15 Wubba Lubba Stories About The Making Of ‘Rick And Morty’
The series about the diabolical adventures of a boy and his sociopathic grandpa is back, baby, so here are some behind-the-scenes stories to dig into in between your binge sessions. Go easy on the vodka ...
Mike Lazzo Saved Morty’s Character
Mike Lazzo, the creative director over at Adult Swim, didn’t think Morty would work because Rick was constantly using him as a punching bag. At first he suggested they cast someone different than Justin Roiland to voice the kid, but when Dan Harmon agreed to do some Morty rewrites and make him stand up to Rick, they decided Roiland could, in fact, pull it off.
So Much Improv
Many of the show’s iconic moments — including Rick’s catchphrase “wubba lubba dub-dub” — were created either by accident or by mucking around and trying out all sorts of lines and sounds during recording.
Rick And Morty’s Character Inspirations
Co-creator Justin Roiland initially made a Back to the Future knock-off short animation called The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti, which became the jumping-off point for Rick and Morty.
Jerry shares his name with Roiland’s dog, and Snuffles the intelligent dog was modeled to look like Roiland’s beloved floof.
The Butter Robot Was Voiced By An App
Justin Roiland said that he used a talking app to voice Rick’s little robot made specifically for passing butter. Wonder if there's one for the salt.
Bryan Cranston Auditioned To Play Jerry
Even though Cranston didn’t get the part, his famous character Walter White ended up influencing the show. In “The Rickshank Rickdemption” episode, Rick is shown living in a house identical to Walt’s home in Breaking Bad, and Harmon has confirmed that “Pickle Rick” was mainly influenced by the AMC show’s episode, “4 Days Out,” in which Walt and Jesse get stuck in a Winnebago in the middle of the desert.
Voice Actor Method Acting
In the episode “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender,” Rick gets hammered, and voice actor Justin Roiland got drunk himself to play the part.
Dan Harmon Doesn’t Agree With Rick’s Philosophy
Harmon has spoken about the idea of the show pitting the “creator and the createe” against each other, saying that Rick is “the seam between God and man,” but Rick doesn’t give a hoot about his creations. Harmon said that Rick’s apathy isn’t something he agrees with, saying that such a philosophy “gets you nowhere.”
Rick And Morty’s Theme Song
Justin Roiland told TV Overmind: "The theme song is written by the guy who wrote the Wizards of Waverly Place theme song, who is a very good friend of mine. I told him I was a big fan of Farscape and that I wanted to combine Farscape’s theme with Doctor Who’s theme, and that’s basically what our theme song is. It’s this amazing original piece that takes the best aspects of those two themes and mashes them together. Super sci-fi.”
Female Writers Only Joined The Show During Its Third Season
While seasons one and two didn’t have any women in the writer’s room, that all changed during its third season. Roiland explained: “It hasn’t been an agenda thing, but just coincidentally for some reason — I don’t know why — this staffing round going into season three, we got a lot of female scripts in addition to male scripts.”
Dan Harmon’s Divorce Clip
Every episode ends with one of Harmon’s vanity cards that reads "Harmonious Claptrap" and, during the first two seasons, featured claymation versions of Harmon and his then wife Erin McGathy cozying up on the couch together. Following their divorce, a new vanity card appeared showing Harmon alone on the couch, booze all over the place, staring at the ceiling.
By season four, the card changed again, reflecting his happier state after he started dating Cody Heller in 2016.
The Origin Story Of Rick’s Burps
Roiland told EW: “In 2006, or something, I was recording the voices for this short The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti. I was having fun doing these really crappy Doc Brown and Marty McFly impressions. During the middle of a line, a burp came out naturally. It was just so funny and gross. I was like, ‘Well, let’s see if I can do that again for a couple more lines.’ Then, with Rick and Morty, Dan was like, ‘Hey, Adult Swim wants to do a show, do you have any ideas?’ I said, ‘Well, what about these two voices?’ Right out of the gate, the burping was part of it.”
The Instagram Marketing Campaign
During the first season, Adult Swim decided to market the “Rixty Minutes” episode by uploading 15-second clips of the entire episode one by one on their Instagram page, in reverse. Their motivation was simple: "It’s our latest frustrating exercise in audience engagement.”
Rick’s Drink Of Choice
When asked what’s in Rick’s flask during a Reddit AMA, Dan Harmon explained the character’s drink of choice: “I tend to assume vodka, and I know it seems unlikely that Rick wouldn't use sci-fi tech to somehow augment whatever he drinks, but I think in Rick's mind part of the ‘addiction’ to the flask of good old-fashioned booze is that it anchors his identity, and I think he knows that if he augmented the booze or the flask, then why not just whip up a very rudimentary nanobiotic alcohol dispenser in his body or inject himself with a plasma component that just amounts to always having a certain blood alcohol level. And I think the reason he doesn't do that is because he's a little afraid he'll lose sight of who he is.”
The Show’s Best Episode Nearly Broke The Creators
Regarded by many fans as one of the series’ best episodes (and loathed by others), season two’s episode “A Rickle in Time” was tough on the creators. Roiland said that the episode “was just brutal, and it broke us to a certain extent. We were so close to something amazing, and we never really got there from a structural standpoint.” Harmon agreed with him, saying that “It went off the deep end conceptually and got really over-complicated. We're pretty convinced the first episode (of season two) might be the worst for that reason.”
Lightning In A Bottle
Harmon said they wrote the pilot script between six and eight hours. “Yeah, we broke the story the same day that we pitched it to the network and then went and drafted it up right after that,” Roiland told the LA Times. “It’s not always that fast. It was kind of lightning in a bottle. Dan was kind of ready to call it a day, and I just felt it. I was like, ‘It’s in my head now.’ And I will procrastinate pretty bad. But that day, for some reason, I was like, we need to do it.”
Harmon elaborated: “We literally had just sold the idea to Nick Weidenfeld (then head of program development for Adult Swim), and he was walking out of my unfurnished, empty Community office where I pitched it to him. We were sitting on the floor, cross-legged with laptops, and I was about to get up and go home, and (Roiland) said, ‘Wait, if you go home, it might take us three months to write this thing. Stay here right now, and we can write it in six hours.’ He just had a premonition about that. It was between Seasons 2 and 3 of Community."
Thumbnail: Adult Swim