Nick Kroll has had a very big year in 2022. While Don’t Worry Darling has been a bad press machine and a critical disaster, there’s no doubt that Nick’s role in it helped elevate his stardom. But it’s the newly released season of Big Mouth on Netflix that’s catapulting him into further success.
While Nick had a lot of success before he co-created and starred in the hit animated show, Big Mouth is the main reason people know him. And given how well-liked the show is, this is far from a bad thing. But like other adult animated series, such as Family Guy or South Park, Big Mouth ventures into territories that some find crude and offensive. Despite these people not being the target audience for the show, haters tend to cause cultural shifts that can end up in cancelation.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nick addressed cancel culture and how he wants the show to be as inclusive as possible without losing its edge.
Is Nick Kroll’s Big Mouth Based On A True Story?
The best thing about Big Mouth is that it is so clearly autobiographical. While this is a known fact about the show, Nick Kroll makes it clear in an authentic way that’s hard to replicate. Even more stunningly, the rest of the writers get their own brutally honest and uncomfortable life experiences depicted by the crazy animated characters the comedian has created. In other words, Nick is open to collaboration. As long as it’s raw. After all, the best comedy comes from pain.
« All of our writers are sharing these very intimate stories and details of our lives, » Nick Kroll said to The Hollywood Reporter of the show he co-created with Jennifer Flackett and Andrew Goldberg.
According to his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nick has connected his experience writing Big Mouth to therapy. To be fair, doing stand-up offers a similar experience.
« With animation, it’s stuff that I’ve been working through, but I’ve always hidden behind a fictitious character that is based on me — but built to be any kid who was a late bloomer, and I have incredible freedom to not make it about me at all, » Nick explained. « With stand-up, there’s no mask or veil, so it was scarier. »
Is Big Mouth Controversial?
Many people would argue that Big Mouth is far from offensive. Particularly because it so honestly deals with real life. But this can be an uncomfortable fact for some. And there are territories that Big Mouth ventures into that could be insulting to some.
In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nick Kroll revealed that Netflix has had to « put their foot down » on a couple of occasions. This includes a particularly graphic scene with Rick, the hormone monster.
« Netflix was like, ‘We don’t know about that.’ But we’d just seen it at the color screening, and we were like, ‘Yeah, we agree.”’There was also stuff around the girls in the ‘I love My Body’ episode. They go to a Korean spa and are t**less as all these women around them are showing how much they love their bodies, and, frankly, Netflix had some thoughts. »
Despite Nick actually being uncomfortable with how they were showing the women, it was co-creator Jennifer Flackett was all for. Her rationale was that they should depict the women on Big Mouth similarly to the men.
« [Jennifer] was like, ‘Well, we show the boys t**less all the time. This is not a s*xual thing. This has nothing to do with s*xuality.’ And she was right, but it’s dealing with things like that, like how long are we showing things. And often, I end up being the most prude. »
Nick went on to explain that since he’s the face of the show, he doesn’t want to always deal with the pushback from those Big Mouth pushes too far.
« 95 percent of the time, it’s great [my partners] push it to the edge because that’s what we’re there for, » Nick said of the edgy animated show. « There was a review season one or two that was like, ‘Big Mouth gives zero f***s,’ and we’ve tried to maintain that ethos, not only with how far we’ll go with a dirty joke but also the things that we are endeavoring to talk about. »
Big Mouth Versus Cancel Culture
Nick Kroll has been very open about making his show as inclusive as possible. And he has made huge headway since season 4, particularly with the trans community.
‘We’ve gotten better about what clips go out and making sure they have the right context when they do, » Nick Kroll said to The Hollywood Reporter.
While being inclusive and kind is something that’s important to Nick, and the other creators of Big Mouth, it’s equally important to be honest. This can mean venturing into subject matter that can be perceived as taboo.
Nick explained that he’s aware some think his show is the devil’s work.
« That’s just the reality of it. Our intention is to have honest [adult] conversations about kids’ s*xuality, but any time you talk about kids and s*xuality, there are going to be people who say you’re s*xualizing kids, » Nick said before addressing the reason he’s not scared of cancel culture.
« I’m really not worried about cancel culture, and it might be because of the kind of comic I am, but also I felt like the safest person to make fun of in this hour was myself. That feels fair. If I’m going to get up onstage and talk s***, it should be about me. »