off?
Addressing social issues is something we really wanted to do. I think it’s every comedic writer’s job in order to take the current issues and present them to people in a place that they’re not expecting it. As people, we care about social issues, but we care about them in the moments when we’re supposed to and we try to make that time as short as possible and then we try to get back to the things we like.
One of the things about Chappelle’s Show was it taught people about racism and all types of social issues that they didn’t want to address before then. I think with this show, we’re going to take real social issues, real problems that people are trying to avoid and do that same thing.
Sugar And Toys airs Sundays at 11 PM on Fuse TV.