Sit Down, Shut Up
Genre
Based on
Sit Down, Shut Up
by
  • Tim McLoughlan
  • Brendan Reed
Developed byMitchell Hurwitz
Voices of
ComposerDavid Schwartz
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producers
  • Mitchell Hurwitz
  • Josh Weinstein
  • Eric Tannenbaum
  • Kim Tannenbaum
  • Julie Meldal-Johnsen
Producers
Running time22–23 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkFox (Animation Domination)
ReleaseApril 19 (2009-04-19) –
November 21, 2009 (2009-11-21)
Related
Sit Down, Shut Up
(Australian TV series)

Sit Down, Shut Up (sometimes also known as Sit Down, Shut Up! in some promos) is an American adult animated television series developed by Mitchell Hurwitz for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series focuses on a group of high school teachers in a small town in Florida "who don't care about teaching".[1] The series premiered on April 19, 2009, in the Animation Domination block on Fox, but after four episodes aired, Fox removed the show from the block due to low ratings.[2] The remaining nine episodes aired on Saturdays at midnight from later in the year. The show was cancelled on November 21, 2009.[3]

Based on the Australian live-action sitcom of the same name, creator Mitchell Hurwitz came up with the idea for an animated version in 2000.[4] He wrote a script for a pilot episode, but "kept it in a drawer" until he pitched the show to different networks in 2008 when he needed money.[5] Hurwitz said that "it was just a wacky show, and nobody wanted it", but eventually Fox picked it up as a primetime animated series.[1]

Sit Down, Shut Up met with mixed reviews from critics. Orlando Sentinel called the series a "disaster", and Newsday called it "raw, vulgar and blithely offensive, with so many triple and quadruple entendres for so many sexual acts".[6] The Hollywood Reporter criticized the series' use of fourth wall breaks, and said that it was "painful to watch how hard the show tries to be funny".[7] IGN gave it a more positive review, saying "it should continue to be a very entertaining show",[8] and TV Squad said that it "definitely grows on you".[9] It was nominated an Artios Award for its casting in 2009.[10]

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankViewers
(in millions)
First airedLast aired
113April 19, 2009 (2009-04-19)November 21, 2009 (2009-11-21)1593.36[11]

