Exclusive interview: Chicago Party Aunt creators Chris Witaske and Katie Rich talk about developing their latest series

Production still from Chicago Party Aunt
Chicago Party Aunt is Netflix’s latest adult animation series. Pic credit: Netflix

Coming to Netflix on September 17 is a new adult animation series called Chicago Party Aunt. This series was derived from actor Chris Witaske’s parody Twitter account with the same name, which he created in 2016. Chicago Party Aunt follows “life of the party” Diane Dunbrowski and her wild antics, often sparked by a couple of brewskis and her Chicago pride.

Speaking about transitioning his content from Twitter to the small screen, Witaske told Monsters and Critics, “It was just for fun. Literally, never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would then someday become a Netflix show that’s gonna stream all over the world.”

Telling us that he first started the account while lounging on his couch in his underwear, he added, “But as it started to get more and more popular and I got more followers, and Stephen Colbert started retweeting it, I was like, ‘maybe I’m onto something here.’ And then we put together this amazing team of people creators with Chicago roots. And now here we are, 16 episodes.”

Co-creator Katie Rich chimed in. She added, “Our friend Richie Schwartz was the mastermind between putting everybody together and it was great. From the moment we started, it was just very, very easy. I think this is a story and a type of people that is in our bones. So it was quite easy to make something like this.”

Monsters and Critics was given the opportunity to have a brief conversation with Chris Witaske and Katie Rich about their upcoming series Chicago Party Aunt.

Why did Witaske choose animation?

With the adult animation genre constantly expanding, it’s always interesting to ask creators why they are drawn to animated storytelling. Netflix and other streaming platforms have seen rapid growth in interest for adult animation series and have been investing heavily in the stories for the last few years. With The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad and Bob’s Burgers showing off the longevity of their content, more and more similar shows have been dropping. Solar Opposites, Tuca and Bertie, and Rick and Morty are of the few newer shows within the genre that have stuck around for multiple seasons.

Witaske didn’t instantly envision Chicago Party Aunt as an animated series, but rather, the idea came later down the production process. He shared, “At first I was like, maybe this would be a good live-action, which I think it still would. But with animation, you can get away with anything.”

Elaborating on the freedom he gets with animation, Witaske added, “If Diane wants to take a trip to Mars, she can. And so we really kind of all agreed that animation would be so much more fun.”

Rich on voicing her character Zuzana

Both Witaske and Rich voice characters in this series, alongside the other voice actors Ike Barinholtz, Rory O’Malley, and Lauren Ash. Rich told Monsters and Critics that she didn’t keep herself in mind while writing the character, however, the idea came about afterward.

Rich shared, “I didn’t go to be like ‘this is this part, and this is this part.’ It was just, if we can create the best, most heartfelt, and hilarious show, then we fill it in with folks. We didn’t start there. We ended up there.”

Watch our full conversation below.

Chicago Party Aunt airs September 17 on Netflix.

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