There's a new animated comedy on the block, and it features some familiar voices. Created by Brad Neely (China, IL) and produced by the animation company behind Big Mouth, The Harper House centers on a family of oddballs that moves into their inherited (and maybe haunted) Victorian when their mother loses her job. Who’s playing whom in Paramount+’s latest foray into adult animation? Read on:
Rhea Seehorn leads The Harper House’s voice cast as Debbie Harper, an overconfident mother who moves her family into a Victorian fixer-upper across town after losing her job. Seehorn is best known for her work as Kim Wexler in Better Call Saul, a role that's earned her considerable critical acclaim (yet multiple Emmy snubs). Seehorn has also appeared in Whitney Cummings’ semi-autobiographical comedy Whitney, ABC’s short-lived sitcom I’m With Her, Franklin & Bash, and five episodes of Veep’s final season.
While their children may not be excited about the move, stay-at-home father Freddie Harper encourages them to look on the bright side and embrace their new adventure. Freddie is voiced by Jason Lee, an actor and former professional skateboarder best known for playing Earl Hickey in My Name is Earl. Years before, Lee broke out in Kevin Smith movies like Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Chasing Amy, for which he won an Independent Spirit Award. Lee has also appeared in a diverse array of other films, including Enemy of the State, Almost Famous, and The Ballad of Jack and Rose. Lee's other voice work includes evil genius Syndrome in The Incredibles and the title character in superhero comedy Underdog.
Tatiana Maslany, who voices 11-year-old Ollie Harper, first made a name for herself in Canadian series Heartland and Being Erica, followed by roles in indie movies including Grown Up Movie Star and Picture Day. In 2013, she captivated audiences as the lead character (and her many clones) in Orphan Black, a role that earned her an Emmy Award, two Critics’ Choice Awards, and five Canadian Screen Awards. After Orphan Black ended in 2017, Maslany worked alongside Nicole Kidman in Destroyer and starred as Sister Alice in HBO’s Perry Mason revival series. Maslany can next be seen as Jennifer Walters (AKA She-Hulk) in Disney+’s take on the Marvel Comics character.
Todd, Ollie’s smart-mouthed twin brother, is not afraid to make his feelings about his family’s creepy new house known. This outspoken tween is voiced by Ryan Flynn, an actor, producer, and writer with a strong comedy background. Flynn is best known for his work on FUEL TV’s Stupidface and for voicing various characters in Adult Swim’s China, IL, but he's also made appearances in Next Stop for Charlie, United States of Tara, and Entourage.
At their new school, Ollie and Todd befriend Shauna, a classmate who lives across the street from the Harpers. Shauna is played by Gabourey Sidibe, the talented actress who earned Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for her star turn in Lee Daniels’ 2009 drama Precious. Sidibe has starred in nearly a dozen films since, including Tower Heist, White Bird in a Blizzard, Grimsby, and Antebellum. On the TV side, she's portrayed two different characters (Queenie and Regina Ross) across four seasons of American Horror Story, starred opposite Laura Linney in The Big C, and played assistant-turned-executive Becky Williams in FOX’s Empire (above).
Gary Anthony Williams is no stranger to TV comedies. Over the past three decades he's appeared in practically every series under the sun, from Malcolm in the Middle to Weeds to Netflix’s The Crew (pictured above), and he continues to perform improv across the country. Those unfamiliar with Williams’ comedy may recognize his voice: he’s a regular fixture on Adult Swim, where he’s lent his voice to The Boondocks’ Uncle Ruckus and played a STRATA technician on Saul of the Molemen. Since 2013, he's also been a recurring cast member on Whose Line Is It Anyway? In The Harper House, Williams’ character Gbenge serves as the Bradley family patriarch and co-owns a bookstore with his wife, Katrina.
Katrina Bradley, Gbenge’s wife, is skeptical of her new neighbors, but she soon comes to accept the Harpers and their unique contributions to the community. Katrina is voiced by comedic actress Nyima Funk, who cut her teeth on Key and Peele, SuperNews!, and Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz. Funk has also appeared in select episodes of Teachers, Detroiters, and American Dad!.
The owner of the Vietnamese market and cafe that the Harpers frequent, Gwen Dang (VyVy Nguyen) establishes a tenuous friendship with the family. Nguyen has steadily worked her way through Hollywood over the past decade, fbooking small gigs on NCIS: Los Angeles and Scandal before landing larger roles in Parenthood, MisSpelled, and Young Sheldon.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia writer Lance Krall steps into the recording booth as JimJoe Dang, Gwen’s son who is classmates with the Harper children. In 2003, Krall broke out as Kip in reality show parody The Joe Schmo Show, landing his own series on Spike TV, The Lance Krall Show. He later created and starred in VH1 and Comedy Central’s Free Radio, wrote and starred in FOX’s Breaking In, and joined the writing staff on Last Man Standing and Always Sunny. In addition to his TV work, Krall co-wrote the 2017 feature The Layover, directed by William H. Macy and starring Alexandra Daddario and Kate Upton.
The Harper House premieres Thursday, September 16 on Paramount+.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.
TOPICS: The Harper House, Gabourey Sidibe, Gary Anthony Williams, Jason Lee, Lance Krall, Nyima Funk, Rhea Seehorn, Tatiana Maslany, VyVy Nguyen