If your pet could talk, how would it change your relationship? What kind of adventures would you go on together? That’s the concept of Nickelodeon’s new cartoon, Sanjay and Craig. It’s about imaginative 12-year-old Sanjay Patel and his best friend, Craig, a talking pet snake and a master of disguise. The show premieres Saturday May 25 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Nickelodeon. It was created by co-executive producers Jim Dirschberger, Jay Howell and Andreas Trolf. “There’s something about your best friend,” Trolf told TFK. “Together with him or her, anything is possible. You can't wait to get up in the morning to have an adventure.”
Because Craig is a snake, he can shape and stretch into almost anything. He's also a master of disguise, so he can go wherever Sanjay goes. "Craig pushes you to have as rad of a time as possible," Trolf says. "He's a cool dude, but he's also this crazy reptile guy that is sometimes still a bit of a wild animal."
Upcoming episodes find the best friends in some hilarious situations: The duo wins 100 pet dogs in a competition; Sanjay tries to snake-rope walk on Craig to cross a stinky pool of water; Craig enters a beauty pageant disguised as their friend Megan; and the friends try to retrieve a hundred dollar bill that they find frozen in ice. That last scenario is based on something that actually happened to co-creator Dirschberger as a kid. "None of us has seen a butt transplant or gotten kicked out of comedy clubs for laughing too hard," Trolf told TFK. "But the majority of the adventures of Sanjay and Craig are inspired by real life."
Behind the Voices
Actor Maulik Pancholy, who voices Baljeet on Phineas and Ferb, is the voice of Sanjay. Comedian Chris Hardwick voices Craig. When recording for animation, actors often work alone in the recording booth, and their voices are mixed in with other characters later. But Pancholy and Hardwick have worked together in the recording booth for Sanjay and Craig. "There is this magic that happens when you get Maulik and Chris in the room together," Trolf says. "It seems like they've been friends forever. When they start riffing and improving lines, it's incredible. They are the perfect Sanjay and Craig."
Earlier this week, TFK spoke to Pancholy while he was working on the show at a recording studio in New York City. He says he appreciates getting to collaborate with Hardwick. "Chris has just boundless energy," he says. "When we work together, our energy escalates, and the things we are excited about become SUPER EXCITING. It's really fun."
Pancholy also told TFK that Sanjay reminds him of himself as a kid. “Sanjay’s got this very awkward side, and I can relate to feeling like you’re not the coolest kid around,” he says. “And he’s got this great imagination. Growing up in Indiana, my friends and I would go bike riding and every ride was an adventure, solving crimes!”
Catch Sanjay and Craig’s adventures when the show airs Saturday mornings on Nickelodeon. For more with Pancholy, watch the video below.