Tom Waits joins cast of new stop-motion animation series, ‘Ultra City Smiths’

Waits will narrate the new animation

Tom Waits has joined the cast of stop-motion animation series, Ultra City Smiths.

The show, which will see Waits join as narrator, comes from Steve Conrad, creator of Patriot and Perpetual Grace, LTD (per Collider).

Speaking about the project, Conrad said: “I’m grateful that this group of actors, who could work with whomever they choose on whatever they choose, chose to work with us.”

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Other members of the cast include: The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt, John C. Reilly, Jimmi Simpson, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Kristen Bell, husband Dax Shepard, Alia Shawkat, Terry O’Quinn, Bebe Neuwirth, Jason Mantzoukas, Tim Heidecker, Tim Meadows, Debra Winger and Luiz Guzmán.

Ultra City Smiths premieres via AMC+ July 22; a UK release date is to be confirmed.

Tom Waits – Credit: PA

Back in April, Waits paid a touching tribute to Hal Willner, who at the age of 64 after suffering complications related to coronavirus.

Tributes to the producer, who helmed albums by the likes of Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull, poured in following news of his passing, including from the likes of Courtney Love, Flea, Cat Power, Adam McKay and many more.

Waits wrote: “Hal. Dear Hal. Brother. Uncle. Father. Son. Husband. Godfather. Friend. Wise and reckless. Lamb and black sheep. Lover of the afflicted and the blessed. More than kin and more than kind, more than friend and more than fiendish in his daunting and devoted pursuit of the lost and the buried, long may his coattails run and long may we now ride, and those that follow us continue to ride upon them.

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“Hal was the wry and soulful and mysterious historical rememberer. He specialized in staging strange musical bedfellows like Betty Carter and the Replacements or The Residents backing up Conway Twitty. Oh, the wild seeds of Impresario Hal. He was drawn equally to the danger of a fiasco and the magical power of illumination that his legendary productions held.”

Back in December 2019, Tom Waits wrote a poem about The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards for his birthday.

In his poem, Waits lists off the qualities he admires in the Stones guitarist: “He wrote his share of the songs from Sticky Fingers/ In a henhouse in Malta/ He once won the Hope Diamond in a poker game/ And in the same night lost it in a game of craps/ He owns a lug wrench and a tire jack made of solid gold.

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