Brennan McNichol.

Interview: Talking To Brennan McNichol About Creating "Burb Patrol" & Schoolyard Productions

Executive producer & series co-creator Brennan McNichol's show about two security guards ensuring order in a gated suburban community will resonate with anyone who grew up watching workplace comedy shows like RENO 911!, The Office, Parks & Recreation & Workaholics to name a few. In this hilarious series, this neighborhood protecting duo navigates bizarre challenges like confronting unruly influencers to dismantling unauthorized lemonade stands all through McNichol's comedic lens.

In an exclusive chat ahead of the Burb Patrol debut on 800 Pound Gorilla's YouTube channel, McNichol gives 800 Pound Gorilla News a closer look at the behind the scenes of the comedy series, working with Juhahn Jones & Matt Rife, and the latest update for Schoolyard's upcoming productions and Burb Patrol Season 2. He also talks about working with the best comedic talent & creators from YouTube & TikTok to help create his shows.

Tell us about how you connected your co-creator Sean Harris. When did he first show you the script for Burb Patrol & what about it propelled you to help tell this story?

Sean and I actually connected years before doing Burb Patrol on a sketch series called Respectfully Rude. I brought together several writers and comedians for that show. Seans talent as a writer really stood out to me not just for the comedy but for the way he handled stories and characters. I think we shared a very similar style of comedy and things clicked for us very early on. Years later we were brainstorming show ideas and Burb Patrol kind of came together by merging some ideas we had. Once we started writing we brought in Faysal Lawrence to help and it was the perfect team for the show.

The chemistry between Matt Rife & Juhahn Jones in this show is so evident. What can you share about their connection behind the scenes that helped make their comedic chops land in each episode?

Matt and Juhahn had actually worked together years before on another project. So when they came together they just seemed to have a natural rhythm which is so important in comedy. While filming the show we always allowed actors to improv in most scenes. In between takes Juhahn and Matt would be cracking jokes and coming up with ideas that always brought scenes to another level. I think a lot of that natural chemistry they have comes through on the show.

In the show’s season finale, the show is set in what was "at the time" a modern era of living during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that likely no one on your crew could’ve predicted a pandemic incoming, was working on the show’s final episode a semi rushed experience? How quickly did you have to pivot & make an episode that highlighted the pandemic to honor the times then?

We filmed this in September 2020 under SAG COVID compliance, so the pandemic was already well underway. We were in the middle of writing unsure if we would even be able to film at the time. I think Sean and I saw that Covid was having a really massive impact on people and we thought there would be nothing more relatable for audiences than bringing some humor to the situation. The scenes in that episode speak to many different perspectives people had on the pandemic and hopefully it felt refreshing to find humor in those perspectives.

Since first launching Schoolyard & Burb Patrol during the peak of the TikTok & COVID era, how have you noticed the TV making landscape change from your perspective? Does thinking about the future of TikTok in the States change how you wanna roll out your next project?

TikTok has changed everything. There are so many new shows I love that I discovered because of TikTok clips and people reposting content they love. Younger generations seem to be navigating more to short form content but what we saw with Burb Patrol is some people just enjoyed watching the clips or entire scenes on TikTok and some of them wanted to go watch the full series. I think shows going forward will constantly be vigilant of when they might have viral moments or a meme they can leverage to reach new audiences.

Who do you have your eye on currently in this YouTube & TikTok era for comedy talent? Who should we be looking out for?

I have recently worked with some hilarious creators Preston Garcia, Gray Fagan, Mitsy Sanderson, Blake Rosier, Ryan Leader, Lonnie Marts and Zach Justice. I think all of these creators are hilarious and you should expect to see more of them soon not just on TikTok but TV.

What can you share about the next projects up the pipeline for Schoolyard that you’re most excited about? Are there still plans for a Burb Patrol Season Two?

Schoolyard recently shot a new series created by Preston Garcia, Gray Fagan and Megan Guthrie that will be released later this year. We additionally have two TV series in development with Zach Justice and Preston Garcia that you can expect to hear more about soon. Never say never with a Burb Patrol Season 2. We have had interest recently, there is always a business side of it that can be difficult but I am hopeful that one day we are going to be able to get it done.

Watch Burb Patrol Season 1 on YouTube!

Tune in tonight for the premiere of season 1 of Burb Patrol on YouTube!

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