Comic-Con Interview: Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland and Ryan Ridley Talk ‘Rick and Morty’ Season 2

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The twisted geniuses behind Adult Swim’s mind bendingly awesome Rick and Morty descended once again upon this particular Earth’s San Diego Comic-Con. With the long-awaited debut of the much-anticipated Season 2 just over a week away, series co-creator Dan Harmon, co-creator and voice of both Rick and Morty, Justin Roiland, and voice actor/writer Ryan Ridley joined us to give us all the squanchy details on Rick and Morty Season 2. Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!!

Beware: Minor Spoilers for Rick and Morty Season 2

Justin Roiland: Oh boy, by the time we do this thing tonight, I’m gonna not be able to form sentences. I’m gonna be like, “hhhrrrnnn!” I’ll just be drawing penises. Oh by the way, put this in your article. This is our first toy that they released. It’s a Meeseeks.

rick and morty justin roilandThat’s awesome. I want that.

Justin Roiland: I have one. I barely have a copy. But they’re at the [Adult Swim] Carnival, and I think they are selling them, I heard somebody say they were selling them on the floor. But I don’t know what booth. And I don’t know if that’s true.  But I think… or I’m just spreading misinformation.

Please tell me that we will see Mr. Meeseeks beyond the cameo in the second episode?

Justin Roiland: I can’t tell you anything. But I can tell you, you’ll be disappointed.  [laughter from all]

Dan Harmon: Yeah, I think it’s important for you to know now that there is not another Meeseeks episode. If I had the perspective I have now on the Meeseeks freak out, we would have definitely done another episode.

Ryan Ridley: But listen, by the time you see all the zany, crazy characters in Season 2, honestly you’ll be like, Mr. Who? Mr. What?

Justin Roiland: It would have been us forcing it in, too. He’ll come back in a very organic cool…

Ryan Ridley: And there is another character with almost the same voice.

Justin Roiland: Oh yeah, you’re gonna love this character. You’ll love his name. They’ll make dolls out of him. You just watch.

I love [new character]Krombopulos Michael, by the way…

Justin Roiland: Oh dude, Andy Daly, fucking hilarious. [in character voice] “I just love killin’!” Just so happy about his job. Best assassin character ever.

Can you tell us a little about the Rixty Minutes episode this season? You guys are doing a Tree House of Horror from The Simpsons type of thing with that every season?

Justin Roiland: Without getting too spoilery, I’ll tell you, it’s basically Jerry ate something he shouldn’t have eaten that was in the fridge, and he gets incredibly sick with one of those sort of like pandemics, you know this could turn into a zombie movie situation. But we skip through all that and it just starts with him immediately in an alien hospital. That’s the A-story story, Jerry in the hospital and all the stuff that goes down.

The B-story is Rick, Morty and Summer… Rick rigs the cable box at the hospital and they are just watching insane stuff. It’s not…like I said over there, keep your expectations low. [laughs] Like our first one, we even make a joke in the beginning… Rick is breaking the box apart and a nurse is like, “What are you doing?” and he’s like, “A sequel.” Or, I don’t know, “It worked so good the first time.” It’s a good line.

Ryan Ridley: He’s butchering it.

Justin Roiland: I’m butchering it. Do you remember the line?

Ryan Ridley: Uh, “what the hell are you doing? A sequel…” I don’t remember. Shit.

Justin Roiland: You’ll see.

Dan Harmon: The important thing is that it’s bad.

Justin Roiland: It’s horrible. It’s the worst thing you’ll ever see on television. No, It’s fun. I’m literally still working on it. I’m still making changes and punching jokes up. That’s still happening right now.

rick and morty

Is there a writer’s room for Rick and Morty, or is it just Dan and Justin behind each episode?

Justin Roiland: Harmon, I think I would say, like if you were to do a bar graph, Harmon would be the highest bar. And then Season 2, Ridley is somewhere in there and we have a handful of other writers. And then Season 2, aside from “The Purge” episode, I don’t really think I took to the computer and typed shit. I contribute more on the voice recording. I’ll just make shit up and go off script and ramble.

Ryan Ridley: If you wanna know what an episode of Rick and Morty is like if Dan died tomorrow, it’s the third act of this “Purge” episode. [laughs] Dan had to go back to Community

Justin Roiland: No, it’s the second act. Dan wrote this amazing first act, I’m not kidding you, in like 10 minutes or 20 minutes. He just spit it out, and then he’s like, “I’m back to Minecraft. I did my job. Guys, write the second act.” And I’m like, “No, let’s finish it!” And me and Ridley sat there, “What do we do?”

Ryan Ridley: It’s like games where your friend writes part of a story and hands it to you and you’re just like, “Fuck, where does this go?”

Justin Roiland: It was really fun though. I just got color [on the animation]for that, or I got partial color for that. And it is officially my favorite episode of the season. I am not kidding. Enthusiastically my favorite episode of the season.

How deep into the season is this episode?

Justin Roiland: Pretty… it’s late.

Dan Harmon: It’s towards the very end.

Ryan Ridley: Second to last episode.

How many episodes is this season?

Justin Roiland: Just ten. But we’re hoping in the future, if we’re so lucky, to get more episodes. To do a larger number. To slowly, eek our way up to 20.

