We continue our 500 Days of an Adult Swim summer by getting geared up for a brand new season of Squidbillies set to premier all new this Sunday Night on Adult Swim! As such, we had the pleasure to talk with the always funny Dave Willis, co-creator of Squidbillies and you can check it out after the jump.
Why is Squidbillies so god damn funny??
Why do I think the show is so funny? Well I don’t know. I think it starts with the writing. It’s a good mix. I see really great cartoons and I don’t know that I would classify our show as a cartoon, but if you look at the ones that are great like obviously like The Simpsons, King of the Hill, the Pixar movies I mean are just great, South Park, pretty classic cartoons, they all have like a real distinct character voice and someone that would be so funny reading a restaurant menu and I think Unknown Hinson provides that for us on you know Early Cuyler and I think Dana Snyder provides that for Granny and it’s a little more story driven than Aqua Teen. It’s a little more plots, a little more animated and flash, just different and Jim and I we both grew up in the same hometown, the same high school, so there are lots of stories and things that are specific to us and I think specific to the south that you probably won’t see on a mainstream show, but it’s something that we know and certain people might not get it or understand it, but there are other people that are going to get it intensely and can really relate to it in a way that gives them either regional pride or regional shame, so I don’t know how the show does in like Europe, but And it’s obviously not a documentary depiction, but I think you know, but it’s not Hee Haw. You know it comes from a real place and there are sort of specific things that we remember from growing up and those are brought into it and music is a big part of it. But you know music. I think it’s also been a good indulgence for me definitely to sort of indulge that southern side of me and you know and I grew up outside of Atlanta. I live in Atlanta. I like living here and raising my family here and thus far and I think I’ve got a little southern pride and even though I’m sure we’re probably somehow head of 50 states in like infant mortality and all sorts of shameful shit. Like we’re probably behind Guam in some of this stuff and about once a month I’ll read some bill that’s passed and but I have some pride in the region and you know. It’s not just a really busy airport. There is more to it and a really failed Olympics, but I’m really showing that southern pride right now. Aren’t I?
(laughs) Touchy subjects here
Yeah. No, I mean yeah. I don’t even remember what your question was honestly.
That’s ok. How similar are Unknown Hinson and Rusty’s personalities???
I think yeah. I mean Danny Baker who is Unknown Hinson likes—I think Danny might have winced a little bit at some of the profanity and some of the things that he you know. That’s his character that he puts on and it’s a little bolder than Unknown and he does Unknown, which is a character of his own and we have Unknown do the voice of Early, which is just another layer of Danny I guess, but you know when we were casting we just went through tape after tape after tape of just really terrible southern accents from the Tom Hanks School of Forrest Gump acting and you know Foghorn Leghorn or Mark Twain at your local community theater playhouse, just terrible accents and but his just popped out as funny and it was our background artist we had just hired then Chris, who said check this guy out. So we got him to read and he was pretty great and I remember Jim was adamant right off the bat. He was like this guy. We have to get this guy. We have to get this guy. And fortunately everybody else who was working on the show at the time fell in line with that and I mean to me his voice is so specific and so unique and so uniquely funny even if our lines aren’t always as funny it’s his voice and it’s just that extra—it’s that thing that separates-
The good from the great type thing.
Well it just makes—it’s just one of those ingredients that you better have if you’re making a cartoon. I think he really brings it.
And he is also an incredible performer, so if you ever have an opportunity to see him live I would say go and you like guitar and you like rock. Go see it. (Ed. Note, here are tour dates)
Can you tease a little bit about what’s in store as far as story lines and plots are concerned for the upcoming season of Squidbillies??
I think the episode—I’m real proud of these too. They’re very good. We sort of have the second part of a two-parter. There was kind of a cliffhanger at the end of the last season, which is not a word you usually associate with Squidbillies. A Squidbillies cliffhanger sounds like an oxymoron, but Rusty has got a girlfriend and Early’s immediate reaction was what does she see in him, I’m going to take her and well anyway, Rusty gets her pregnant and so this is how they sort of resolve well what are they going to do. Are they going to get married? Are they going to build a life together? And Early has been in jail for harassing her, gets out of jail and is he going to try to compete with Rusty? How is he going to feel having a grandkid? So we started the season off with that and it’s really, really it’s actually got a couple of oddly tender moments that are sort of almost feel out of place. That makes them seem normal. That’s another word you don’t associate with our show.
