Warning: Yar! Here be spoilers, matey! Edit
The following interview with Matthew Senreich & Seth Green contains Season 1 DVD and Season 2 spoilers. If you wish to avoid this kind of information, you can view this spolier-free version of the interview, with the offending details removed.
It's that maddening time between seasons when we start asking questions: What the hell is going on? How is it possible to get 3-5 servings of vegetables into our diet? And what about the DVD? Some of our concerns may be partially valid. Fortunately, there are telephones. We procured one and placed a call to Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich. What followed made us feel better.
First of all, what's up with the DVD?
Seth: The DVD is almost done. We're working on the extras right now, trying to make it an actual, viable DVD. So not only do you get the episodes, but you get deleted scenes and a whole bunch of technical stuff that will be really interesting for people who are into animation. Commentary on every single episode.
Matt: You'll literally watch Seth act out different scenes for the animators with, like, eight different haircuts.
What? How does that even happen?
Seth: I had to do a bunch of the directing from remote locations last year cause I was working on a movie...
Matt: So, yeah, he goes through the Mohawk, he goes through the crewcut, he goes through the mullet…he's got it all.
Matt: Also, today we're going to be working on a pee reel. Our animators decided, at the end of every one of their shots, to have the characters pee themselves. So we're going to tie that together and see if it works. It could be funny...
So, like, on my menu of extras...
Matt: Either that or maybe we'll talk about putting it on as an Easter egg for those skilled enough to find it.
Well, I think you guys might have the first pee reel ever.
Seth: I think so, yeah. I mean, I'm sure there's some fetish clubs that have pee reels, but ours is one of the only PG-rated pee reels.
That's ground breaking. I tip my hat to you fellas.
Seth: Thank you, sir. I accept the tip.
And when does the DVD come out?
Matt: It's still to be determined. We heard early next year to time with the new season, but nobody's told us a definitive date yet. We just approved the box art, which we're going to photograph probably in the next week or two.
So that's early next year, but otherwise you guys are working on the new season, correct?
Seth: We've written 10 new shows and we're knee deep in the next group. We did our first record session already. I've recorded my parts on six episodes. We've got storyboards, we're building…
Matt: We pretty much just started pre-production, so we're building the toys right now and we're starting to build the sets, actually, tomorrow. Filming will start...I think it's on Halloween.
And for everyone at home, the order is for...
Matt and Seth: Twenty.
Matt: So we're halfway through the writing portion of it…
Seth: And living on a prayer.
Wow. So you're going to start shooting those even as you write the next batch?
Matt: Yeah, we're going to be doing everything at the same time, which will probably make our hair go grey very quickly.
Seth: Just for a period of time, though. Then we'll start dying it with that fantastic Just for Men gel.
How many people are on the writing staff?
Seth: Well, we got myself and Matt and Mike Fasolo and our head writers, Tom Root and Douglas Goldstein. And then we've been bringing in sort of satellite writers for five episodes at a time.
Matt: So we'll rotate in two different writers over the course of five episodes. We brought in Breckin Meyer, who did a bunch of voices for us last season. He came in and wrote with us. And we got these two guys who are, um, gosh...right now, they're doing a play in New York about Bill Gates.
Matt: But yeah, they had a short-lived MTV show, also. Just awesome guys. And right now we have some guys from The Groundlings, which is a comedy troupe out in LA.
Seth: Let me give you a little bit of insight into what you can expect this season.
Seth: The wide spectrum between The Golden Girls and Dragonball Z.
(Laughs.) "The wide spectrum between The Golden Girls and Dragonball Z?!"
Seth: And I have five words for you, if you choose to accept them.
Seth: Corey Haim and Corey Feldman.
(Laughs.) That's five words--indeed! OK, how about voice talent? Are there any surprises...
Seth: They will remain surprises!
Seth: Yeah, you know, we go out to a lot of really auspicious people in an effort to boost their careers through cable animation…
Seth: There's always a possibility of getting amazing people, and always a possibility that they don't think we're funny, so....
