This Monday at Midnight, the Venture Bros. are back. And they've brought some friends.
The Adult Swim series kicks off its sixth season with this hour-long special dubbed All This And Gargantua 2, and the two men behind it all -- Team JackHammer, aka Jackson Publick and Doc hammer -- talk with Newsarama about the upcoming special as well as the new season. Adult Swim has provided clips and pics from it as well that make sure fans get their Venture fix.
Here's the clip, then come back for the interview:
Newsarama: So I’ve had the chance to watch All This And Gargantua 2 and there’s no hyperbole, this really does change the landscape of the show entirely. How long was this all plotted out?
Jackson Publick: For a while now, I guess.
Doc Hammer: That outer space special was even something we were trying to be the finale of last season. So it’s about since definitely last season.
Publick: Since the middle of last season at least, but it’s been brewing for a long time.
Hammer: Yeah, see what we do is, when we plan a season, somewhere in the middle we get really excited about the upcoming season instead of the one we’re working on. [laughs]
So all of that has been around since season five, because, pardon the cliche verbiage here, game-changing stuff has been around since season five.
Nrama: Okay, yeah, because it felt like season five ended abruptly.
Hammer: We ran out of episodes.
Publick: We were spoiled the year before when the network let us kind of go back and do a big episode and we’re just used to longer seasons. We weren’t used to writing a ten episode slot so we went and asked “hey, can we just have two more to make an hour finale?” and it didn’t work so we saved it for a special. So here it is!
Hammer: And we were pretty vocal about season five actually ending on the penultimate episode. We thought we would work and it sort does wrap up that season, but we did have a major story to tell and didn’t get to tell it.
Nrama: Next month, The Venture Bros. celebrates its 12th year on the air. Did you ever think it would be going on this long? I mean you guys were almost there at the start.
Hammer: We didn’t think we’d make it past season one!
Publick: A dozen years goes by quicker than you’d expect especially when it takes you three years to make a season. [laugh]
If you told me in 2004 or 2003 that we’d still be making it now, I wouldn’t have believed you. Unless you told me that we also had three feature films underneath our belts also.
Hammer: Exactly. That and somebody had called us for Doctor Strange.
Publick: Yes! And the Doctor Strange screenplay!
Nrama: Are you excited for Cumberbatch as Stephen?
Hammer: Sure. I mean, how excited am I going to get when I can’t play Strange or write it, but with that aside, I think Cumberbatch is awesome and I think he’ll do great in the role. You know what, though? If you have told me we’d still be on the air and be everybody’s favorite underground cult TV show? Wouldn’t have f----n’ believed it. That’s what I can’t believe.
Publick: I wouldn’t have believed there was a Doctor Strange movie! When we started there was the first Spider-Man movie and the second, and best, X-Men movie. That’s all there was. That’s why we got too many notes about being “too nerdy”.
Nrama: You actually got notes saying you were too nerdy and to town that down?
Hammer: Oh absolutely. In the first season, yes, but let it be said after that we were trusted to do whatever we want to do.
Publick: In the first season, yes, but let it be said after that we are trusted to do whatever we want to do. There was a lot of pushback about White and Billy’s nerd banter.
Hammer: I mean, we work for one of the greatest networks and when they saw it working and understood the zeitgeist, we never got that note again. We don’t work for morons, but also not complete dorks like we are.
Nrama: Especially with characters like Augustus St. Cloud roaming around.
Hammer: Clearly we’ve enjoyed the ability to outnerd ourselves. And I mean 21 is deep nerdcore.
Nrama: At the end of the last season’s finale, you have 21 moving back in with the Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, are we going to see more of that family dynamic again?
Publick: Very much so.
Hammer: Of course, but it’s a new family dynamic. I mean things went down! The Cocoon went down and now it’s a much tighter family unit. I mean we lost 24, I mean, we didn’t “lose” him. We killed him. We made Monarch and 21 a comedy team that we’ve never been able to do and write for and it’s been so much fun.
Publick: I mean he’s the last henchman standing so that changes their relationship and we’ve had fun exploring that.
Nrama: Speaking of changes. even from the Halloween special to now, and last season, we’re seeing a bit of a transformation with Dean...or is this just puberty finally really hitting him hard?
Publick: Both, I think.