There is a really strong episode about the sheriff getting married from a Russian bride cruise and there is another episode where there is a serial killer on the loose and we don’t know if Early could be the killer or not and there is a—and Granny runs a ghost walk in town that is sort of a tourist trap and she’s hired by local investigators, i.e., the sheriff to track the killer and she thinks it could be Early.
So yeah, there is one other episode about fishing that’s just fantastic. We’ve tried to do a Noodling show for years and now they’ve finally got that reality show Hillbilly Hand Fishing, so people sort of understand what Noodling is. I think Noodling is more of a Midwestern because although I’ve heard of it down south, but I first became aware of it later. There is some funny documentary about OK Noodling, Oklahoma Noodling and so yeah. The show is sort of about somewhat about Noodling, but I don’t want to say too much more about it, but yeah. The shows are really, really making me laugh. They’re really solid and there is only six because we were both Jim and I were sort of split up on other projects, but we got picked up for ten more in 2013 and we just started writing for them last week, so yeah, excited about the premiers in July.
Good stuff. So last season you guys had quite a few musical guest stars like doing the different takes on the intro and you’ve also had other types of guest stars. You had T Pain on one of the episodes and that was really funny. Are you able to divulge any info about either or what kind of contributions we’re getting—whether it’s from the characters or from musical?
Yeah, they’re really good and really eclectic this year. I mean in the past I think we’ve sort of indulged my secret love affair with classic country music and but we branched out a little bit more this year and they’re really eclectic. We have a theme from Alabama Shakes and we kind of caught them. Now that band is on a huge upswing and they’re opening up for Jack White and they’re just incredible. Yeah, they did this incredible theme that’s like twice as long as our normal one and we said screw it, we’ll just air the whole thing and Lamb Chop is a very interesting band out of Nashville. They’re incredible in their own rite and Alabama Shakes and Lamb Chop from what I understand they’re both playing the song, the theme song and then Yellow Wolf that’s sort of southern Eminem this guy from Huntsville who is just a really great rapper who did this just insane version of the theme and I think we have Jillian Welsh and David Rawlings and Elizabeth Cook and we’re still pulling them all together, but I just loved the line up for this year.
That’s great. You almost sound like a record label. You’re discovering talent.
Well you know I just you know. We just try to reach out to people we like and it’s fun to have them interpret the theme and it’s also just a nice surprise for people. It’s not the same old same. I think Billy Joe Shaver is an all time classic, but I love his music, but I also thought it was great to have a guy like him in a network that’s so not heavy and heavy metal heavy that it was kind of cool to do something that just couldn’t be the furthest thing from it or was the furthest thing from it, but now we’re branching out a little bit.
Could you see the possibility of a Squidbillies feature film? Do you think that would be something whether it would be exclusively on Adult Swim like an hour type thing or something that would be in theaters? What do you think about that?
Yeah. Hey man, I love to make movies before they are completely destroyed by the internet. It would be great to make a Squids movie and I think we can make a good one. There is lots in that Aqua Teen movie too in a way that you know. It can’t just be crazy insanity and then in 11 minutes an explosion because you have to have an explosion every 11 minutes according to the screenwriting books, as long as we insert and explosion every 11 minutes yes. As long as there is an explosion every 11 minutes that will drive the narrative.
Well if nothing else maybe we can have a Squidbillies on Ice if the movie industry is dead or something to that affect.
Sure, yeah, we’d love to have a traveling ice show for Squidbillies. I think that would make perfect sense. A very good synergy you know.
That’s awesome. All right, well you know what, thanks so much for you time Dave. We really appreciate you staying on with us this long and we’re really looking forward to both Aqua and Squidbillies this summer and good luck for their respected seasons dude as we’re really pulling for you.
All right, well thanks a lot. You don’t need to pull for me. I’ll be fine.
Squidbillies is all new this Sunday Night on Adult Swim, check your local listings. You can check out Part 1 of our interview with Dave Willis here where we talk about the new season of Aqua Teen.Tweet