Home Channels Events NYCC 2016: The “Regular Show” Panel…in Space!

NYCC 2016: The “Regular Show” Panel…in Space!

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Regular Show Men in Uniform
Rigby, Mordecai and The Park Guys make a big mess.

Regular Show Guys Night 2

It was a bittersweet panel for fans of Regular Show, since Cartoon Network announced this summer that the 8th season would be its last. Although the show would be coming to an end next month, the panel gave fans a chance to give Regular Show creator (and voice of Mordecai), J.G. Quintel a proper good-bye and thanks. Joining him was William Salyers (the voice of Rigby), Roger Craig Smith (the voice of Thomas, Margaret’s dad), and J.D. Haddad Thompkins (the voice of Margaret). Actor Eric Bauza served as the panel moderator.

As he has said earlier, J.Q. Quintel said he told the studio to tell them when they wanted to end things so they could properly chart out how to wrap-up the series their way. Mr. Quintel described Season 8 as the “kill” story arc for the series.  At the time of the panel, all the recordings were finished and the crew were still working on the final edits for the last episodes. Mr. Salyers said he has been very grateful to have gotten the chance to develop Rigby’s character over time, which is something most voice actors don’t get a chance to do unless a series runs several years. Mr. Salyers noted he got to watch Rigby develop an arc with Eileen as well somewhat grow up over the course of the series.  On the other hand, Roger Craig Smith has voiced tons of background characters for Regular Show (joking about his role as “Taco Vendor #2,” pointing out his famous line was, “Here’s your taco”). Mr. Smith said the show was an amazing journey, and he was sad that it was ending which meant no more Taco Vendor #2 unless he was given a spin-off show. Ms. Thompkins said that Regular Show was her very first voice acting gig, so for her, the show was basically like a free voice acting class where she got to learn the trade by just acting with the others. Ms. Thompkins too said she would like a spin-off show featuring Margaret and Eileen.

J.G. Quintel NYCC 2015 Regular Show
J.G. Quintel (at New York Comic Con 2015)

Mr. Quintel said much of the show and its humor was based on stuff from his friends from college and how they acted back then as well as the show, The Mighty Boosh, which he is a big fan of.  When asked about why the show was taken to space for the final season, Mr. Quintel said the idea of space came up a couple of times in the writers’ room but was quickly dismissed as being lame until they thought it would be quite a challenge to make the idea cool.  In fact, Mr. Quintel noted that the main title card for the show is actually in space, so actually going to space would bring the show full circle.  No further explanation was given since that would spoil the upcoming episodes!  Mr. Quintel also confirmed that the crew went to the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California, to learn about space for the show (which, they learned, is actually quite inhospitable and freezing cold…space, that is, not the show).

In honor of Halloween, a clip from the new “Terror Tales of the Park, Part 6” was previewed in which Eric Bauza noted they got Mark Hamill, as Skips, to say, “Mashed potatoes with chives?!”  Mr. Quintel said Mark Hamill was great to work with since Mr. Hamill loves doing voice overs.

Next, Mr. Bauza gave the panelists a little space quiz to be answered as their characters.  For which genre of music each would bring to space, Mordecai answered rock, Rigby answered his jams via his mixtape, Thomas/Margaret’s dad just wanted the A-Team theme on a loop, and Margaret wanted rock and classic Rolling Stones.  As to what 3 things each would bring with them, Mordecai said a cellphone that works, videogames, and portable videogames; Rigby said cheese pizza pockets, sausage pizza pockets, and pepperoni pizza pockets; Thomas/Margaret’s dad said all the action figures from The A-Team; and Margaret wanted coffee, Eileen, and Mordecai.  To answer whether they would rather marry an alien preying mantis princess or be in jail for the rest of their lives on the planet Lobedos (the planet of the ear people), Mordecai answered jail since preying mantis ladies are crazy; Rigby answered that he wanted to see Mordecai hook up with the preying mantis so he would choose marriage; Thomas/Margaret’s dad said, “I love it when a plan comes together,” and yes; and Margaret answered jail.  If they had to be stuck in space with one person, Mordecai answered Rigby, Rigby answered Mordecai but asked no one tell Eileen, Thomas/Margaret’s dad answered Margaret, and Margaret answered Eileen.  As to if there are more stars in the universe vs. grains of sand on Earth, Mordecai said stars in the universe, Rigby said songs composed on Earth, and Margaret answered stars.

Regular Show Park Managers LunchThe formal part of the panel ended with a surprise clip montage of thank yous and good-byes from the cast and crew of Regular Show made by Cartoon Network for Mr. Quintel.

During the audience Q&A, Mr. Quintel was asked about the inspiration for Rigby’s brother Don and Rigby’s dad Sherm. Mr. Quintel said Don was based on his own relationship with his little brother and the brother dynamic while Sherm was based on those moments when one’s parents would embarrass their kids.  As for what’s next for Mr. Quintel besides finishing up the series, which still entails several months of work, Mr. Quintel said he would love to make another show. He also said he didn’t know if the comics would continue and perhaps delve into the future of the characters, but he would have no problem if the publisher, KaBOOM!, wanted to do so.  Would the finale feature some sort of splash scene with all the characters that were ever on the show?  Mr. Quintel didn’t want to spoil things, but he said we would see a lot of stuff, *WINK!*

Other questions and their answers during the Q&A session included:

  • What were the basis for all the emotional episodes of the show? Mr. Quintel said many of those were based on actual things that happened to him and the other writers.  For instance, Mordecai’s interactions with Margaret were based on when Quintel himself was younger and had difficulty talking with girls.
  • Why was Eileen chosen to go into space instead of Margaret?  Quintel said briefly Eileen was not in it, but they wanted to make sure Eileen’s character wasn’t lost in the grand scheme of things, especially after they had developed her character so much in season 7.  In the end, they snuck Eileen on board to make sure she was included.
  • What was the inspiration for Muscle Man’s pal High Five Ghost?  Mr. Quintel said after Muscle Man’s character was drawn, he thought no one was going to like him, so he needed a buddy. He then randomly drew a hand with a ghost attached to it because he was fan of high-fives and Pac-Man.
  • Who would Mordecai end up with: C.J. or Margaret? Mr. Quintel said it could be either of them IF Mordecai didn’t screw things up. Mr. Salyers then intervened, saying the answer should be obvious since Thompkins, Margaret’s voice, was on stage with them, so Mr. Quintel then said Mordecai would end up with Margaret who was Mordecai’s first crush.
  • Favorite episode?  After much mulling, Mr. Quintel said “Eggscellent” was his favorite. Mr. Quintel noted that “Eggscellent,” which won an Emmy Award, took a lot of work to get network approval since originally, it was about Rigby trying to eat the omelette but then he vomited and the vomit came to life and tried to teach Rigby how to eat the omlette. The network said, “No, it’s too gross,” so they changed until, 2 years later, it was released as the episode it is now.
  • Regular Show The Real ThomasWhere do the ideas for the crazier episodes come from? Mr. Quintel said they would play a writers’ game where everyone would put a bunch of fake titles into a hat of things that they would like to watch, and turn the ones which made everyone laugh into episodes.  In fact, the episode “The Real Thomas” came about from this writers’ game, evolving Thomas from a side character that nobody had given much thought to before.
  • How well did they expect the 80’s references would resonate with younger audiences? Mr. Quintel said for people who actually grew up during the era, they would have nostalgia for those references and songs.  For those who never heard of any 80’s songs, Mr. Quintel said the songs are still good but just aren’t played anymore.  He added that these people then later hear some of these 80’s tunes on commercials and think of Regular Show.  He thought, or at least hoped, the songs picked are timeless and well liked.
  • Would Mr. Quintel’s upcoming projects still be in animation or perhaps branch out into videogames or live action? Quintel said he has always loved animation and all he ever wanted to do was animation.  He wanted to continue to do animation since he has more control over things, unlike live-action which kind of scares him.  As for videogames and comics, which are heavily referenced in Regular Show, those are simply things Mr. Quintel loved as a kid, and he just wanted to put all the things he loved in one place.
  • What was the most intense thing Mr. Quintel experienced that ended up on Regular Show?  Quintel surmised it was when Margaret dumped Mordecai.
  • Where did Gary Bobby Ferguson come from? Mr. Quintel said there are a lot of people who are competitive, and they wanted to make a character that was super competitive.
  • Did Mr. Quintel have a friend like Rigby who was always with him in college? Mr. Quintel said that all through life, you always have a best friend no matter where you are, and he pulled experiences he had with his close friends and later his little brother into the Mordecai and Rigby’s dynamic.
  • Mr. Quintel’s favorite 80’s movie is Big Trouble in Little China.
  • In “Terror Tales,” were there any temptations to put Skips in a Luke Skywalker costume?  Mr. Quintel said the episode “Skips’ Story” had an homage to a Star Wars line.  When Mark Hamill first read the line, he said, “Oh boy!” Bill Salyers added that one doesn’t realize how often Star Wars references come up in normal conversation in real life until you sit and record with Mr. Hamill.  Salyers said there was one instance when Roger Craig Smith was getting direction for his performance, and Smith answered, “Oh, so it’s like, ‘These aren’t the droids you’re looking for,’ kind of thing?” when Mr. Hamill was sitting right next to him. Mr. Salyers said his fondest memory was the very first time he met Mark Hamill. Mr. Salyers said he walked in on Hamill chatting with Roger Craig Smith about Hollywood history.  Later, Mr. Hamill lowered his glasses to ask Mr. Smith about what he thought.  Mr. Salyers said at that moment, he saw Luke Skywalker’s eyes and went gaga in his mind.
  • Regular Show Brilliant Century Duck Crisis Special
    Mordecai, Rigby, and Baby Ducks (Not from “Exit 9B” though)

    Finally, how did the half-hour special “Exit 9B” come to be? Mr. Quintel said the episode was originally only going to be 11 minutes long, but the storyboarders ‘over-boarded’ the episode with an insane too-good-to-be-cut fight sequence that made the show 16 minutes long, so they decided to board 5 more minutes including the intro and a couple more scenes to make it a full half-hour episode. Mr. Quintel added it’s another one of his favorite episodes because it’s hilarious and because it incorporated the baby ducks. He said the baby ducks were just supposed to be a small one-time thing, but everyone really liked them, so they brought them back for “Exit 9B.”  When they showed up for the third time in “A Bunch of Flown Geese,” Mr. Quintel said they had became a weird trilogy thing.

Besides the questions, many audience members thanked the panel for the show profusely as well as ending the panel with a standing ovation.