Hammer: Yeah, it’s that and a sense of freedom hitting him. I think he got to that age and step back and look at who he was and see what kind of really f----d up world he lives in.
Publick: Yeah, Hank doesn’t need to step back because he takes on things as they come. Dean is more sensitive and probably more moral and soul-searching and has to examine his life a little bit.
Hammer: Also, Hank is probably the sanest person on the show. Nothing jars him. Anything you can throw at him, he can just put it in his world view, which sounds insane, but I promise you he’s incredibly sane.
Nrama: In the early years we always thought it was the Monarch as the Big Bad, but here we’re learning more and more about the Sovereign with some twists I don’t think fans are really expecting.
Hammer: I think the exploration of the Sovereign is all there is and that’s all you need to know.
Publick: The Monarch is the Big Bad to this one family of former adventurers, but we’ve always known there is a bureaucracy of villains that is a workman-like aspect to them. Guys like the Monarch are not unique and there are guys like him all over the world torturing dumb scientists. I guess last season we started to explore there is corruption at the top and this is the place where we bring that to the head.
Hammer: Really the beauty of the Monarch is that he’s really not that important. He’s a bigger pain in the ass to himself and that’s kinda a fun thing to have when your main villain is not the world’s main villain.
Publick: Every once and a while we’ve hinted he’s done more horrible things off -creen like he kidnaps somebody or murdered somebody because that’s not part of the Ventures' plot. He probably killed Captain Sunshine’s sidekick, but he’d rather prefer chasing Dr. Venture around. Like he does this for the love of hate.
Nrama: Is the sixth season going to be a full season or more on the shorter side like five? Fans were very vocal about the shortcomings of five.
Publick: Uh. yeah, it’s going to be more like five.
Hammer: It’s going to be exactly like five.
Publick: I mean, there are the same exact number of episodes, it’s just how it’s broken up.
Nrama: Will there be the club shirts again this year?
Publick: For this special, yeah.
Hammer: There are not a lot of Venture products out there in the world, so it’s fun for us to make this junky stuff ourselves. We are our idiotically proud of our shirt club.
Nrama: Do you have a favorite episode of last season?
Hammer: You know what? I see last season as a group. I see some other seasons as individual episodes, but last season felt just like “Season Five”.
Publick: There was something unique to enjoy about each one of those episodes. I have a hard time judging the final product, as I usually judge it by the experience of making them, so there are seasons I hate because they were so hard. Last season, though, I just loved making it and I was happy with the scripts I wrote, and every script Doc wrote. We were trying new things out and, I don’t know, it just feels like we’ve broadened the horizons of the show in just how we told stories and the way we could control the pace and the visuals.
Hammer: I’m proud of that as a director. I like everyone of them!
Nrama: So last season you got to work with guys like Aziz Ansari and Gillian Jacobs, is there anybody you’re excited to bring into the Venture Bros. fold this season?
Hammer: Did you recognize a returning voice?
Nrama: Was that Stephen Colbert for Professor Impossible?
Hammer: One last time! We continue to get Toby Huss to do some stuff, and John Hodgman as well. We got James Adomian to come in and do voices for us this season. Patrick Brewster and Paul F. Tompkins we used a little bit. We got [laughs] Misha Collins.
Nrama: You got Misha Collins to come in?
Hammer: And the f-----g Kurrgan, man!
Publick: Yeah, we got Clancy Brown to come in and we just want to write the s--- out of that character. I’m sure I’m forgetting people, but yeah.
Hammer: Oh, OH, what’s her face? Jesus Christ...what is her name….?
Publick: Yeah! Her! Ugh. I’m sorry. We adore her! I am so tired. I haven’t slept in about...35 hours.
Hammer: Just pretend who you know who we’re talking about.
Publick: Please hold. Looking her up.
Publick: I have to! [pause] Cristin Milioti! Who you might know from How I Met Your Mother or The Wolf of Wall Street. A pure delight.'
Nrama: What are you looking forward to fans to see this season?
Publick: Prove to them by the end of the show that we made it better for them.
Hammer: It’s totally okay to jump a shark when you know how to ride a f-----g shark! We are strapping the motorcycle to the shark. We are just killing surfers and seals. I’ve got one foot on each shark. These sharks are like they were tamed at Sea World. There’s your pull quote!