Sanjay and Craig is an American animated television series produced by Nickelodeon. The show is about a 12-year-old human boy named Sanjay Patel who owns a talking pet snake named Craig. The series premiered on May 25, 2013.
The show's creators are Jim Dirschberger, Andreas Trolf, and Jay Howell. Howell is also the character designer on Bob's Burgers.Sanjay and Craig is being produced by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, the creators of The Adventures of Pete & Pete, which aired in the 1990s. Nickelodeon has renewed the show for a second season, which will include 20 new episodes. The second season will begin airing in 2014.
The series follows the antics of the title characters, a 12-year-old Indian American boy named Sanjay Patel, and his best friend, an anthropomorphic snake named Craig. On a promotional webpage for the show, the network explains that Sanjay and Craig's suburban hijinks require that "nobody finds out that Craig can talk".
Cast and characters
Sanjay Patel (Maulik Pancholy)  is an excitable, klutzy, sweet twelve-year-old Indian-American boy who goes on adventures with his best friend, Craig. He has a crush on Belle Pepper, who works at his favorite place to hang out, The Frycade. Sanjay idolizes Remington Tufflips, a washed up action movie star from the 1980s. Sanjay tries to fit in most of the time and always has a great time with Craig.
Craig (Chris Hardwick) is Sanjay's anthropomorphic pet snake who he met in a pet store. Craig is a so-called "master of disguise" — whether he is a doctor, a lawyer, or a beauty pageant queen, no one seems to recognize him. Only a few people know Craig is a talking snake; Sanjay and his close friends keep it a secret. Craig does not like to be called just a pet.
Vijay Patel (Kunal Nayyar) is Sanjay's father who is Indian. He owns a clearance store in the neighborhood. He has invented various mechanicals, such as a party-obsessed, dancing robot, the Partybot.
Darlene Patel (Grey DeLisle) is Sanjay's mother who works at a hospital as a nurse. She often tells Sanjay stories about her work.
Megan Sparkles (Linda Cardellini) is Sanjay and Craig's enthusiastic and overachieving friend who takes part in beauty pageants. Megan is a smart, talented beauty pageant winner who can get carried away at times, but loves helping Sanjay. She has a secret crush on Sanjay, although Sanjay does not seem to feel the same way, though he does care about her as a friend.
Hector Flanagan (Matt Jones) is Sanjay and Craig's eye patch-wearing friend. He can annoy them at times. Hector also loves wolves, and has a crush on Megan.
Belle Pepper (Nika Futterman) is a fifteen-year-old girl who works at the Frycade, Sanjay and Craig's favorite place to hang out. Sanjay has a crush on her, yet when he attempts to talk to her it does not work out. She does not seem to show any signs of liking Sanjay, unlike Megan Sparkles, who shows her passion constantly.
Mr. Leslie Noodman (Tony Hale) is Sanjay and Craig's psychotic neighbor who hates snakes. He has a pathological fear of them because of a prank his father pulled on him when he was young (his father actually pulls many pranks on him, thus, he hates his father). He loves his cat, Lady Butterscotch, but is Sanjay and Craig's number one enemy. He cares deeply for his award-winning blueberries and likes to use his shovel as a weapon.
Lady Butterscotch is Mr. Noodman's pet cat. Noodman appears to really admire her.
Sandy Dickson (Grey DeLisle) is the leader of the group hard rock band "Tuff Skulls". She has two brothers named Scabs and Baby Richard. She is shown to be a goth girl, and frequently antagonizes Sanjay, Craig, and their friends.
Scabs Dickson (Grey DeLisle) is a member of the Dickson's group band "Tuff Skulls". He has a sister named Sandy and has a younger brother named Baby Richard.
Baby Richard Dickson (Maulik Pancholy) is a member of the Dickson's group band "Tuff Skulls", and is the youngest of the Dicksons. He is shown to be very rude to Sanjay, Craig, and their friends.
Remington Tufflips is a washed-up action movie star from the 1980s who Sanjay and Craig idolize. To them, he is the raddest guy who ever walked the planet. Despite his has-been status, Tufflips' ego and arrogance have swelled over the years, along with his waistline. To Sanjay and Craig, he is still the king of cool, in their adoring eyes. Although he is Sanjay and Craig's ultimate hero, he never does remember their names. Tufflips voices a fictionalized version of himself in the series.
