On Tuesday, Fox introduced Prince Wawa, from comedians Tim Baltz (Shrink, The Righteous Gemstones) and Lily Sullivan (Going Deep, Lonely and Horny), to their growing adult animation line-up. The Cobra Kai creative team of Jon Hurwitz (Blockers), Josh Heald (Hot Tub Time Machine) and Hayden Schlossberg (Blockers) have signed on to executive produce the series. However, when Deadline announced the series’ development, fans of a popular regional East Coast convenience store franchise expressed specific expectations based solely on the Fox series’ title.
View this post on Instagram
Prince Wawa happens to share its name with Wawa, a chain of gas stations and convenience stores based in the Philadelphia-area, namely South Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The chain’s regional associations have garnered it quite the fervent, albeit localized, fanbase. The ranks of Wawa fans include Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs, Schooled), who frequently features Wawa as setting on his ABC sitcom The Goldbergs. Cult-like supporters of the convenience store hoping for further on-screen representation made quips on social media on Tuesday about their dashed-expectations that Prince Wawa would have some relationship to the hoagie-slinging gas joint.
Judging from the title alone, I’m definitely getting cast on this show https://t.co/Pe4JQInRN8
— Hal Lublin (He/Him) (@hallublin) February 16, 2021
Actor and self-proclaimed Philly Boy, Hal Lublin (The Venture Bros., Welcome to Night Vale), contributed to the jokes about Prince Wawa’s name-association on Twitter after the series’ Tuesday announcement. Unfortunately for Lublin, the role of the animated series’ titular “naïve merman prince” has already been filled by Baltz, via Deadline.
The Fox comedy will see Baltz’s Prince Wawa travel between his underwater kingdom and his mother’s land-based home, “the breathtaking metropolis of Tampa, Florida” (Deadline). This detail may actually allow for a correlation between the character and the gas station chain to be made on the show itself, as Wawa has expanded with franchise locations across Florida.
Wawa aside, the series’ development adds to Fox’s mounting slate of freshmen animated series from proven comedy teams. Dan Harmon’s (Community, Rick and Morty) yet-to-be titled comedy set in ancient Greece is among one of the network’s recent acquisitions. Deadline reports that Michael Thorn, Fox’s President of Entertainment, aims to build on the network’s storied history with adult animation that has produced such lasting hits as The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers.
Baltz and Sullivan, who will write and executive produce Prince Wawa, were excited to share the news of the series’ development on social media on Tuesday. More announcements on the series, such as casting, scheduling and any unlikely connections to the convenience store with which it shares a name, can be expected as the series continues in the development process at Fox.
— Lily Sullivan (@LilyYily) February 16, 2021