It’s good to be an Aquabat.
The superhero/rock stars enjoyed a highly rated season one of their new TV show The Aquabats! Super Show! on The Hub television network, even receiving a nomination for a Daytime Emmy. The Season 1 DVD recently arrived on shelves, with all 13 episodes, plus extras. The second season is now being written, and the band just returned from Europe, where they played to a crowd 10,000 strong in Belgium.
“Of course, we were on right before Pennywise, but hey, no one left,” says Christian Jacobs, the show’s executive producer and the man behind the mask of MC Bat Commander. “So that’s good.”
Still, it’s pretty impressive, as is that Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Series.
“I just can’t believe mainly that we got to make 13 episodes of a TV show, and now we’ve got a second season,” Jacobs says. “Anything that happens on top of it is total gravy or icing on the cake, or whatever metaphor you want – it’s totally unexpected. At the same time, I have kids, so I watch other kids shows. To be totally honest … my opinion, I’m biased, I think The Aquabats is the best show for kids on TV. It makes me laugh … it’s so stupid, it has to win!”
Those 13 stupid-but-funny episodes are now available on DVD. That’s two discs and 300 minutes of the Bat Commander, Crash McLarson, Ricky Fitness, EagleBones Falconhawk and Jimmy the Robot taking on the likes of the Floating Eye of Death and Manant.
And of course, for the serious fans (if there was ever anything serious about the Aquabats, it may be their fans) there are the DVD extras.
“We have some good stuff!” Jacobs says. “To be completely honest – because I try not to lie very much – it’s not as extensive as I’d like it to be, but there are a good chunk of bloopers and some behind-the-scenes stuff. Some of the behind-the-scenes stuff is very silly; it’s documentary-style, very ad-libbed and fun. And then a lot of bloopers. Then there’s also the original pilot, the one that we originally shot to sell the show … I think we shot it in 2007. That’s the full 20-minute pilot. Pieces of it have shown up on the Internet before, but never in its entirety.”
There’s also commentary from the band for six of the episodes. But again, MC Bat Commander, always the do-gooder and therefore always honest, doesn’t know whether that bonus feature is “super-rad” or “super-awful.”
“It’s a room full of guys talking … the Aquabats talking. I haven’t even heard that stuff yet,” Jacobs says. “It was fun when we did it. Sometimes that’s fun on a DVD, sometimes that’s a nightmare.”
Now that the ‘Bats are back from their European trip, they’re working on scripts for the new season. Half of Season 2 is written, with the remainder still being worked on. Shooting has yet to be scheduled.
When we last left the Aquabats, the band had run out of luck and money. But they were thrown into space and managed to save the world. Season 2 kicks off with the band returning to Earth as heroes.
“Now we have everything we ever wanted. People recognize us as heroes, we have constant jobs, people want us to get their cat out of the tree, or fix their microwaves … now people need us,” Jacobs says. “So Season 2, the tone is different. I still think we’ll end up as the underdogs, we haven’t changed, we still have the same cruddy powers, the same dorkiness that we always had. Now the expectation of us being real superheroes is on us in Season 2.”
Of course, there will be more cameos, including Tony Hawk and Eric Koston, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, and starring roles for Gerard Way and Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance, who co-wrote an episode.
Jacobs says the whole experience has been like a dream.
“It is crazy, because this is what we always wanted to do, turn the Aquabats more into a show, then go tour as a band,” he says. “Because where do we fit in in the rock landscape? We’re such an anomaly in music that I think the show helps put what we do in context. Being in the band, a silly band … and then being able to make a totally unreal comedy show.
“Looking back, it was a lot of hard work but we’re really happy with the way it turned out,” Jacobs continues. “It was a dream for so long, now it's a reality. All the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears become harder to remember because the glow of the way the show turned out, and the reaction we’re getting from families and kids.”