Cobell Energy, A New Short-Form Series, Tell Us It's Time To Freak The Frack Out

Corruption. Blackmail. Bribery. Big Oil. Welcome to the real-world house of comedic horrors that is Cobell Energy.


The world is ending, and Ari Cagan and I are drifting between dinosaur bones at the American Museum of Natural History. “Most of these are actually made from plaster,” says a suit-clad Jack Reichert (niche TikTok micro-celebrity and apparent bone forgery expert.) John Connor Hammond (CEO, former protogé of Chet Hanks) is peering up into the ribcage of a Diplodocus—the kind of fossil that fuels the industry criticized in Ari’s new satirical comedy series, Cobell Energy.

The trio has been collaborating for months, but their rapport is that of age-old friends in the ways they understand each other creatively. This closeness is largely due to the close-quarters collaboration that came with the creation of Cobell Energy. The show's making was an elusive cocktail of production rarities: good, fast, and cheap. The team shot vertically on FX3 cameras over six days, in Plainview, Long Island. They lived together at John’s childhood home until they wrapped.

“Ari has the gift of foresight,” Jack says. “Not in the magical sense of predicting the future, but his vision cuts through what won’t work and immediately lands on what will.” “I think Ari has a vision for the future of media and looks at it in a way that most people don't,” John explains. “He always says, ‘We don't want to treat the person who's watching it as a viewer or a consumer or a fan—we want to treat them as a guest.’”

Ari Cagan is a proud GED-wielding eighth-grade dropout. You can feel his dry sense of humor buzzing beneath his deadpan seriousness. “I think if you go beyond to do what interests you, you'll end up in places you didn't expect. I think that that's kind of how you have to live life.” And that, in a sense, is how he ended up creating Cobell Energy with Jack, John, and executive producer Adam McKay (The Big Short, Don’t Look Up).

This article is for Readers Club subscribers only!

Subscribe now!

More Articles: