Many moons ago I came across a funny little stop-motion series called “Sweet J Presents”. A funny little spot of stop-motion animated toys involved in skits that rode the edges of pop-culture, random acts of violence, and kindergarten level fart jokes. Well, Sweet J grew up (sort of) and built a robot. Then that robot was attached to a chicken. Then it went back to business as usual, albeit with a bigger budget with which to buy more toys. Robot Chicken is now a phenomena unto itself with massive DVD sales of their Star Wars specials, the upcoming release of the new DC Comics special they did, and the newly announced resurrection of the show for a seventh season!!
Easily, the top two most anticipated panels at Comic-Con, be it East or West Coast, are for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim shows, “The Venture Bros.” and “Robot Chicken“. If you want to attend these irreverent looks into the minds of the creators and cast of two of the biggest and most beloved animated series on television today, you better get in line early. Also, don’t expect anything near a boring discussion about the show itself. Actually, expect less. Expect the crew to show you who they really are and through that, why their shows are so successful.
In the Robot Chicken panel at NYCC, that’s exactly what happened. We got to see a quick trailer of the second half of Season 6. We talked a bit about the successful DC comics focused episode. We broke into thunderous applause when it was announced that Cartoon Network had renewed the show for another season, then the real magic happened.
We got into the best part of who these guys are. We learned that their quick wit and sense of humor are inherent in who they are, not just their writing, and that they are really just geeks like us by having great conversations like, “What would be your ideal celebrity threesome?”. The guests contributed answers like, “Jean Grey and Black Cat”, “Kermit and Miss Piggy”, and “Princess Leia and She-Ra”. I mean, they could have picked “Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page”, but no. They went the full geek. Although writer, voice-actor, and creative director, Kevin Shinick had what was arguably the best response, “Seth Green and Macauly Culkin” (Culkin, an old friend of Green’s is also a voice actor on the show and was on the panel). Seth quickly suggested that he should change his response to “something that hasn’t already happened”.
This quickly went into, “Okay, who’s your gay celebrity crush?”, but before that got any real traction it was dismissed by Green asking, “When did this become a People Magazine panel?”.
The panel was thoroughly enjoyable and definitely hilarious. Though not completely comedic, we learned the reason we haven’t seen skits involving the hit game Mass Efftect in which Green provided the voice of one of the main characters, “Joker”, was that Shinick hadn’t played it yet and didn’t want any spoilers.
They also went into a bit about the potential for collectibles including why hasn’t a show STARRING action figures produced many action figures? To which came the understandable reply effectively stating that the difficulty in releasing toys is that there are very few characters featured on the show that they actually own the licenses to. Although, Green quickly noted afterward, when responding to a question regarding the show’s My Little Pony spoof, “Apocalypse Ponies“, that making your own Robot Chicken toys wouldn’t be difficult since “anybody can customize”.
When eventually the upcoming episodes of the show came back ’round into the discussion, Green stated that one of the things he’s most proud of in the show, in regards to some of his favorites in the veritable league of celebrities he’s gotten to do cameo voices, is that he got rapper 50 Cent to do a duet with the Playstation 1 video game character “Parappa the Rapper”.
The panel closed out perhaps the best way it could have. Regarding a question about the joke that has ended each season thus far where an “Executive” character states that the show is cancelled, Green said, “The 1st time, we didn’t expect to get a 2nd season. It just seemed like a safe ‘out’. Now if it ever comes true, we look smart.”.
Now, travelling back in time, right before the panel, we had a quick press roundtable discussion. Thankfully I had my Flip-cam with me since I was having issues with my “big-boy” camera, so I got to record it. Now instead of making you read more, enjoy a little peak into the world of seedy back-alley press roundtables. In this we got to speak to Seth and Clare for a bit. Enjoy!