This could have been a cartoon about rabbits

All the 11 characters’ names on The Loud House start with L and Chris Savino (above) says he gets confused too.
All the 11 characters’ names on The Loud House start with L and Chris Savino (above) says he gets confused too.PHOTO: NICKELODEON

The Loud House creator Chris Savino changed the characters to humans instead, basing them on his large family

Chris Savino, creator of The Loud House, Nickelodeon's popular new children's cartoon about a large family, comes from a large family himself.

Yet his original idea for the cartoon was for a large, rambunctious brood of rabbits instead of humans.

After he was persuaded to change the characters to a family of 10 daughters and one son, to "make it more relatable" to viewers, he began to look back to his own childhood for inspiration.

Savino, 45, grew up in a large family with nine siblings.

For starters, he used the names of his sisters for five characters. The rest of the names come from various aspects of his life, such as the names of his pet dog as well as the street he grew up in.


All the 11 characters’ names on The Loud House (above) start with L and Chris Savino says he gets confused too. PHOTO: NICKELODEON

Given that all the Loud House characters' names start with the letter "L", he confesses he gets them mixed up "all the time".

"That is why we gave each character a specific trait. Even if you don't know their names, you can refer to them as the 'sporty one' or the 'emo one' and people would understand who you were talking about."

He has also taken some of his life experiences as fodder for The Loud House. Although he does not run every joke by his siblings, he does make it a point to notify them if he is using any material that is potentially embarrassing.

"I do run it by them, but of course they say yes because that's just flattering. I was aware that it might come across as negative to them if I used it, but they are usually onboard with everything on the show."

The show has been favourably reviewed, with pop culture site The A.V. Club saying "the characters of The Loud Family... could hang around as long as the familiar faces of the Sunday funnies - or at least as long as SpongeBob".

Savino, who has three sons aged 15, 13 and eight, says he reaches out only to his youngest for story ideas, as the older ones have outgrown watching children's cartoons.

"I run the show ideas by my eight-year-old and he's honest. If he doesn't like it, he will tell me, and he has good taste so I tend to listen to his opinions."

As a parent and TV content creator, Savino - who has worked on cartoons such as The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory - is caught between wanting his kids to watch his shows and wanting to restrict their screen time.

"The television isn't turned on very much in my house, but my sons are allowed a certain amount of time to use the computer and watch videos on YouTube.

"They have to earn it by doing little things like chores or school work."

• The Loud House airs on weekdays at 6.30pm on Nickelodeon (StarHub TV Channel 314 and Singtel TV Channel 240).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2016, with the headline 'This could have been a cartoon about rabbits'. Print Edition | Subscribe