Big Mouth creators have revealed what fans can expect from season five, and how they came to recast Ayo Edebiri as Missy.
During a virtual panel as part of the USC Comedy Festival, co-creator-EPs Mark Levin, Andrew Goldberg, and Jennifer Flackett opened up about the new series, with Levin hinting at possible themes.
Levin said the show will “explore a little bit more about kids advocating and becoming political.”
While Flackett added that it’s too challenging to make the series topical in its comedy, as it takes so long to create a season.
“You can do something about political identity, like ‘I’m a Republican, I’m a Democrat, I’m a whatever,’ but I don’t think we could do anything [more specific]. Because we want the world to feel somewhat timeless, anyway,” he concluded.
The creators also touched on how they came to recast the role of Miss after Jenny Slate stepped down.
In June last year, Jenny Slate announced that she would be stepping back from voicing Missy – a biracial, half-jewish character – to allow authentic representation, stating: “Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people.”
“At the start of the show, I reasoned with myself that it was permissible for me to play Missy because her mom is Jewish and White – as am I. But Missy is also Black,” she said.
Two months later, it was confirmed that comedian, writer, and actress Edebiri would be taking over the role.
“It’s very complex, actually, because over the course of several seasons, Missy, as a mixed-race character, has been growing,” Levin said, “and [a lot of that] has been driven by the Black writers on our staff.”
He continued that Slate “always had questions and some hesitancy” about “whether it’s appropriate to represent a character who…presents to the world as Black and identifies that way.”
Edebiri takes over from Slate in the the penultimate episode of Season 4, called Horrority House.
Goldberg recalled: “We auditioned a ton of actors to play Missy. Ultimately, Ayo felt right and maybe had a leg up because she was in the writers’ room, and had been part of all these conversations about how Missy was going to evolve. But I think it also just has a lot to do with who she is, as a person, and as a writer, because I think she identified with Missy growing up, and there’s something about Missy that you can’t fake.”
Netflix’s Big Mouth has become one of the most popular adult animated comedies on television, with season 4 arriving on Netflix in December last year.