About a month after learning Rick and Morty will be returning for 70 (!) more episodes, co-creator Dan Harmon sat down with GQ to discuss the backstories behind some of the biggest moments in the show’s history. You might have had something else come to mind when you read the headline “Dan Harmon Breaks Down,” but this is all good news here.
Harmon started by pointing out something we hadn’t noticed about the Pickle Rick episode. “That episode is so much about alcoholism, and yet it’s the only episode of Rick and Morty where the word alcohol or references to booze are completely gone because I noticed right at the end and pulled the one reference to him being an alcoholic out so that it’s like this pure metaphor.”
Harmon went on to discuss a viral clip that wasn’t part of the show: Rick and Morty’s reenactment of the bonkers court transcript between defendant Denver Fenton Allen and Judge Bryant Durham, Jr. of the Superior Court of Floyd County, Georgia. After that, he avoided talking about the Szechuan sauce debacle (you know why), but he did talk about something else fast food-related: Rick and Morty‘s Carl’s Jr. / Hardee’s commercial, starring anthropomorphic hamburger mascots who were sloshing sauce all over Morty’s room and stealing his belongings. Harmon pointed out a strange backstory about working with a big corporation:
There were all these notes going back and forth, and one of them was, “The burgers aren’t allowed to say anything funny” or something. [laughs] […] If you watch the commercial and listen to what the burgers are saying, I think one of them is saying, like, “I’m not funny” or “I have no jokes.”
The interview then cuts to a clip from the ad in which one of the burger mascots indeed mumbles, “I don’t make jokes. I don’t make jokes.”
From there, Harmon explains the silly origins of the show’s catchphrases, like “get schwifty” and “wubba lubba dub dub,” and he also shares the story of a brilliantly disorienting prank he pulled on one random fan right before the first episode of Season 3 aired as a complete surprise on April Fool’s Day.
Because for a year I’d been suffering a lot of kids tweeting me going like, “Where’s the new episode? Where’s the new season?” and not being able to say anything, it did give me license — I got to pick one kid and waited five minutes before the premiere, and he tweeted me and said, “Come on, where’s the season?” And I responded to him going, “What do you want me to do? Wave a magic wand and just make the premiere of Rick and Morty happen just ’cause you asked?” knowing that he’d go, “Yeah, I do.” And I’m like, “All right, you get this one. Turn on your TV.”
I have a feeling that kid’s going to grow up to be either President or a serial killer.
No joke, he really did that:
We’d listen to an entire second interview where he only tells us the backstory behind that shirt he’s wearing. Or maybe we should stop digging for hidden layers and just be impressed.