Tyson (David Hornsby) is a very rude and sarcastic young man who speaks in an English accent, and is Sanjay's primary rival for Belle's affections. He carries a scooter in his pants, and has beaten Sanjay in a Tufflips Thumbs Up Karate game and The Sudden Death Eat Off with the "volcano" wings.
Farmer Larry (Toby Huss), is the crazy farmer at Blueberry Farm and helps Sanjay and Craig make blueberry jam to keep Mr. Noodman from calling the pound in the episode "Dog Wave". He is also the current owner of Sanjay's former dog "Barfy".
Penny Pepper (John DiMaggio), is the owner of The Frycade and Belle's father. Penny makes the wings Craig ordered the hottest wings ever.
PMA Guy (Carl Faruolo), is a judge and a stand-up comedian, who has an obsession with laughing.
Barfy (Fred Tatasciore) is a purple barfing dog that Sanjay wants to adopt. He entered the contest to win Barfy for free 100 times; the plan was successful, but it also backfired, as Sanjay ended up winning not only Barfy but also 99 other dogs. Barfy was given to Farmer Larry because Mr. Noodman would harass the purple dog and also because Farmer Larry needed some blueberry dogs. He appears in the episode, "Dog Wave".
Noodman's Father (John DiMaggio), is the seventy-year-old father of Leslie Noodman. He enjoys making his son's life miserable by pranking him with his fear of snakes. He has a fear of cats especially Noodman's pet cat, Lady Butterscotch.
Noodman's Grandfather (John DiMaggio), is the grandfather of Noodman's father. Like his father's son, he enjoys pranking his son with his fear of cats. He appears in the episode "Family Re-Noodman". He also has a fear of Butterflies.
Uncle Thurop (Thurop Van Orman), is one of Noodman's relatives. He is short and has a broken leg. He appears in the episodes "Family Re-Noodman", and "Fart Baby".
Mr. Flanagan (Nolan North), is Hector's "cool" father.
Mrs. Flanagan (Grey DeLisle), is Hector's mother. She loves Hector's pet dog, Sweet Cheeks.
Sweet Cheeks (Fred Tatasciore), is Hector's pet dog. He has the biggest cheeks and is obsessed with Mrs. Flanagan. He appears in the episode "Unbarfable".
Hector's Grandmother (Candi Milo), is Hector's grandmother and the mother of his parents. She loves to hug people and has an addiction to hugging them. She appears in the episode "Unbarfable".
Mrs. Sparkles (Grey DeLisle), is Megan's mother.
Mrs. Dickson (Grey DeLisle), is the Mother of Sandy, Scabs and Baby Richard.
Jay Howell said that the idea began with a comic he and Dirschberger had made about a man who was a snake charmer. Dirschberger then changed the snake charmer character to a 12-year-old boy "without a weird quirk or affectation". Howell said that the show's inclusion of gross-out humor was based on the fact that both he and Jim Dirschberger have mothers who are nurses, "and they've told us a lot of gross stories over the years". Since none of the three creators had produced a show before, Nickelodeon chose Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, the creators of The Adventures of Pete & Pete, as executive producers. Howell said that McRobb's and Viscardi's experience on Pete & Pete helped them add "surreal kids' stuff" to Sanjay and Craig. Unlike most animated shows, Sanjay and Craig does not rely on scripting. Instead, the writers make an outline, which is then converted to a storyboard.
David Weigand of the San Francisco Chronicle said that the show is "juvenile but also smart and funny" and "understands that kids are kids but also are often more sophisticated than children's television acknowledges." Giving it 3 stars out of 5, David Hinckley of New York Daily News said that the show "doesn't tiptoe around the stuff kids love most. Like gross stuff and absurd slapstick that in real life would probably get you killed." Marah Eakin of The A.V. Club gave the first two episodes an "A". The premiere episode had an estimated 3.6 millions viewers.
If you're looking for a show that's found a happy balance between absurd comedy and substantial content, then Sanjay and Craig isn't what you want. Its sole purpose is to elicit laughs, and it employs every gag in the book -- from bathing in bird poop to a bouncing, farting, disembodied butt -- to get those laughs from kids. There's no rhyme, reason, or reality to the characters' misadventures, which can be a fun departure from real life but at the same time doesn't give them anything positive to glean from the content.