Two hours before taking the stage for their panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, three of the masterminds behind “Rick and Morty” engaged in a roundtable interview with the press. Executive Producer and Writer Dan Harmon, Executive Producer and the voice of both Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland, and Writer and voice actor Ryan Ridley spoke about the second season of the hit Adult Swim show, which kicked off Sunday, July 26.
“Without getting too spoilery, it’s basically that Jerry ate something he shouldn’t have out of the ‘fridge, and it starts with him in an alien hospital,” Roiland said when asked about an episode that’s a sort-of sequel to the first season’s “Rixty Minutes.” “Meanwhile, Rick rigs the cable box at the hospital, and then he, Morty, and Summer are watching just insane stuff.
“But keep your expectations low,” he cautioned. “We even make a joke in the beginning where Rick is breaking the cable box apart and a nurse is like, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘A sequel.’ Or what does he say? ‘It worked so good the first time.’ I don’t remember the line.”
“The important thing,” Harmon noted, “is that it’s bad.”
Asked if Meeseeks, a character from the first season episode “Meeseeks and Destroy,” would return, Roiland replied, “I can’t tell you anything. But I can tell you you’ll be disappointed.”
Describing what it’s like to work with Harmon, Roiland recounted a tale about writing one episode in particular. “Dan wrote this amazing first act in like, I’m not kidding you, twenty minutes, just spit it out, and then was like, ‘I did my job, I’m back to “Minecraft.”‘ And me and Ridley sat there and were like, ‘What do we do?'”
“It was kind of like that game where your friend writes part of a story, and then you write part of the story, and then another friend writes the next part,” Ridley noted.
“It is officially my favorite episode of the season,” Roiland added. “It’s towards the end of the run.”
The trio then talked about how the first two episodes of the new season had already leaked online, a development they admitted is both annoying and ego-boosting. “Yeah, it is frustrating,” Harmon said. “But it’s also flattering because no one’s leaking… I can’t finish that sentence without shitting on another show.”
“Yeah, no one’s leaking the first two episodes of ’60 Minutes,'” Harmon continued, chuckling. “But it’s frustrating because we’d like people to see the episodes finished, with the fixed audio and the video all color corrected. Though, again, people are liking them. Which is great, because we were actually nervous about the first episode — though we’re also incredibly proud of it.”
Asked about doing the couch gag for “The Simpsons,” which had aired a few months ago, Roiland’s excitement was apparent. “It was awesome to be asked to do that,” he said. “[Simpsons’ Executive Producer] Al Jean had said something about it on the commentary track of one of the DVDs, and our producer called and asked if it was a real thing. They were like, ‘Yeah!’
“At the time, we were in the thick of writing the last quarter of the first season,” Roiland continued. “It was crazy, but we got no creative notes. They were just so supportive and excited, and they loved that were killing them, splattering them everywhere…”
“Though it was weird to find out how racist they are,” Harmon jokingly interjected. “We kept having to push back on that stuff. They kept telling us to put Filipinos in there, and make them sleepy. But I guess Fox is keeping a short leash on that.”
“Uh, yeah, all that is fake,” Roiland noted. “In case you couldn’t tell.”
As for how “Rick and Morty’s” second season compares to the first, Harmon said, “We definitely learn more about the physical galactic environment. Yeah, we travel more of the cosmos.”
“But Rick also learns some of the consequence of his actions,” Ridley added. “Through various other entities to be revealed.”
“I think of Season One as a car driving ninety miles an hour in a straight line,” Harmon concluded. “And in Season Two, it’s taking a corner. It’s cooler, in some respects, but it’s also more out of control. And some mailboxes got hit.”
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