Rick and Morty has been getting ready for its next season to hit in just a few weeks, and the co-creator behind the series opened up about how it takes on its many pop culture references. Like many other animated sitcoms of its type, Rick and Morty often has a lot of pop culture elements it skewers for comedy. There are times where the joke then becomes the fact that there was a reference at all, and it’s become a facet of the series that fans have seen develop and mature over the course of the episodes so far.
Speaking with the press during a special event ahead of Rick and Morty’s Season 6 premiere, series co-creator Justin Roiland opened up about the series’ approach to pop culture shout outs and how it influences the comedy of the series, “…[T]hat’s just an instinct that I think we have. Yeah. Harmon and I are very similar comedic instinct wise and that’s definitely a thing because there’s a little, as much as I try to keep it out of my head, there’s a little voice in your head that is the audience because you are the audience as well . And you can’t resist sometimes that stuff because it’s just too good.”
Speaking to the fact that sometimes a pop culture reference is unavoidable as a member of the audience, Roiland began, “And sometimes you get ahead of the audience. Especially for me, if I’m doing something and I feel like as a viewer, I would be ahead of this, then I’m going to make a comment about it. And then there’s something about that that makes it’s something.” Continuing further, Roiland explained that this creates a deeper connection to the viewer at home too, “…I think what it does is it reinforces the viewer who’s thinking the thing that you’re about to hear that they’re about to hear you say. They’re thinking a thing and then all of a sudden the character says the thing and they’re like, holy sh-t. Okay. Well all right that’s pretty f—ing cool…That’s at least how I experience a lot of content.”
Roiland then explained that the references can often lead to more layers, “If I’m thinking a thing and then they make the joke even funnier by acknowledging it in a, not just acknowledging it, but make adding another punchline and also some sort of Acknowledgment of the thing I just thought, that always is a cool moment for me as an audience member….We have a very high bar of quality of what we perceive as being good as fans of sci-fi and all this stuff out There. So when we’re writing this show, that bar of quality is something that just follows us like a curse and maybe a blessing as well. be good, it’s not easy. So yeah. That’s the curse side of it, but then we want our sh-t to be good.”
How do you feel about the way Rick and Morty approaches its pop culture shout outs? Which have been your favorite gags to see develop in the episodes so far? Let us know all of your thoughts about it in the comments! You can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!