Anna Faris On Her New Family Podcast, 'The Peepkins'

Faris talks to Scary Mommy about the audio-only kids' show, voice acting, and co-parenting her son, Jack.

The always funny Anna Faris is launching a new family podcast called 'The Peepkins.'
Kenneth Cappello

Hey peeps, good news here! Anna Faris, podcast queen and all-around hilarious woman, is set to star in and executive produce a new audio show for kids titled The Peepkins.

The 10-episode family podcast series from QCODE will premiere on Nov. 22 and features an original soundtrack performed by Faris and her equally funny co-stars, Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock and Phineas and Ferb) and Diedrich Bader (Better Things and The Drew Carey Show).

The Peepkins follows Hatch (Faris) and her best friend Noah (Pancholy) as they get into a load of shenanigans in the quaint midwestern town of Coopmore Ridge. The series is full of quirky personalities, catchy songs, and cautionary tales, making it a fun audio experience for families while on road trips, before bedtime, or as they gather for holiday events.

Scary Mommy is exclusively debuting the trailer, which you can listen to here:

The trailer for The Peepkins.

New episodes of the show — created and written by Stuart Jenkins and Jeremy K. Bullis, based on the artwork of Bullis — will be released for free every Tuesday wherever podcasts are available.

Below, Scary Mommy chats with Anna Faris about The Peepkins, her continued interest in audio entertainment after the success of her podcast Unqualified, and raising her 10-year-old son, Jack.

Introducing: The Peepkins!

QCODE/Jeremy K. Bullis

Scary Mommy: Tell us about the creation of The Peepkins. How did the idea for the family podcast come about?

Anna Faris: The Peepkins has a pretty incredible origin story that stretches back to when one of the co-creators, Jeremy Bullis, was just 5 years old. Over several decades, he expanded his charming childhood creations into art installations and a larger world. When my dear friend, Steve Wilson at QCODE MEDIA, approached me with the project, I thought it would be nice to do something less offensive as my 10-year-old son Jack misses a lot of the jokes in my other work.

SM: Were you involved in crafting your character, Hatch, at all? If so, how did you go about creating the voice?

AF: I’ve been doing a “cute voice contest” with Jack at bedtime since he was a toddler. (I always win even though I’ve never told him that.) So, I’ve essentially played Hatch for seven years and I’m delighted that now everyone can judge the real winner. Hatch is quirky, curious (one of my favorite qualities in a person or bird), kind (another nice quality), creative, and a dreamer.

SM: There’s an original soundtrack for the show, which is so fun. How did you all go about creating the unique songs and tales that will likely become earworms for families? What was the goal with these songs and stories?

AF: Our other co-creator, Stu Jenkins, wrote these incredible songs. They’re really fun and catchy — without driving an adult bananas — but also heartfelt. Of course, when I found out that singing was involved, I had to give everyone fair warning because my range is equivalent to a millimeter. But the songs are so good that even when I sing, people might not cover their ears.

SM: You’ve worked in the podcast medium for a while now with Unqualified. What about it made you and the other producers of Peepkins want to explore audio-only entertainment for kids? How do you think it’s beneficial for children?

AF: I know the value of having children be occupied during long drives, short drives, bedtime, breakfast time, you know, the entire day, and it turns out that Jack doesn’t like the true crime podcasts as much as I do. I really appreciate the idea of immersive “screen-free” family entertainment, and I like that The Peepkins encourages creativity and imagination.

Anna Faris and her son, Jack, in 2018.

SM: Has your son, Jack, listened to The Peepkins yet? If so, what was his reaction?

AF: Jack has listened to a few episodes, and he loves it. As I said, he’s been hearing the voice of Hatch since he was a baby — “Hatch” was a stuffed duck in that earlier incarnation — so I think he has a special attachment to The Peepkins. He told me he can’t wait to play it for his little sisters.

[Editor’s note: Jack’s dad, Chris Pratt, has two daughters, Lyla, 2, and Eloise, 5 months, with his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger.]

SM: Being a mom is hard enough, let alone considering screen time these days. What is your viewpoint on technology in kids’ lives, and how do you go about finding a balance between TV, audio — like podcasts, music, meditation — and outdoor activities for your son?

AF: I think moderation is key... I hope that’s the right answer!

SM: It is!

AF: It’s unbelievably hard to negotiate the landscape of screen time and when it comes to Jack being mesmerized by an iPad, I’m torn between feelings of guilt and relief. One of the many values in a show like The Peepkins is that kids, and adults, get to listen and imagine what these characters and their adventures look like.

SM: Your husband, Michael Barrett, also has children from his previous marriage. How do you approach co-parenting? What’s most important to focus on in a blended family?

AF: One of the many reasons I fell in love with Michael is that he is an incredible father, so it was no surprise that he is an equally incredible stepdad. My relationship with his two amazing, brilliant teenagers has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Of course, I do often take the easy road where I get to be the super fun support system while leaving the homework and chore reminders to Michael. I’d say the most important thing in any relationship is good communication, which sometimes requires a little effort. It really pays off. I delight when my stepchildren call me “evil stepmother.”

The Peepkins debuts Nov. 22, wherever you listen to podcasts.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.