Netflix releases a first look video for Tuca & Bertie season 1 confirming its May premiere date. Created by BoJack Horseman producer Lisa Hanawalt, the animated series documents the lives of two 30-year-old bird women. Tiffany Haddish voices Tuca, a cocky, care-free toucan, and Ali Wong co-stars as Bertie, an anxious, daydreaming songbird.
Over the past five years, Haddish has evolved from a TV actress into a mainstream comedy star. In 2013, the Los Angeles native appeared in BET’s reality TV parody Real Husbands of Hollywood, and later co-starred in the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show. In 2017, Haddish delivered a breakthrough performance in Girls Trip, in which she stars alongside Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, and Jada Pinkett Smith. For her portrayal of Dina, Haddish earned an MTV Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress, just one of several accolades. In 2018, Haddish starred in the films Uncle Drew, Night School, and Nobody’s Fool. Meanwhile, her Tuca & Bertie co-star, Wong, has starred in two Netflix stand-up comedy specials, Ali Wong: Baby Cobra and Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife. Previously, Wong was a staff writer on the ABC series Fresh Off the Boat. In 2020, she’ll appear in the DCEU film Birds of Prey.
Today, Netflix released a teaser video for Tuca & Bertie, in which Haddish and Wong are featured in behind-the-scenes clips. Netflix further announced Tuca & Bertie will premiere on May 3. Early on, the two stars meet in a voice booth and explain the project’s origin story. The video then offers a quick look at the animated bird characters before transitioning into more behind-the-scenes footage. Whereas both comedians are known for their provocative comedy, Wong explains the stark contrast between the characters Tuca and Bertie, as the former is more outspoken and “not repressed.” The video then shows a brief bedroom scene featuring the songbird and her husband discussing pornography, which precedes a clip in which Tuca the toucan takes off her bikini top. Midway through, the series' creator, Hanawalt, discusses the inspiration for Tuca & Bertie: A nature documentary in which toucans dig into other birds’ nest and gobble up the eggs. Check out the first look video below.
From 2014 to 2018, Hanawalt served as a production designer and series producer for Netflix’s Bojack Horseman. The animated comedy is known for its surrealistic narrative, and Tuca & Bertie seems to have a similar aesthetic. In 2015, Wong voiced the character Maddie in the Bojack Horseman episode “Escape from L.A.,” while Haddish voiced the character Cindy for 18 episodes of Comedy Central’s Legends of Chamberlain Heights.
Both Steven Yeun and Richard E. Grant will appear in Tuca & Bertie, but the series appears to be mostly interested in the female experience. For Netflix, the decision to produce a female-centric adult animated comedy marks yet another big move for the streaming service.
Tuca & Bertie season 1 premieres Friday May 3 on Netflix.