Matt: But we have our staples coming back. You know, Seth MacFarlane is coming back to do some stuff and we have Sarah Michelle Gellar coming back to do stuff.
Seth: We got Christian Slater this year. And Phyllis Diller did a reprisal.
Matt: I'm trying to think of some of the other people who jump out….
Seth: We've only done the one record, so until somebody's in the booth we don't like to count 'em. But suffice to say, we're aiming high.
Matt: Yeah, we're going after, like, what, Oscar winners?
Seth: A bunch of 'em, yeah.
Matt: Don't know if anyone will do it, but we'll see.
Fantastic. So how many days a week are you guys at it? Like, every single day?
Matt: Probably six days a week. It's been pretty rigorous. Seth is also doing two other jobs, which makes his life fun. He's got an NBC show, which is launching early next year, and he's doing Family Guy.
Oh, what's the new show?
Seth: I'm doing this show for NBC called Four Kings, from the guys that created Will & Grace.
And it's a live-action sitcom, I'm assuming?
Seth: Yep, four-camera comedy!
Matt: Yep, so basically he does that in the morning and then he comes to us in the afternoons and we keep him until, like, 10 or 11 o'clock at night.
Seth: Except on the days when we have 8 a.m. writer meetings over the phone.
Good lord, yeah, I can't imagine...
Matt: So we're making him very happy lately.
Sounds like it.
Seth: If I pass on being the special guest star at your kids' Bar Mitzvah, don't call me an %$!^*$#.
(Laughs.) How do you guys blow off steam around the office?
Seth: We take turns kicking each other in the chest. It's so much more satisfying than you think.
Matt: It's totally entertaining. I think we're working everyone really hard, because our head writer Doug Goldstein falls asleep in his chair a lot, which results in lots of torture from us.
Seth: Doug doesn't have any shoes in his wardrobe anymore.
Isn't your facility in Santa Monica or something?
Matt: We're in Hollywood now. We actually just moved because the old studio was too small. We needed a lot more storage space because of all the toys. So, you know, we got a much larger building and now we're pretty much in a giant warehouse with, like, a tree house of offices in the center? If that makes any sense…
Matt: Yeah, it's all ready to go. We've got everything. We have our puppet department, our set department…
Are Dino Stamatopoulos and the Moral Orel guys using the same facility?
Seth: We're using the space that they finished.
Matt: But, yeah, same exact offices. Dino, actually, his office is right across the hallway from ours.
Seth: Every once in a while we throw stuff and hurl obscenities.
Matt: Yeah, he's got lots of Frankenstein memorabilia in there.
Seth: Classic monsters.
Matt: So we, like, put hats on his statues, things like that.
Seth: We snuck in and posed all of his toys in compromising positions.
I know I've asked before, but...are you going to use the Adult Swim action figures in your new season?
Matt: Yes. It'll most likely be in our first episode.
Seth: It's brief, but important.
Obviously, you guys have a lot of hardcore fans on the Fan Collective and our message boards. Care to address them?
Seth: We love you deeply and honestly, and we hope that you can feel it through this electronic relationship.
I felt it a little bit--it was a tingle.
Seth: You know what? We love making this show, but the fact that people enjoy it and kinda come along with us on these jokes is really, really satisfying.
Matt: We just love the fact that...you know, we scour the message boards every once in a while and we love the people that kinda pick out that one obscure reference that we had, the one where we were, like, "No one is gonna get this…"
Seth: Except "that guy."
Matt: And then "that guy" gets it, and it makes it all the more worth it for us.
Seth: Yeah, Modpop38291…
Shout out to them.
Seth: Yeah, a big shout out!
That's a beautiful thing, man. It's a great, great thing.
Matt: Yeah, without a doubt. And it escalated a little bit further for us when we went to Comic-Con. I don't think we realized…
Seth: It's pretty intense to see 3,000 people in one room together, all kinda quotin' stuff.
Matt: And it's not even Robot Chicken specifically, it's Adult Swim as a whole. It's just a really cool community of people.
We know you guys need to get back to work, so...anything else?
Seth: San Dimas High School football rules!
Alright! Thanks for talking with us.
Matt: Take care.