Characters

Episodes

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
1"Pilot"Dwayne Carey-HillMitchell HurwitzApril 19, 2009 (2009-04-19)SIT-101
Acting principal Susan Sezno is threatening to fire one of the teachers of Knob Haven High School due to budget cuts and reports of misconduct. Meanwhile, Vice Principal (and former prison entertainer) Stuart Proszakian ingests pills that are suspected to be steroids, thanks to the predictions of the ditzy, new-age hippie science teacher, Miracle Grohe. Meanwhile, German teacher Willard Deutschebog is desperate to hide his porno magazines and seeks the help of English teacher Ennis Hofftard for help, Helen seeks to find the school time capsule, and Andrew tries to get the attention of Larry and Miracle, only to end up interested in Stuart when he arrives at the school with full, augmented breasts.
2"Miracle's Are Real"Raymie MuzquizMitchell Hurwitz and Jim VallelyApril 26, 2009 (2009-04-26)SIT-102
Knob Haven High throws a fundraising fair where all the games aren't rigged, after Miracle accidentally poisons the faculty by giving them hemlock as gifts for the first day of spring. Larry, during his pursuit of Miracle, accidentally makes her lose her spiritual beliefs after interrupting and ruining her "astral event," which would have given her the love of her life. Larry tries to make the prophecy come true for her when he realizes this during the fair, while Helen and Andrew set out to prove that Principal Sezno is a hermaphrodite, and Ennis falls for a raffle-ball basket while caring for Miracle's baby.
3"World's Greatest Teacher"Frank MarinoAlex HerschlagMay 3, 2009 (2009-05-03)SIT-103
Larry volunteers to give a speech to impress Miracle, but Ennis steals Larry's thunder when a YouTube video of Ennis's ranting becomes popular. Meanwhile, Willard becomes a driver's-ed teacher so he can overcome his fear of driving and Helen the librarian discovers that Happy the Janitor is keeping the books she was ordered to burn.
4"Back in Time"Stephen SandovalMichael Colton & John AboudMay 10, 2009 (2009-05-10)SIT-104
In this homage to 1980s films, Principal Sezno sets up a PTA party at Huey Lewis's house, Helen tries to find her identity, Larry ends up on a date with a cross-dressing Stuart (who constantly keeps insisting that he is his sister), and Willard drives a time-traveling DeLorean back to World War II Germany.
5"High School Confidential"Dwayne Carey-HillAisha MuharrarSeptember 12, 2009 (2009-09-12)SIT-108
Sue crashes her car into Ennis and tries to conceal the accident by hiding him (still stuck halfway through the windshield of her car) in the auto-shop class until the school can afford insurance. Meanwhile, Stuart takes over the school's failing newspaper to try to make enough money to purchase insurance, and turns it into a tabloid and Miracle is forced to go back to high school after it is revealed that she never graduated.
6"Taming of the Dude"Ray ClaffeyMichael Colton & John AboudSeptember 19, 2009 (2009-09-19)SIT-112
When Ennis offers to school the staff on dating and relationship issues, Larry objects to his methods, then through a strange turn of events, he meets a mysterious lady from Ennis’ past. Meanwhile, Sue joins an underground society called "Pillow Fight Club" and finds that Miracle is a member.
7"Hurricane Willard"Raymie MuzquizAaron EhaszSeptember 26, 2009 (2009-09-26)SIT-109
When the town is threatened by a flood, the high-school gym is used as an emergency shelter and Willard seizes the opportunity to be respected through fear.
8"Mr. Hofftard Goes to Washington"Frank MarinoDan Fybel & Rich RinaldiOctober 3, 2009 (2009-10-03)SIT-110
Sue Sezno ditches the teachers to testify in a Senate hearing about why Knob Haven High School is the worst school in the country and, to prevent her from going, the staff breaks into teams that race to stop her. Meanwhile, Ennis gets sidetracked as he tries to prove his bravery to his father. Meanwhile, Helen wants to be noticed by guys, so Miracle teaches her how to flirt and Happy and Stuart become desperate to find survival in a hot air balloon.
9"Tackin"Crystal Chesney-ThompsonRichard DayOctober 10, 2009 (2009-10-10)SIT-113
When Larry hears from the Deep South Council of Physical Fitness, he tries to convince Sue to get rid of all the junk food, but Willard's latest heart attack and his description of Heaven leads to a dangerous new trend called "tackin'" where teenagers induce heart attacks to get high.
10"Helen and Sue's High School Reunion"Peter AvanzinoAlex HerschlagOctober 24, 2009 (2009-10-24)SIT-107
Larry plans the school's reunion while Andrew plots revenge against Jose Canseco, Larry decides to seek a lost love, and Ennis believes Happy is planning a terrorist attack.
Note: Alanis Morissette guest-stars as herself.
11"Math Lab"Crystal Chesney-ThompsonLaura GutinNovember 7, 2009 (2009-11-07)SIT-106
Misunderstanding his part in Knob Haven High’s anti-drug campaign, Stuart builds a meth lab instead of a math lab. Meanwhile, Larry takes the school’s affiliation with a pharmaceutical company a little too seriously.
Note: This episode was originally planned to be aired on May 17th, 2009 as the first-season finale, but due to low ratings and concerns over the episode's content, the episode was delayed.[19] The episode was also planned to air in early September before being replaced by "High School Confidential".[20]
12"SpEd"Ray ClaffeyDan Fybel & Rich RinaldiNovember 14, 2009 (2009-11-14)SIT-105
Ennis proctors the standardized tests for the gifted students and mistakenly convinces Happy to dump a truckload of kids into the harbor, forcing Larry to come to the rescue. Meanwhile, Willard tries to protect Stuart from a scam.
13"High School Musical Musical"Stephen SandovalJosh WeinsteinNovember 21, 2009 (2009-11-21)SIT-111
When Sue gives Andrew an ultimatum to turn around the drama department, he writes a musical starring the teachers. Meanwhile, Sue discovers that Ennis is smartest when he is intoxicated.

