22 Things We Found Out From ‘The Proud Family’ Reunion
The voice cast of The Proud Family came together for a family reunion at the NAACP Arts, Culture, and Entertainment Festival. The joyful reunion was full of stories, laughs, memories from the animated series that meant so much to so many kids in the 2000s. We took a minute to dig into the video and found out 22 new facts about The Proud Family during their reunion.
1. Creator and executive producer Bruce Smith came up with The Proud Family to fill a void. “…at the time where I created, it was around the time where you had all these animated sitcoms kind of premiering. You had The Simpsons already deep in their run. You had King of the Hill. You had bits and pieces of Seth MacFarlane stuff and there was just nothing for us. There was just nothing that really represented the family that I knew, that I grew up with that really sort of did a deep dive into black culture and so that’s kind of where it started.”
2. Smith calls executive producer and writer Ralph Farquhar “the Blackest Writer” he knows.
3. Farquhar also wrote Moesha and The Parkers.
4. The Proud Family is the writer’s first animated series.
5. Jo Marie Payton, who voices Suga Mama, says that Suga Mama is not old–she’s ageless. Payton said, “She was ageless and people liked the fact that she jumped, she sang, she danced. She did all these different things and she communicated very well with her family. She loved them very much.”
6. Suga Mama was inspired by Smith’s mother and the kids on his own. The Prouds are essentially Smith’s family.
7. Kyla Pratt was 14 when she voiced Penny Proud.
8. Pratt grew up disliking her voice. She says that Penny helped her find her way to loving her voice.
9. Paula Jai Parker actually wanted Suga Mama’s part. She begged for it but ended up taking the role of Penny’s mother Trudy.
10. Parker also disliked her voice until she was working on The Proud Family.
11. Tommy Davidson would never look at a script for his role voicing Oscar Proud. He ad-libbed most of his lines and the rest of the cast just went along.
12. Davidson says his Oscar character parented all the kids in the country during the show’s run.
13. Cedric the Entertainer fashioned his character, Uncle Bobby, from photos of and drawings that the executive producers had made up. He envisioned “Sugarfoot from the Ohio Players,” and says that voice came instantly after that.
14. Parker was not a mother while voicing Trudy, but she did say that Pratt became her “baby”. Parker also says that she drew from the “female representation” created by Suga Mama, Penny, and Trudy to envision her role.
15. Payton revealed that the entire cast only recorded together twice in their entire show run.
16. Farquhar’s younger brother did the title song.
17. Solange and Destiny’s Child sang the theme song with
18. Alicia Keys doing background vocals.
19. The reboot is The Proud Family Louder and Prouder with the new character Maya Liebowitz played by Keke Palmer. She is a socially conscious integration into the show.
20. The Prouds are aged up a few years in the new show with Penny as a teenager, and Uncle Bobby’s style moved from the 70s to the 90s New Jack Swing era.
21. The writers’ room of the show has black and brown men and women.
22. Several Black writers got their start on The Proud Family. These include Michael Carrington (Motown Magic, That’s So Raven), Wayne Stamps (Cherish the Day, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore), Mark Swinton (Madea’s Family Funeral, The House of Payne), Silvia Cardenas Olivas (Elena of Avalor, East Los High), and several others.
Check out the full reunion here: