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SDCC2015: “Regular Show” Roundtable Interview

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Regular Show Gamers Never Say Die

Regular Show Park Managers LunchRegular Show is an Emmy Award winning long-time series on Cartoon Network. Regular Show: The Movie, set to debut this fall, sees Mordecai and Rigby going back in time to battle an evil volleyball coach.

Toonzone News, along with other members of the press, sat down with show creator J.G. Quintel (also the voice of Mordecai), supervising producer Sean Szeles, William Salyers (Rigby), and Sam Marin (Pops, Benson, and Muscle Man) at San Diego Comic Con 2015.

Note that the roundtable contains spoilers for some episodes of Regular Show.

QUESTION: Do you spend time looking at the fan fiction out there and the conspiracies that it’s an acid trip and Rigby is Mordecai’s dead best friend from childhood?

WILLIAM SALYERS: Where do I go to see this?

Q: Or that Rigby holds Mordecai back from achieving his potential?

J.G. QUINTEL: That’s true. No, I haven’t read a ton. What you just said sounds amazing. I’ll have to look it up and see what people think. I always wonder what people think about High Five Ghost because he’s a bit confusing. Is he dead, is he a ghost, or is he just around?

Q: Is he dead, is he a ghost, or is he just around?

J.G. QUINTEL He’s just a dude. A cool dude.

Regular Show The Real ThomasQ: Was it always planned that Thomas was going to be a double agent?

J.G. QUINTEL Well, originally he was an intern. We’ve all been interns, and we know what it’s like to be an intern and how you get treated, and so we wanted to have a character like that at the park, and then I remember online fans being like “What does Thomas even do? He doesn’t do anything” because once he just settled in, he’s like a real intern. He’s kind of just in the background. Then this idea started to come up in the writers meetings that he was more than that, and then we went back and made that episode and every episode totally made sense. He was doing something, you just didn’t know.

Q: That first episode ended with a call to Mom. Looking back, he’s a double agent the whole time!

J.G. QUINTEL That was worked in after. A little bit.

Q: Do you have any pre-recording rituals?

J.G. QUINTEL Well, it’s every Monday, and usually we all get there and we do levels and kind of read lines, and then we just go into it. It’s to a point now that we know the characters really well. It’s pretty cool because in the recordings we have the storyboards up on the wall like on a big monitor. If there’s ever anything you’re unsure about, like how hard are they yelling, you can just see the picture and match that. It’s pretty fun.

WILLIAM SALYERS: I like to take a shower because it’s a small room. That’s something I do every Monday.

Regular Show Skips' StoryQ: How awesome is it to work with Mark Hamill? Do you try to sneak Star Wars stuff out of him?

J.G. QUINTEL It’s really cool, he’s amazing. He’s super versatile, and his voice acting range is crazy to watch. I think there’s been one line in the Skip story episode where at the beginning talking about what happened in his past and he says, “A long time ago in a high school far, far away,” but I think that’s it.

WILLIAM SALYERS: What’s cool about Mark in regards to Star Wars is I think we’re all pretty respectful not to grill him, but he’ll just start talking sometimes about it, and the record comes to a halt and we just sit there and listen.

SAM MARIN: And everyone’s trying to look like they’re not listening.

Q: Benson’s a crazy awesome drummer. Can you play drums?

SAM MARIN: I play the saxophone. Not really what you mean.

Q: What would you say Mordecai and Rigby’s favorite video games would be?

J.G. QUINTEL From the show or in real life if they were real?

Q: Either one.

J.G. QUINTEL Toejam and Earl, probably. They’d play that together. That’s a really hard question.

Regular Show Format Wars IIQ: When you guys are mining ideas for the show, what’s the process? Are you like, “What are we going to nerd out about in this episode?”

J.G. QUINTEL Those specific ones like “The Last Laserdisc Player” and “Format Wars” were superficially about old technology and how fast it gets replaced, but also how it is for the adults who remember the stuff because kids don’t know what any of it is. What’s a laserdisc? It looks fake. But it was real.

SEAN SZELES: But they get to learn about this stuff.

J.G. QUINTEL It’s really fun to go, “We should do an episode about that stuff or anything that’s old and isn’t around anymore.” It’s fun to keep it in that 80’s realm.

Q: Sam, who is your favorite character?

SAM MARIN: If I had to pick, maybe Benson because I can relate to him the most. (laughter) He has fun scenes.

Q: What years would you say this show takes place and why those years?

J.G. QUINTEL In the writers room, we are very careful about not ever dating the show specifically, so we always keep it very vague. I would say it’s within the decades of the 80’s/maybe early 90’s. Somewhere in there. But there’s no specific year, and we’re really careful about any time they mention something. We were talking about when did they go to high school, and if they’re 23 years old, that means that’s happening here, but if they perpetually stay 23 years old, does that slowly uptick when they were born? It’s weird, but we don’t ever want to date it.

Q: You worked with Donald Glover, is there any talk of bringing that character back?

SEAN SZELES: We talked about bringing him back, but he blew up at the end of the episode. They lost the rap battle. But we thought, could we bring them back somehow?

J.G. QUINTEL Maybe as ghosts?

SEAN SZELES: Yeah, come back as ghosts or something. It’d be fun. We haven’t figured it out.

Regular Show 1000th Chopper Flight PartyQ: You’re doing longer story arcs, and you’ve got a movie coming up. How does it change the process of writing the show?

J.G. QUINTEL The half hour episodes are always a lot of fun to do. They’re harder because we don’t do them as much, obviously, but we know the fans react more positively, and it’s fun to be able to sit for half an hour and watch a whole story. Then when they wanted to do the movie, they were originally like, “Why don’t we do a 44 minute special?” Why? Let’s do a real movie, and they let us go for it. So we, for the past two years, have been working on the movie. That was a completely different process because normally we do premise-based storyboarding and that means that the board artists write all the dialogue and we just write out the plot, but that ended up being this crazy thing.

It’s a beast to do a movie, and so it was really interesting because we’d cut stuff out and re-board stuff and then we wrote a script. We really tried to wrap our heads around how to make something you wouldn’t get bored of that’s over an hour long, because that’s a long time to sit down. We finally did it. But it took over two years, and we were making the show at the same time so it was a lot. I’m really excited for people to see it.