Comedy Central mixes medieval action with satirical slapstick in “Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire,” which debuts at 9 p.m. Thursday.
Sean Maguire (“Meet the Spartans”) plays the titular hero, described in the show’s promo as “the son of a blacksmith and a stay-at-home mom.” It parodies medieval quest fiction like “Lord of the Rings” and “Robin Hood,” as Krod leads a band of resistance fighters against an evil overlord.
Maguire initially passed on “Krod,” feeling it would hew too closely to areas he’d already covered as Leonidas in “Meet the Spartans.” But his manager convinced him to give it another look.
“It’s very clever, it’s very funny,” Maguire said in a recent phone interview. “It’s not a spoof; it’s far more satirical and far cleverer humor than a silly fun romp like ‘Spartans’ was.”
In fact, Maguire said you could compare “Krod Mandoon” to a workplace comedy – the workplace just happens to be in a medieval realm.
“Krod is pretty much like the team leader, and he’s got the sales department, the accounts department, the whatever department, and he’s just trying to keep them all together and get the shipment out,” Maguire said. “But they’re just such a bumbling bunch of fools it makes his job twice as difficult.”
So how about that “Flaming Sword of Fire”? It’s a practical effect, Maguire said, meaning the sword was literally alight in his hand.
“It did require some guys with a Bunsen burner to come and light it, and I had a tube running down my arm, and a gas canister somewhere out of shot,” he said. “Consequently I had a quite a hot arm many a filming day.”
He wasn’t the only one to take a beating while filming “Krod.” India de Beaufort, the actress who portrays the pagan warrior Aneka, said she took her share of bumps, some serious, as well.
“I had a bad injury, I fell when I was learning to tumble,” she said. “The next day I got head-butted in the face and got a fat lip … after that I was much happier to let my stunt double do all the gymnastics.”
Aneka’s aggressive sexuality at times puts her in conflict with Krod, who loves her but doesn’t always understand her traditions.
“She’s a young, strong woman saying that she enjoys sex, and she’s not out to hurt anyone,” de Beaufort said. “She’s happy to make her own choices, and she feels good about them.”
The rest of Krod’s merry men in the pilot are played by Kevin Hart, Steve Spiers and Marques Ray; the evil Chancellor Dongalor is played by Matt Lucas.
“Working with those people on a daily basis, it was so hard to keep a straight face,” de Beaufort said. “It was so difficult, but it was so enjoyable at the same time.”
Comedy Central has placed a six-episode order for “Krod Mandoon,” and if the show is successful, the motley band of heroes will be back for more.
“I just hope people don’t write it off,” Maguire said. “It is silly, and it can be slapsticky, but there’s also a lot of merit in the writing, and some really great performances.”
- By Matthew Price
From Wednesday’s The Oklahoman
See more pictures from “Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire” after the break.