When you're the son of a DreamWorks honcho and you date Nicky Hilton, no one expects you to do anything. Which makes the fact that this Hollywood scion came up with his own sitcom about a teenager with a big dick—The Hard Times of RJ Berger—that much more ballsy.

Details: Was it tough pitching MTV The Hard Times of RJ Berger, about a freakishly well-endowed high-schooler?
Katzenberg:The big-dick thing is a big part of the show. But once you see past the dick joke, there's a lot of heart. People are calling it "Hung for the young," but we've always kept the Wonder Years-meets-Superbad premise in our heads.

Details: Where did the idea originate?
Katzenberg: I wrote a short film called The Tale of RJ to use as a calling card for producing and directing opportunities. I actually wrote it in Vancouver while I was working with my buddy Matt Alvarez on the Ice Cube movie Are We Done Yet? When I came back, I met [Hard Times co-creator] Seth Grahame-Smith at CBS, and we shot it. Two years later, we're here now.

Details: And this is MTV's first scripted, single-camera comedy series ever?
Katzenberg: MTV is making a push into the scripted world. It's great. Reality shows have flooded the market, and the younger generations aren't really getting to experience great comedy storytelling. Superbad is probably the closest thing kids can relate to in terms of a youthful comedy.

Details: Every episode contains animated segments, which seems appropriate given the family business—but I don't think anyone's going to confuse it with Shrek Forever After.
Katzenberg: Yeah, every episode has about a minute or two of animation. It really sets us apart from similar shows. Basically, we animate a scene that is too expensive for us to shootor one that we can't get away with shooting. In the pilot, RJ has an affair with a Japanese exchange student, and it's definitely a graphic experience. We gave it an anime theme.

Details: What has your father taught you about the business?
Katzenberg: He always tells me, "If you don't come to work on Saturday, don't bother coming in on Sunday." And he's brutally honest. I screened an episode for him and got a ton of laughs, which felt great. But there were a few cases of "I don't know if that's the right way."

Details: Did he always encourage you to follow in his footsteps professionally?
Katzenberg: I remember going to Vegas and seeing them film Honey, I Blew Up the Kids right there on the Strip. It was the most incredible thing. Growing up in that world had a huge influence, but I have a feeling he'd be supportive no matter what I was doing as long as I worked hard.

Details: Is the name a blessing or a curse?
Katzenberg: It seems like nepotism could—I'll cut you off there and say it's more of a curse. I have to work twice as hard. Having the last name can get you in certain rooms, but these days no one is spending money on a last name.

Details: Is any of your own childhood reflected in the show?
Katzenberg: Seth and I both put a lot of our childhoods into this. There's nothing extremely specific, but I remember the guy who used to pick on me and how that made me feel.

Details: It's hard to imagine you getting bullied in high school.
Katzenberg: Thank you, I guess? But there were kids in high school I was afraid of. I went through times when I thought I was part of the cool crowd and times when I wasn't. That's the roller coaster of high school—and all it takes is one thing. You wear the wrong sweater and you're out.

Details: How do you fly under the radar when you're dating Nicky Hilton?
Katzenberg: The clubs and nightlife—I've pretty much been there and done that since I was 16. There's definitely a way to go out and have fun and not make a fool of yourself.

Details: There was a rumor recently that you two would be getting engaged at your birthday party at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.
Katzenberg: It happens three times a year—the tabloids assume that since you're happy in a relationship, you're going to take it to the next level. Believe me—I'm not going to be proposing at a nightclub in Vegas.

Details: Will you put her in the show?
Katzenberg: She's shy. I'm not sure she'd do it.

Details: What about Paris, then? Ever seen her movie Repo! The Genetic Opera? She's not bad.
Katzenberg: Oh, I've seen Repo! more times than you know. And if there's something in Season 2 that makes sense for Paris, I'd love to have her.

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