Netflix’s animated comedy “Big Mouth” shows what puberty is *actually* like for girls

Get ready to relive your awkward teen days via Netflix’s Big Mouth, a 10-episode, half-hour animated comedy about “the glorious nightmare that is teenage puberty,” according to the streaming site. But while Big Mouth may be about puberty, the humor is very adult.

Created and executive produced by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett, Big Mouth enlists a slew of amazing actors. John Mulaney voices Andrew and Kroll voices his best friend Nick (among other characters). Also in the voice cast are Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, Jordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, and Jessi Klein.

So basically, the dream.

The talent involved made Big Mouth an easy yes for Klein, who spoke with HelloGiggles about the edgy comedy.

“I have known Nick Kroll for a really long time,” said Klein, the head writer on Inside Amy Schumer. “He couldn’t have made it easier for me to want to do it first of all because everyone else in the show is someone that I either have admired or worshiped forever. When you find out that Maya Rudolph’s gonna be a Hormone Monstress, you don’t say no.”


Kroll wanted Klein to pretty much play herself. And she describes her character, also named Jessi, as a “nerdy smart girl.” Getting into character proved relatively easy for her because, as she joked, she’s never left that young adult headspace: “[When you’re] at that age, it’s so much a part of kind of who you’ll always be on some level — even though obviously people change and grow and get better.”

Of course, there’s something very inherently funny about the awkwardness surrounding puberty, but Klein says she was specifically interested in, at least in part, how dramatic her character could be — to dark, comedic effect.

"I think part of it was sort of comically tragic or tragically comic. There were a lot of days where the stuff that I was doing with my character was really dramatic and not that funny. A lot of intense emotions as they are when you're that age and that, I think in its own kind of meta way, is funny."

As an example: “I would be in the booth tapping into these really intense feelings, but remembering, ‘This is all going into a show that is a very funny show and is being marketed as a comedy and I’m playing the 12 year old girl who’s sobbing hysterically.’”


And girl, we’ve been there. In terms of what we can expect from Jessi ahead, there’s an episode in which the character gets her period (while at the Statue of Liberty, of course). “Navigating that is a really, I think, funny and touching episode,” Klein said.

"I remember, I had friends who were boys at that age and I had many amazing girlfriends too, but I always felt like a tomboy and I think when you get your period and you're a tomboy, there's this identity crisis that happens of like, 'Oh, I'm a girl now?' The episode kind of tackles that in a way that I think is really relatable and maybe hasn't been explored so much on TV."

Not only that, but Big Mouth will show an underrepresented side to girls — that yes, they are horny.

With a little help from Rudolph’s Hormone Monstress. “The Hormone Monstress is operating in the same way that the Hormone Monster does for Andrew, but it’s not exactly the same,” Klein explained. “She’s kind of like an embodiment of the hormonal forces at work in a 12/14-year-old girl, which are a little bit more emotionally dramatic and like a little bit more diverse. As opposed to just being singularly focused on sex, although we address in the show [that] girls are horny too.”


All in all, the creative team made a point of portraying the teen, female perspective openly, honestly, and accurately.

“It’s a diverse writers’ room,” Klein said. “I think Nick and Andrew and Mark and Jen really wanted to make sure that Jessi, and therefore the female point of view, in all of this is represented. As long as they’re talking about real specifics, I think you’ll always get to the heart of something. I think the reality of what girls are going through at that age, if you’re talking about it honestly, it will be very different than the stereotypes and the cliches.”

While Klein does think kids and parents alike should watch the show, she has some advice about how to watch it.

"The other day Nick was saying, 'I think kids should watch this with their parents.' I was like, 'I think that's a terrible idea, I would be so embarrassed at that age,'" she said. "Even now, to be hearing these words in front of my parents, I couldn't handle it so I'm just gonna contradict Nick's message."

Big Mouth is now streaming on Netflix.

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