Comedy Central Whistles Memorable New 'Toon With 'Digman!'

On the heels of last week’s "TV Blog" on the superlative “Agent Elvis” on Netflix comes another new animated series that reaches for and attains the same level of high quality.

Coincidence? No. I don’t plan these things. New shows become "TV Blog" topics pretty much at random around here based solely on their upcoming premiere dates.

It just so happens that this new one premieres this week, Wednesday night on Comedy Central. It is “Digman!” -- the comedic tale of an archaeologist named Rip Digman who lost his mojo, but now seeks a way back into the profession to which he has dedicated his life.

Credit for the creation of the title and the character’s name -- which refers cleverly to the practice of archaeology -- goes to co-creators Neil Campbell and Andy Samberg.

Campbell was co-executive producer of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which Samberg starred in. Campbell is the showrunner on “Digman!” and Samberg supplies the voice of Rip Digman.

As voice characterizations go, this one is a masterpiece. The dialogue in this series is complicated and rapid-fire. Maybe it took hundreds of takes to get it right, but in the end, Samberg is triumphant.

Like “Agent Elvis,” “Digman!” is a rich action-comedy series crammed with split-second sight gags and verbal bits that come and go at lightning speed.

For example, in a scene where Rip and his young assistant come upon a group of angry Neanderthals deep in the jungle, one of these latter-day cavemen looked suspiciously like a Neanderthal Homer Simpson. But the bit was hardly the length of the blink of an eye, so who knows?

Episode One of “Digman!” provides Digman’s back story. The year was 2011. Digman was on an important mission in search of an ancient statuette of solid gold whos existence was rumored but not proven.

Without giving anything away, the mission goes south and leads to tragedy. With deep regret over his role in the loss of one of his team members, Digman retreats into a decade-plus of depression and despondency.

He had become a down-on-his-luck, unemployed super-archaeologist -- until now. His portal to redemption comes in the form of a super-inventor/entrepreneur multibillionaire named Quail Eegan who pioneered the manufacture of electric cars and privately owned spacecraft. Sound familiar?

Eegan wishes to build his own mega-museum from the ground up and is willing to foot the bill for all of it.  But as its centerpiece, he desires one of the world’s rarest artifacts, and Digman sets out in search of it.

Like “Agent Elvis,” “Digman!” is ridiculous and hugely entertaining. It might very well be the first animated series in the history of television to be set in the world of competitive, high-stakes archaeology. And best of all, you won’t learn a thing!

“Digman!” premieres on Wednesday (March 22) at 10:30 p.m. Eastern on Comedy Central.

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