There’s a lot going on.
F is for Family co-creator and NY Mets fan Michael Price took part in a Reddit AMA session to talk all things having to do with the series. Before we get to the highlights, here’s everything we know about the upcoming season thus far. For starters the producers have tapped Oasis Animation as the new production company for F is for Family Season Four and episode titles include “Baby, Baby, Baby” (Ep10) “Land Ho!” (EP9), “MURPHY AND SON” (EP8) “R is for Rosie” (EP 7), “Come to Papa” (EP6), “Just Breathe” (EP5), “The B Word” (EP4), “Bring Me A Tooth”(EP3), “Nothing Is Impossible” (EP2). “Father Confessor” (EP1) with new and returning guest voices including Brad Morris, Kurtwood Smith, Phil LaMarr, John Michael Higgins, Nia Renee Hill, Michael K. Williams, Chris Edgerly, Jamie Denbo, Rich Sommer, and Josh Meyers. F is for Family Season Four is expected to drop next year for Netflix.
Here are some highlights from the Reddit AMA sessions:
On expanding the playlist in future seasons of F is for Family
I love music and the music of the 70s, so yes! I can’t give out any spoilers, but the development of Kevin’s music will play a major part in his story arc for Season 4. There will be some more new original songs that Kevin and his band sing as well as some parody type songs that we’ll write for other aspects of the show. Sometimes the music is part of the story as we’re forming it and sometimes it comes in much later. It all depends.
We also have a great Music Supervisor in Bruce Gilbert, who finds and does the legal clearance on the “real” songs we use. Our music budget is not huge, so he’s been crucial in finding really great songs that fit our moods but don’t break the bank. One example was in episode 305 when Bill and Bridget had their little “Date”. Our original choice for that moment was ” A Perfect Day” by Lou Reed. We loved it. But it was way too costly to get. So Bruce found “It’s What You’ve Got” by Pete Dello.
Since we’re deep in writing Season 4, I’m mostly listening to 70s music. At this very moment I’m on my Pandora “70s Bubblegum Music” station — “I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family just ended. When I’m just listening for fun, I tend to go towards stuff like They Might Be Giants.
On the characters aging in future seasons
We will definitely do that! That’s the whole point of our show. The years go by slowly on our show, so we could do 8 or 9 seasons and only move forward 2 years in time. But they will all move forward.
He’s such a genuinely great guy. He also is an amazing actor as we all know, but when he does Vic he comes up with some great great ad libs. Specifically, he ad libbed the Vic line from episode 105 when he says that working at the radio station gives him “That feeling when you have a dragon on your shirt”. It’s so crazy and perfect. He also ad libbed most of Vic’s giant meltdown at DJ Howling Hank at the record store in episode 204. We love when Vic loses his shit.
I think we did it just about right. We don’t like to comment per se on stuff, just put it out there. This was a thing that happened (and probably still happens) and I liked what it made Kevin go through. I have a special place for him and I really loved how that whole experience changed him and made what would have been treated like the plot of one of those “Porkys” type sex comedies into a story that had real emotional repercussions for him and, of course, for Vic.
All we had at the beginning was the main family and a few people around the neighborhood. The neighbors were all based on people from my NJ neighborhood. Babe and Goomer are based on guys who were friends of my Dad. Vic is based very loosely on my best friend’s Dad — also named Vic — who worked for a record company. To me, he was a glamorous cool dude and my father (who worked for a construction company) wasn’t crazy about him. Bill’s friend Phillip was invented at first just to get that joke in where he asks Frank if Bill can come out and play as Frank is punching the heavy bag. We had no idea he’d develop into this amazingly complicated kid he is now.
Then, as we moved past the first episode, we started to build the world of the show out to include Frank’s workplace. So we needed airport characters. BOB POGO was based on a guy who was my boss when I worked at a Sears Auto Center in college. He was big and gross and smoked like a chimney while eating big sloppy sandwiches. Like that.
What’s been really fun is fleshing out characters that began as throwaway jokes. Anthony is one of them. In episode 104 we had Phillip mention his baby brother (“I touched the soft spot on his head and how he can’t read”). So then we got to create him for Season 3
Our character designers sent us a bunch of ideas for Kevin and we all instantly loved the one we have now. I honestly can’t remember what the others looked like. We were clear that we wanted him to look like Frank — he has Frank’s exact nose. And we initially thought of him just kind of slouching around with a chip on his shoulder about the whole world.
It was my decision to make Kevin a Prog Rocker. We were very conscious about not going with what we considered standard “70s show” stuff, like having the characters into Led Zepplin, etc. I was a teen back in those days (I’m basically the same age as Kevin) and I vividly recall my pretentious friends getting into Yes, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer, etc. and thinking it was kind of ridiculous. So it was fun to have Kevin be into Shire Of Frodo — it felt like a fresh field to plow comedically.
Without giving anything away, Kevin might musically move into some new territory in Season 4. It was no secret that Bolo and Lex were not fans of the Prog stuff anymore and with the addition of killer ax man Ben their move to more straightforward rock was a matter of time.
On how “Anthony” came to be and the development of Chet’s speech in the hospital
Anthony is played by the very funny comic Al Ducharme, who Bill knows very well. Al does a bit in his stand up about annoying kids who answer the phone when you’re trying to call their parents, and Bill showed it to us when we were coming up with Anthony. So, basically, it’s all from Al’s act and he let us steal if for Anthony.
On collaborating with Bill Burr
Bill is a joy to work with. He’s just the best. The process has changed some over the years. When we first started on the show, Bill was in the writers room with us just about 98% of the time. He set aside his touring and other work to focus on the show. As the show took off and moved into later seasons, Bill’s other career also boomed of course, and now he feels more comfortable letting us mostly do the show without him here every day. But he’s in constant contact with us and he comes in the room for at least one big punch up session on every script where he pitches just great jokes — especially for Frank cuz he knows the voice of that character more than any of us — but for the other characters too. He’s a very generous collaborator and he doesn’t do any kind of “Star” stuff. When he’s in the room with us he’s just another writer on the staff.
On how the new baby will change things for the Murphy family
We’ll have to see when the new baby arrives. It’ll certainly cause some changes around the house — as it’s already doing, especially with Maureen worried about losing her “Princess” status. It might also depend on if the baby is a boy or a girl — something we haven’t decided yet. The age factor is also something to think about. Frank will be 40 when the baby comes — that’s a bit on the old side. We’ll see all these things play out in Season 5 (assuming we get one!)
And just in case if you didn’t think he was serious, Mike Price is mostly putting The Simpsons on the backburner in favor of getting F is for Family ready for a 2020 premiere. In referencing when the next time an episode he wrote will show up for The Simpsons.
The episode that just aired a few weeks ago called “MAD ABOUT THE TOY” was my most recent Simpsons script. I don’t have any in the hopper yet for the new season, but I hope to. The Simpsons very graciously lets me go away for 5 months every year or so to work on FIFF, so I haven’t been around to get a new story going yet. But I should be returning to the Simpsons sometime in May and hopefully I’ll get one going then.
Read our review of F is for Family Season Three here.