The Aqua Teen brand has been around for about a decade on Adult Swim and right from the beginning co-creator Matt Maiellaro has been there crafting some of the most important characters in the history of animated television. After the jump check out an exclusive interview I did with Matt where we talk about the upcoming season, if the Death Fighter project will ever happen, and tumbleweeds.
So Matt, you guys have been working with the Aqua Teen brand for a number of years now, do you look back at all and admire how far the show has come along?
No, we don’t. We don’t look back. We’re scared to look back at it and there is no room to be. I mean we just kind of get together, hang out, do what makes us laugh and if it makes us laugh we write it down on a paper and then we go in and record it. It’s pretty simple.
Comic-con is coming up and there is usually such a big fan base for your work, are you still amazed after all these years how big the show is?
Yeah, I think we think it’s pretty cool. We rarely see it, so when we do it’s pretty shocking. We’re like oh wow, people are still watching our show. That’s great.
Master Shake really has turned into an icon in television. When people think of Adult Swim they usually correlate that with the Master Shake character. Why do you think he’s so iconic? He’s dimwitted. He’s funny, but he’s lovable at the same time, but what do you think is his appeal to the fans and why he’s such a great character?
Well I think he’s probably the biggest jerk on television and I think people enjoy watching somebody that dickish get away with some of the stuff that he does, so it’s sort of a fulfillment for viewers to go man, I wish could do that and yeah, Shake like we always used to say he is the biggest dick on TV, so it kind of stands out, but yeah, you know I mean Aqua Teen was the first original program out of Atlanta for Williams Street, so I guess people do think of Shake when they think of Adult Swim just like I do.
The obvious next question is why the name change to Aqua Something You Know Whatever??
I guess that’s the one thing that we maybe look back on and say let’s do something different. We have our characters pretty much settled after 11 years, so we thought we’d just start changing the name of the show and it was sort of a dare on ourselves to see if people would not find, make the ratings go down and then every year we would change the name, but it turns out that the ratings just go up every time we change the name. So we’re very lucky. The network is very happy that we keep changing the name because it just inspires people to hunt for it more and so this is what we do. We had Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1. Now it’s called Aqua Something You Know Whatever and I think next year it’s just going to be an ampersand and a colon and maybe a comma.
So is it just the name change or are you guys planning some other changes with the characters?
No, it’s just a name change and that gives an opportunity to look out and find other musicians to come in and do the theme song and have fun. So to us it’s a refreshing change. I mean we do love doing the show, but it’s kind of the same show. We get to do a front and back end that makes it a little different for us year to year.
Great and so now are you able to kind of tease a little bit with some of the loglines, some of the plot devices you guys are kind of working on for the new season? Are you able to drop any hints on what we can look forward to?
Yeah, let’s see. We just did an episode called Shirt Herpes where Shake gets a mythical shirt that takes him back to the land of dragons where he rules as their king and that’s a cool episode. Mastodon does voices in it and we got Queensryche to just score a big chunk of the middle part of the show.
Yeah and we just did—when we read that Fox was re-envisioning the Flintstones we thought that was such a dumb idea that we did our own version called The Granite Family where Shake launches a bunch of nuclear warheads and sets that earth back in apocalyptic times so he can live out the Flintstones. Let’s see. We just launched another couple that were really great. We have Big Bro, Carl and Frylock in a Big Brother program, but they’re really just in it to get women, kind of a typical one for us. We do have a show called Totem Pole, which was our homage to Centipede and Centipede 2. We got this really rad band out of Germany called Wolf Chant to score the music for it. You’ll just have to watch that one because that one we got a lot of standards on that forming a totem pole with humans and how that might go.
We’re such big fans of Titan Maximum we did a show called Fighting Titan about a giant robot that Frylock kind of put together to save New Jersey and it’s just a piece of shit giant thing that barely worked and so we just kind of had fun with it and we had fun with that and we have a lot of good stuff coming up. We’re really like in the—we’re knee deep in getting it all ready because we air in three weeks and we’re still trying to finish a bunch of shows.
Yeah, definitely. First, love the shout out to Jersey. That’s where actually we’re based out of, so we always love that and you guys are kind of rivaling Metalocalypse when it comes to the musical guest stars. I mean Queensryche and Mastodon? Thats infringing territory!
I know. We’re just kind of sneaking up on Metalocalypse. We’re going to steal their thunder. They have no idea, so don’t tell them.
Are you able to tease a little bit as to either recurring or guest stars that are coming back this season?
No, besides Jon Benjamin and David Cross I don’t remember any of the guest stars that we’ve recorded.
It’s been so many and they’ve all been fabulous, but we do so many of them that I think there is probably a guest star that we have not recorded if that makes any sense. So look for all of television to be on our show next year.
Are you able to provide any updates on the Death Fighter project?
Well we’re still in negotiations with a couple studios who want to release it and so between us and the network, Dave and I and the network we’re just still trying to fine tune that and we’re really anxious to get it out because the movie actually did really well and it’s just a cash cow, so they might as well do this one, so we’re just taking it day by day. I’m driving through the middle of the desert right now. Did you know that?
No. Where are you going? Where are you coming from?
Going from sort of San Francisco down to LA.
Oh, kick ass.
I would think you’d be able to fly and do it that way.
I was going to fly, but I get so tired of flying, so occasionally the drive is just nice.
So I can FedEx you a tumble weed. They’re everywhere.
That’s a deal. We would love a tumble weed as long as it’s signed by Matt. We would love a tumble weed.
So, what other projects are you working on now?
I do have a pilot with Disney and I’m writing a pilot for Hulu right now, so I’ve got some other stuff happening and I just sold a movie a couple of months ago. I’m developing it with Broken Road, so it’s a heist, action, comedy film.
You’re all over the place. You’re busy. And here you are. You’re still driving!
Yeah, I’m still driving. It’s good peace and quiet.
Aqua Something You Know Whatever is all new this Sunday Night Late Night on Adult Swim, check your local listings!Tweet