Rick_Morty_Justin_Roiland_Dan_Harmon-ComicCon_02

There is demand enough for it to have leaked online.

Justin Roiland: Yeah, I know. It’s crazy.

Dan Harmon: Which is very flattering.

But it’s also infuriating, right?

Dan Harmon: Yes, of course. But it’s frustrating, because obviously the reason we get into this business because we want to control how people feel. When something leaks, the loss of control is inherently frustrating, but it’s also flattering because no one is… I was about to riff like “nobody is leaking that episode of…” but there’s no way out of that without shitting on another show.

Ryan Ridley: 60 minutes[laughter]

Justin Roiland: Season 50 of 60 Minutes, just got leaked.

Dan Harmon: Yeah, nobody’s leaking the first two episodes of 60 Minutes. That’s a good example.

Ryan Ridley: You can shit on them all you want. It’s not going to effect them at all. They don’t care.

Dan Harmon: They might do a piece on it though.

Justin Roiland: Too big to fail. Too big to fail…

Justin Roiland: Tonight on 60 Minutes

Dan Harmon: [as Andy Rooney] Why are Rick and Morty always taking a shit on us? I’d like to come back to life and haunt them.

Justin Roiland: Okay, okay, okay.

Dan Harmon: [Still as Andy Rooney] How come ghosts have unfinished business? Why can’t they finish their business? [regular voice] Anyways,where were we? It’s flattering and frustrating. We’d like you to see the episode as we intended.

Justin Roiland: There’s still fixes and tweaks.

Dan Harmon: Full fixed audio and color corrected color…

Justin Roiland: Yeah, I mean if you love color, and good quality audio, and HD, and not having all the scenes have little fuck ups…

Dan Harmon: The good news was that people liked them. We were actually very nervous about the first episode. So if you like the first episode…

Justin Roiland: We win.

Rick_Morty_Dan_Harmon_ComicCon_01Many who have seen them, say the second episode might be the best the series.

Justin Roiland: We’re really proud of that one.

Dan Harmon: We’re incredibly proud of that episode. We screened it in Austin, and there’s something strange about watching stuff with an audience. It has nothing to do with them reacting, necessarily, it’s just that you’re able to finally actually watch it objectively, when you watch it with an audience. And that episode feels like a movie.

Ryan Ridley: It’s very cinematic.

Dan Harmon: When you’re half way through it, you’re like, “Wait, what? I’m halfway through this episode? This is insane!” We were very proud of it.

Ryan Ridley: There are a couple of episode that are as good if not better, if I must say.

Justin Roiland: Yeah, absolutely. We have a couple of episodes that are just easily better than anything we did in Season 1.

Dan Harmon: It was kinda like Season 1 was a car driving 90mph in a straight line, and then Season 2 is taking a corner. So it’s cooler in some respects and also more out of control and like a couple mail boxes get hit. And there are some points in Season 2 that are lower than low points in Season 1, but there are some on Season 2 that are higher than Season 1’s. We’re kinda fishtailing.

How did you up the ante for the second season?

Dan Harmon: We definitely learn more about the physical galactic environment.

Rick_Morty_Ryan_Ridley_ComicCon_01Justin Roiland: Not to say that there isn’t reality hopping, because I believe there is. We kind of explore more intergalactic, just traveling the cosmos of their reality. Checking out all these places.

Ryan Ridley: Rick experiences some of the consequences of his actions.

Justin Roiland: Yeah, that’s true.

Ryan Ridley: Through various other entities that will be revealed.

Justin Roiland: There’s a really respectfully done love scene between Summer and one of her boyfriends in high school. It’s very romantic.

Dan Harmon: What?

Justin Roiland: No, I’m just kidding. I’m pulling a Kurt Cobain on ya.

What was it like doing a couch gag for The Simpsons?

Justin Roiland: Oh, it was awesome. It was weird because like they did the commentary track for the DVD and then Al Jean offered it on that. And then our live producer called to confirm, “Is that a real thing?” And they were like, “Yeah.” And then we were in the thick of writing the last quarter of the season, and it was crazy. What I’ll say is that, the guys over there, we got no creative notes, they were so supportive and excited. We were killing The Simpsons and splattering them everywhere. They loved it.

Dan Harmon: It was weird to find out how racist they were, though.

Justin Roiland: Yeah, super racist.

Dan Harmon: We had to push back on that stuff. They kept saying, “Put Filipinos in it. And can they be like sleeping?” And we were like, “isn’t that a stereotype? It was like, wow, how did they get through 40 seasons without this hatred coming across?

Ryan Ridley: You should watch the super cut of all the Filipino sleepy people in 40 seasons. You wont believe it.

Dan Harmon: You can go online and Google “Simpsons Racism Filipinos.”

Justin Roiland: Sleepy Filipinos.

Dan Harmon: I guess Fox is keeping a short leash on that stuff.

Justin Roiland: You’re gonna have to go to like WatchCartoonsOnline.net.

Ryan Ridley: Who shot Mister Burns? It’s really a Filipino.

Justin Roiland: All that last part is fake, if you couldn’t tell.

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Season 2 of Rick and Morty premieres on Sunday, July 26, at 11:30pm on Adult Swim.

Comic-Con Photos Credit: Paige Wilson

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