Sundial Opinion Editor Karlee Johnson interviews Seth Green and Matt Senreich (creators of Robot Chicken) about the 100th episode and their tips for college graduates.
Karlee Johnson: So tell me about “Robot Chicken.” You came to your hundredth episode recently?
Matt Senreich: We actually finished that up almost a year ago. It feels like forever ago even though it just aired, but we finished that up in April. We’re working on our sixth season right now. We’re writing episode eight of our sixth season.
KJ: Did you all think you’d get to this point?
MS: No, not at all. We were shocked that Adult Swim hired us to play with toys. It’s very odd. But at the same time, I mean, Adult Swim is one of those places that just let creators be creative and have a good time with what they want to do.
Seth Green: We also lucked out by finding that network and being given an opportunity before this big trend in both late-night entertainment and short-form content really happened. We just happened to be making something that we thought was really funny. Now there’s way more pressure to perform. (Laughs) When we were doing it, we were on at 11:30 on a Sunday night and no one would think that that’s a real prime spot to be getting the best demographic of viewership.
KJ: Would you consider moving into a half hour time slot? (The show currently runs for 15 minutes per episode.)
SG: Let me explain one thing about the production of this show: it is all year long. To make our season order takes 11 to 14 months. It’s really, really brutal. And anybody that has worked an every day job can feel me on this. It is really hard. And especially when all of us have other things that we all do outside of this show. Dedicating a year and several months to one thing just becomes really, really intense.
MS: Also, our show is ADD to begin with, so making it longer defeats the purpose. (Laughs)
KJ: I noticed that the hundredth episode is titled “Fight Club Paradise” and titles from other seasons have been “Boo Cocky” and the like. Are the names chosen arbitrarily?
MS: Our first season was all of the rejected titles to our show.
SG: We spent months with Adult Swim pitching them terrible titles until they thought “Robot Chicken” perfectly summed up what our show was.
MS: The second season we gave 20 people the opportunity to name an episode. The fourth season (theme) was “being trapped in a DVD factory.” The fifth season was “good movie, bad movie: guess which?”
SG: So we pair a good movie title with a bad movie title and you have to guess which one is which.
MS: And the sixth season is going to be the ways we envision ourselves to die.
SG: Oh, and the third season was “rejected sketches.” Everyone’s favorite sketch that they did not want to see get cut that got cut. ‘Cause for some of them we had a really good title, but we didn’t have an episode. So, like “Monstourage,” which would have been really funny, but we couldn’t write a sketch about it.
KJ: Great. What other projects do you all have coming up?
MS: We have a couple things coming up. We’re in negotiations on two pilots now that we can’t really talk about, unfortunately. And we’re writing a movie right now. And a lot of stuff we’re not allowed to talk about right now, which is sad. (Laughs) We’re still really early on in the process of just writing.
SG: (Matt’s comment is) so vague. Well, we are waist-high in the “Robot Chicken DC Comic Special” which we’ll release at Comic Con. We are starting our sixth season, we’ve already written the first several episodes which are coming together nicely.
MS: That’s kind of what we’re in the thick of right now. We also started building on a new studio that we started up called Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. It’s partnered up with a company called Buddy System Studios.
KJ: What kind of advice do you have for college students who want to break into the business?
SG: Don’t quit. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t expect that anybody is going to do anything for you, but you have to be awesome, and that’s the only way that you keep working. But you have to continually non-stop try and be better all the time.
MS: And learn from people. Be helpful and learn from people.
SG: Collaborate, don’t be competitive.
MS: And again, just keep trying. You can send about 500 resumes, but all you need is the one job to break in.
SG: And be the person that you want to work with. Be the kind of person that you want to hang out with.