Production

Creation and writing

Mitchell Hurwitz, creator of Arrested Development, came up with the Sit Down, Shut Up idea after watching the original Australian version created by Brendan Reed and Tim McLoughlan.[4][21] He noted its similarities to the British version of The Office.[4] He wrote a script in 2000, but "kept it in the drawer for a long time".[5] Originally, he had planned the series to be live-action like its Australian counterpart. He pitched the show to different networks, but most of them thought the characters were "too broad and way too self-centered and oblivious".[5] He changed the mode to animation to "avoid some work".[4][5] Originally titled Class Dismissed,[22] the series was picked up by Fox in May 2008.[23] Sit Down, Shut Up was produced by Tantamount Studios and Granada International Media in association with Sony Pictures Television and 20th Century Fox Television.[21]

Hurwitz wrote the first script and decided to take a more "supervisory role".[24] Josh Weinstein, a former writer for The Simpsons, was the showrunner, and Bill Oakley, another Simpsons writer, was originally on board, but ended his involvement with the show due to a contract dispute between the staff and Sony.[25] Sony refused to offer a contract which operated under the complete terms of the Writers Guild of America. Eventually a compromise was reached, and production resumed in June 2008.[25] Writers for the show include Josh Weinstein, Rich Rinaldi, Aisha Muharrar, Alex Herschlag, Laura Gutin, Dan Fybel, Aaron Ehasz, Michael Colton, and John Aboud.[25]

Animation

The original (top), and final character designs (bottom).

The show uses Eagle Rock High School as backgrounds for the animated characters.[5] Hurwitz said that he "wanted to set the show in the real world, and the writing staff is made up of people that come from live action and from animation, so it expresses that mix well".[5] He called it "just an aesthetic thing"; he saw Mo Willems' book Knuffle Bunny in a bookstore, and then contacted Willems.[5] Willems designed the characters and they "started to do this technique".[5] The images used for the school were taken at a school next door to the Rough Draft Studios, the series' animation studio.[5] Hurwitz chose Rough Draft Studios as the series' animation studio because Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein had a "great experience" with the studio when working on Futurama.[5]

In March 2009, creator Hurwitz and the cast were present at WonderCon to promote the show.[1] Hurwitz told the audience that they had just received "the first pieces of the show back" from the animation studio in South Korea, and showed the first clip of the show for the audience.[1]

Casting

The cast includes former Arrested Development stars Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Henry Winkler as Larry Littlejunk, Ennis Hofftard and Willard Deutschebog, respectively.[26] Arnett noted that Ennis is one of the "dumber" characters he has played.[27] Kristin Chenoweth is the voice of science teacher Miracle Grohe, a barefoot spiritual hippie. Comedian Maria Bamford was originally cast as Miracle, but was later replaced by Chenoweth.[28] The executives still allowed Bamford to do some "side voices" on the show.[29] Will Forte voices Stuart Proszakian, the assistant principal.[5] In late April 2008, Variety reported that Regina King would have an unspecified role.[24] She was replaced by Kenan Thompson, who took over the role as acting principal Sue Sezno.[30] Thompson thinks he was the last cast member picked, and said that "they had another lady doing the voice" before he was hired.[30] Cheri Oteri was picked as the voice of Helen Klench, a "totally unresourceful" librarian, and Nick Kroll was picked as the voice of Andrew LeGustambos, the drama teacher whose surname translates "he likes both", referring to his bisexuality.[31] According to Kroll, Andrew is, alongside Helen, a loser amongst losers.[18] Kroll voices him to talk like a "modern day Snagglepuss".[18] Tom Kenny voices Muhammad Sabeeh "Happy" Fa-ach Nuabar, the secretive custodian that speaks only in Arabic, which is overdubbed by an English translation. In later episodes, however, he speaks fractured English and no longer has a translator. Singer Alanis Morissette guest starred as herself in the episode "Helen and Sue's High School Reunion".[32][33]

Reception

Critical response

Sit Down, Shut Up has received mixed reviews and currently has a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes[34] and a 42/100 rating on Metacritic.[6] One of the positive reviews has come from the Chicago Sun-Times, who said that the cast ensemble was tough to beat and had much potential, but they also said "This embarrassment of riches isn't necessarily an embarrassment, but it's not the slam dunk it should be, either."[35] Variety says "Despite a pedigree that includes Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz and many of that program’s stars, Sit Down seldom rises above sniggering double entendre. Seemingly preoccupied with impressing teenage boys, the show, based on the Australian series created by Brendan Reed and Tim McLoughlin, should possess scant appeal outside that demo".[21] One of the most negative reviews came from Glenn Garvin of The Miami Herald who said "Hurwitz is only the first of many talents wasted to the point of criminality in this animated adaptation of a flopped Australian sitcom." and "Staleness, however, ranks as a virtue in Sit Down, Shut Up, for the show's token stabs at topicality are truly appalling."[36]

