Rick and Morty still has (at least) 70 more episodes to go, and with shorter breaks between seasons being expected, how is the writing room going to handle the faster pace? According to co-creator Dan Harmon, they’ll be leaning into a technique that has created some of the best moments on the show.
In an interview with Emmy Magazine, Harmon says they’ll be focusing on funny ideas / bits of dialogue / moments first, and then they’ll structure stories around those, rather than starting with A and B stories and trying to make those funny, possibly coming up short. “The last thing I want is to be the guy who makes Rick and Morty sterile,” Harmon explains.
In the past, that joke-centric approach to beginning a storyline has led to some of the funniest side characters (like Mr. Poopybutthole), most referenced side gags (like interdimensional cable), and best episodes in the series’ history, like “Total Rickall” (pictured above) and “Pickle Rick,” which Harmon recently explained started out as an off-the-cuff joke in the writers’ room after someone pitched “Rick turns himself into a pickle” and they constructed a story around that wild premise.
What might we see in Rick and Morty Season 4 when the the funniest jokes in the writers’ room get entire episodes structured around them? ISIS Werewolves, perhaps? Or a Christopher Lloyd cameo? Prepare to keep all options open. When talking about how much he loves the work, Harmon said, “In every way I could define an ideal job, this fits it. It’s a show that can literally go anywhere and do anything. It has a boundless margin for nihilism; in other words, you can’t go too far. Not only narratively, but also tonally, there is nothing off the table for the show.”