THE RINGER -- Chatman and his “Wonder Showzen” partner, John Lee, first came up with the idea for a demented kids’ show in the early ’90s, when they were prank-pulling students at San Francisco State. But it took several years, and many setbacks, before the series finally arrived in March 2005. By then, the “Wonder Showzen” team was living in New York City, where they’d endured the horrors of 9/11, as well as the disappointment of George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election.
“The political climate was not that favorable,” says “Wonder Showzen” character designer Jim Tozzi, 52. “And the kind of radical comedy that John and Vernon were doing was like a punch in the face.”