Genevieve Koski of The A.V. Club gave the pilot episode a positive review and graded it a B. She said she was "staying optimistic that the characters are going to get fleshed out in upcoming episodes, because this is obviously going to be a character-based ensemble comedy. The plot of the pilot [...] was basically just a vehicle to introduce the various eccentricities of the staff as they all tried to show Principal Sezno they weren't expendable. It was also a platform for the Arrested Development-like meta humor that's apparently going to pervade the show".[37] Jonah Krakow of IGN was more positive about the episode, noting the "familiar aspects" of "deft wordplay, biting sarcasm and inappropriate humor" from Arrested Development. He concluded, saying: "As long as the talented cast can continue to play to their strengths and the scripts can humorously tackle dicey subject matter, this should continue to be a very entertaining show."[8] Kona Gallaghar of TV Squad watched the episode twice and was more impressed the second time. She said that "the show definitely grows on you".[9] However, after watching the second episode, she stated: "The main problem I have right now with Sit Down, Shut Up, is that even that simple plot-point is too deep for it. Maybe I'm expecting too much from an animated series, but is it wrong to want the characters to feel at least as real as their backgrounds?".[38]

Ratings

Order Episode Timeslot Rating/share Rating/share
(18-49)
Viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" 8:30 2.7/8[39] 2.3/6[39] 5.21[39]
2 "Miracle's Are Real" 8:30 2.1/7[40] 1.9/5[40] 4.20[40]
3 "World's Greatest Teacher" 7:00 1.0/4[41] 0.8/3[41] 2.09[41]
4 "Back in Time" 7:00 0.6/3[42] 0.7/3[42] 1.59[42]
5 "High School Confidential" 8:30 2.1/7[40] 1.9/5[40] 4.20[40]

Cancellation

After two episodes had aired, the series' original 8:30 timeslot was moved to 7:00 due to low ratings.[2] After the fourth episode aired, the fifth and final episode of what was to be the initial run of Sit Down, Shut Up, was pulled from the Sunday Animation Domination lineup due to what was speculated as continued low ratings.[2] The remaining 9 episodes began airing on September 12, 2009, on Saturday nights at midnight (following the cancellation of Mad TV) on a loop until April 2010, when repeats of Brothers took over the time slot.[43]

Syndication

Comedy Central began airing Sit Down, Shut Up at 10:00 pm starting on May 4, 2010. For the next four weeks, new episodes aired in that time on Tuesdays with repeats several times throughout the night. However, in June of that same year, the show was moved to the late-night timeslots and aired only once. On July 28, 2010, Comedy Central stopped airing Sit Down, Shut Up after airing the episode "Hurricane Willard." Of the thirteen episodes that reran on Comedy Central, the pilot episode and "High School Confidential" were the only episodes that never aired.[44] Adult Swim picked up the series in November 2014, and it ran its entirety before being removed from the schedule.[45] Sit Down, Shut Up has aired on Canada's Much channel (formerly MuchMusic) beginning in April 2014, after previously being shown on Comedy (formerly known as The Comedy Network) in 2013, until the network removed the show from their lineup in two months later.

Sit Down, Shut Up! was formerly available on the streaming service, Tubi TV.

