We’re All ‘eXtreme’: Talking With ‘The eXtremist Files’ Producer Matt Edwards About Life, Liberty, and Laughter

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Quick Reads

In an exclusive interview with Matt Edwards, producer of the satirical cartoon series “the eXtremist Files,” viewers get a behind-the-scenes look at the creation and intentions behind this unique show.

“the eXtremist Files” takes a comedic jab at ‘woke’ progressive stereotypes, aiming to spotlight the cultural and political challenges faced by conservative, Christian, and non-lefty individuals who wish they could lock us down like they did in 2020. Edwards unveils the inspiration behind the series, its intended impact on viewers, and the creative process involved in bringing each episode to life.

Amp America: What inspired you to create “the eXtremist Files,” and why did you choose to frame it as a parody of the X-Files?

Matt Edwards: Coming out of the covid pandemic, the 2020 “summer of love”, the 2020 election, and the fallout from Jan 6, the rhetoric from the mainstream press and the left about normal everyday conservative people being the extremists, was both laughable and frustrating. Especially compared to the extreme measures that were forced upon our society during the pandemic. It seemed only natural to take that ridiculous narrative and reframe it squarely where it belonged.

That only ones being extremists were the ones forcing masks on kindergartners, banning people from singing in church while celebrating “mostly peaceful” protests in the streets, charging people with crimes for questioning the results of an election. Shall I go on? So, in brainstorming with Seamus Coughlin, we settled on the classic buddy cop formula with a seasoned agent, Dick, breaking in a rookie, Jane. The name eXtremist Files sort of came up because we have a file of ridiculous scenarios that we can’t wait to send these agents to check out, and it just felt natural to title the series that. 

Amp: What impact do you hope the series will have on viewers?

Matt: Number one, laughter. The right has very little entertainment to cling to that satisfies the basic human yearning for joy. Although recent years have shown that the right sort of owns political satire nowadays. We are happy to hopefully be another entry into that achievement. Additionally, perhaps there are those who are beginning to question what the heck the government is up to and if this helps drive their interest to wake up more, than that is a huge plus. 

Amp: Can you talk about the process of developing your characters and how you incorporate ‘woke’ progressive stereotypes into their personas?

Matt: This is really something Seamus is brilliant at. My input was mostly after the fact. We would have a scenario, like the school board meeting in episode two, and Seamus would just smash home runs with each character he wrote in the script. Then when they came alive on screen it was ten times funnier than what was on the page.

The guy should be a showrunner on a network animated series. Hey, wouldn’t a full 30 minute episode version of “The eXtremist Files” be the perfect project? 

Amp:  How do you conduct research for your episodes, and what sources do you find most valuable in gathering material that highlights the perceived persecution of conservative, Christian, and non-liberal individuals?

Matt: Well this goes back to the original concept. We have a list of issues that we know are passionate ones for conservatives that are routinely attacked, mocked or seen as extreme by the left. Right to bear arms, free speech and religion,  education freedom, medical privacy, due process, election integrity and so forth. So, we can go to each of these issues and find scenarios in real life where something maddening happened and go from there. 

Amp: Could you walk us through the process of creating an episode, from concept to final product? What gets your creative juices flowing?

Matt: It really begins with one of those issue I mentioned before. Then it’s a brainstorming session. We’ll through out tons of scenarios for Dick and Jane to walk to into. “What of this, what if that?” And after a while we have a document full of notes. Then Seamus goes off for a while and comes back with a script. Then we get to tweak it, refine some punchlines, or rework a scene and then we lock it in. Seamus has his team of animators and voice actors and they go to work making the magic. Then, as with any film project you just keep refining until – boom, that’s it. 

Amp: Have you collaborated with any writers, artists, or political commentators who share the show’s perspective, and if so, how have they contributed to the series?

Matt: So far, everything has been done in-house, so to speak. But those with a discerning ear may recognize the voice of one of the mothers in the school board audience in episode 2. That voice is none other than conservative radio host and author, Kira Davis. She is the first of what we hope will be many cameos we can work into the series. 

Amp: What are your plans for the future of “the eXtremist Files”? Are there any developments or expansions in the works?

Matt: Having had a career in Hollywood, I see absolutely no reason why this series, if expanded to a full-length show, wouldn’t be a hit animated series on some network or streaming outlet. It easily would live up there with American Dad and South Park. Agent’s Dick and Jane have so much potential for further development, and the absurdity happening in our country has only increased since we made these first three episodes. This, unfortunately, could be on television for as long as The Simpsons has. There is no doubt in my mind. 

Amp: What message do you want viewers to take away from watching “the eXtremist Files,” especially those who may not share the same political or cultural viewpoints as the series portrays?

Matt: Honestly, I just hope it makes them laugh. That is the first goal of any storyteller, to evoke emotion and create a lasting memory. Storytellers, whether in comedy or drama, are the most important part of any culture. They shape what society will collectively believe.

One of my heroes, Andrew Breitbart, popularized the phrase “politics is downstream of culture.” He is one hundred percent correct, and storytellers are the ones that shape that culture. And if a storyteller is an honest one, who values truth, like Seasmus does, they are the ones we need to champion if we are to have any chance at saving our republic. And I’d rather that happen with a laugh than through pain.

You can watch first the first episode of “The eXtremist Files” exclusively on X/Twitter at @AmpAmericaNews today

NEXT: AI Gone Wild: From Pope Pics to SS Chic – The Hilarious Misadventures of Google’s Politically Correct Bot

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