Synopsis by Hal Erickson
It is not generally known that the CGI-animated NBC sitcom Father of the Pride was the second cartoon program inspired by the spectacular career of Vegas-based illusionists Siegfried and Roy. The first, a four-part miniseries titled Siegfried & Roy: Masters of the Impossible, was seen in off-network syndication in 1996. Ironically, the title of the earlier series provides the acronymic name "Sarmoti" for one of the principal characters on Father of the Pride! The NBC series took us backstage and into the private lives of two of the white lions employed in Siegfried and Roy's act: Larry (voiced by John Goodman) and his wife Kate (voiced by Cheryl Hines). Despite their fame and fortune, the two lions had to endure the usual trials and tribulations of sitcom-style domesticity. Kate's father Sarmoti (voiced by Carl Reiner) was a loudmouth who insisted upon arguing with Larry over anything and everything, while Larry's best pal, a gopher named Snack (voiced by Orlando Jones), was forever hatching idiotic schemes that got everyone in big trouble. Add to this several dashes of toilet and sex humor, and you had an animated "funny animal" series that was far better suited for grown-ups than for kids. Produced by DreamWorks SKG Animation as NBC's answer to such popular cutting-edge cartoon efforts as Fox's The Simpsons and Comedy Central's South Park, Father of the Pride was in production in late 2003 when magician Roy (aka Roy Horn) was seriously injured when he was mauled on the stage of the Mirage Inn by one of his trained lions. For a while, the network balked at introducing the CGI series, worried that it might suffer from the publicity surrounding Roy's injuries. Once the magician was off the critical list, however, Father of the Pride began its 11-week NBC run on August 31, 2004 (two of the thirteen episodes would not be seen until the series was released on DVD).