References

  1. ^ a b c d Murphy, Matt (2009-03-03). "WC: Sit Down, Shut Up". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  2. ^ a b c Goldman, Eric (2009-05-12). "Plug pulled on Sit Down, Shut Up". IGN. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  3. ^ Battaglio, Stephen (2009-05-17). "Is my favorite show cancelled?". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2010-01-02. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  4. ^ a b c d "Sit Down, Shut Up TV Interview - WC 09: Mitch Hurwitz". IGN. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Basile, Nancy. "Sit Down, Shut Up - Q&A with Will Forte & Mitchell Hurwitz". About.com. Archived from the original on 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  6. ^ a b "Sit Down, Shut Up". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  7. ^ Carlson, Daniel (2009-04-19). "Sit Down, Shut Up - TV Review". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 23, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  8. ^ a b Krakow, Jonah (2009-04-17). "Sit Down, Shut Up: "Pilot" Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  9. ^ a b Gallaghar, Kona (2009-04-19). "Sit Down, Shut Up: Pilot". TV Squad. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  10. ^ "2009 Artios Award Nominees and Winners". Casting Society of America. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  11. ^ "ABC Medianet 2008-09 Ratings". 23 June 2009. Archived from the original on 23 June 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  12. ^ Sit Down, Shut Up official website
  13. ^ a b "YouTube". youtube.com.
  14. ^ "The Drugs". Archived from the original on 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  15. ^ Snierson, Dan (2008-12-03). "Kristin Chenoweth joins animated comedy from 'Arrested Development' creator". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
  16. ^ Wenzel, John. "A comic voice you can't ignore". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2009-04-07.[dead link]
  17. ^ a b Fritz, Steve (2009-04-10). "Animated Shorts: Inside Fox's Sit Down, Shut Up". Newsarama. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  18. ^ a b c d Jensen, Michael (2009-01-15). "Fox's animated "Sit Down, Shut Up" includes bisexual male character". After Elton. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  19. ^ "Listings | TheFutonCritic.com - The Web's Best Television Resource". www.thefutoncritic.com. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Listings | TheFutonCritic.com - The Web's Best Television Resource". www.thefutoncritic.com. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  21. ^ a b c Lowry, Brian (2009-04-15). "Sit Down, Shut Up". Variety. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  22. ^ Carter, Bill; Jacques Steinberg (2008-05-15). "Fox Will Bring Back 'Idol,' and Add Sci-Fi". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  23. ^ Littleton, Cynthia; Michael Schneider (2008-05-11). "Fox greenlights J.J. Abrams' 'Fringe'". Variety. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
  24. ^ a b Michael Schneider (2008-04-27). "'Simpsons' duo draw 'Up' new show". Variety. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  25. ^ a b c Michael Schneider (2008-07-16). "Bill Oakley exits 'Sit Down, Shut Up'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
  26. ^ "Meet the Faculty and staff of Knob Haven High on the series premiere of "Sit Down, Shut Up" Sunday, April 19, on FOX". Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  27. ^ "Will Arnett and Amy Poehler Compete For Laughs". Parade. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  28. ^ Snierson, Dave (2008-12-03). "Kristin Chenoweth joins animated comedy from 'Arrested Development' creator". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  29. ^ Ross, John. "Maria Bamford Interview". Sacramento Comedy. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  30. ^ a b Ryan, Mike (2009-05-07). "Kenan Thompson talks 'Sit Down, Shut Up', 'SNL' and more". Starpulse. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  31. ^ Furlong, Maggie (2009-04-16). "Hot Video: 'Sit Down, Shut Up' interview with Cheri Oteri & Nick Kroll". Archived from the original on 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  32. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (2009-04-04). "Q&A with Josh Weinstein of Sit Down, Shut Up". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  33. ^ "Sit Down, Shut Up: Helen and Sue's High School Reunion". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  34. ^ "Sit Down, Shut Up: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2024-04-03.
  35. ^ Wiser, Paige (2009-04-19). "Class acts earn average grades". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  36. ^ Garvin, Glenn (2009-04-19). "We're thinking it's more like tune in, zone out". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2009-04-21.[dead link]
  37. ^ Koski, Genevieve (2009-04-19). "Sit Down, Shut Up: "Pilot"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  38. ^ Gallaghar, Kona (2009-04-27). "Sit Down, Shut Up: Miracle's Are Real". TV Squad. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  39. ^ a b c Gorman, Bill (2009-04-20). "Housewives Keys ABC Win; Sit Down, Shut Up Premieres Mixed". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2009-12-29.
  40. ^ a b c d e f Gorman, Bill (2009-04-27). "ABC wins; Sit Down, Shut Up drags down Fox". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
  41. ^ a b c Seidman, Robert (2009-05-06). "Desperate Housewives win delayed Sunday ratings". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2009-11-27.
  42. ^ a b c Gorman, Bill (2009-05-11). "ABC Wins, But Desperate Housewives Hits Series Low". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  43. ^ "Fox to "Sit Down" in late night this fall". The Futon Critic. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  44. ^ "Comedy Central Press | Home Page". Comedycentral.com. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
  45. ^ "Watch Sit Down, Shut Up Episodes and Clips for Free from Adult Swim". Adult Swim. 16 February 2015. Archived from the original on 30 November 2014.