Chicago Party Aunt, the Chicago-based regional humor account run by Chris Witaske (Love, The Wrong Missy) on Twitter, will be making her way from social media to Netflix in a new animated series. According to Deadline, the series was ordered for a 16-episode run, split into two parts, with the first batch of episodes arriving at the streaming service on September 17.
Holy shit! Netflix just bought the rights to my life! Anybody have a password I can borrow? pic.twitter.com/Q4R2f2jHok
— Chicago Party Aunt (@ChiPartyAunt) July 27, 2021
Chicago Party Aunt helms from Witaske and co-creators Jon Barinholtz (Superstore) and Katie Rich (Another World, Booker), with all three lending their voices to characters in the series. Additional cast on Chicago Party Aunt includes Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon, Central Park), RuPaul Charles (RuPaul’s Drag Race, AJ and the Queen), Jill Talley (The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Sky High), Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project, Suicide Squad) and Da’Vine Joy Randolph (People of Earth, Dolemite Is My Name). Lauren Ash (Superstore, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) will lend her voice to the titular Chicago Party Aunt, now named Diane Dunbrowski.
CBS Chicago described the Chicago Party Aunt’s Twitter presence as “witty and sometimes proudly crass observations about all things Chicago.” However, Diane’s animated Chicago will feature an entire coterie of new characters to help bring audiences into her world. Diane will navigate her corner of Chicago with the help of O’Malley’s Daniel, her nephew taking a gap-year from college.
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Tuesday’s announcement meant Ash could finally discuss lending her voice to the series, which she disclosed has been in the works “since before Superstore even ended” (Instagram). Between recording Chicago Party Aunt, the end of Superstore, hosting her ongoing podcast True Crime and Cocktails and signing a development deal with NBCUniversal, Ash has kept herself plenty busy in 2021.
The A.V. Club points to the success of recent A24 film Zola, adapted from a viral Twitter thread, as a cultural shift that may have paved the way for Netflix to order Chicago Party Aunt. While there have been successful television projects that found their origin on social media, such as Canadian hit Letterkenny, the critically-panned $h*! My Dad Says and meme-able Grumpy Cat’s Worse Christmas Ever have still soured many to the taste of social media adaptations. Hopefully, Chicago Party Aunt will be able to break-free of the stigma surrounding social media-related projects when it premieres on Netflix in just under a month.
Though Chicago Party Aunt was just ordered from Netflix this week, as Ash’s Instagram post indicated, work has been underway on the series for some time. Netflix released a promotional photo of Diane and Daniel enjoying some deep dish pizza on their stoop to accompany Tuesday’s announcement. With a September 17 premiere for part one of Chicago Party Aunt just around the corner, fans of the account’s zany character should expect a further look into the animated series from Netflix soon.
— Chris Witaske (@Chriswitaske) July 27, 2021