In the field of stop motion parody animation, Robot Chicken reigns supreme. The series has done an incredible job grabbing an audience on Adult Swim and has run an absurd gamut of guest stars for over 140 episodes and 8 specials. Its eighth season officially begins on October 25th, and right before that on the 18th is another DC comics special, “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special III: Magical Friendship.” The first two were critically loved and already hype is high for this new installment. If the series isn’t recognized for featuring major names and action figures of beloved characters, it’s noticed for the extremely raunchy, and sometimes sophomoric, humor. Clearly, this is a show that fits Adult Swim’s late night block to a tee.
SuperMansion is essentially Robot Chicken but on Crackle, with completely original creations, and a heck of a lot more vulgar. In a sizzle reel presented to the packed Main Stage at New York Comic Con, a scene where a villain left his fully present dick on someone’s head especially stood out. This is the tone creators Matt Senreich (who sadly couldn’t attend NYCC) and Zeb Wells wanted, and it’s something that hasn’t scared away the likes of Bryan Cranston, Seth Green, and Tom Root. Along with the show’s questionable material, topics ranged from how the show was picked up, what SuperMansion has in store this season, and if Breaking Bad and Robot Chicken will ever come together.
(Side note: This was by far the funniest panel I experienced at Comic Con. You know you can make a good comedy if you’re actually funny in person).
Might as well restate this point again: SuperMansion is not a show for children. Anyone with an even slight understanding of Robot Chicken should know that putting the minds behind that onto a much less regulated forum is bound to bring filth. Yet despite this, a lot of kids were in the audience, and witnessed the same material some grown ups would find too much. According to the panel, this is an active concern with certain situations, but Crackle isn’t entirely resistant.
“The scene we just saw where the villain has a penis on the hero’s face is one moment,” said Wells.
Root continued, “We have to stop sometimes and say, ‘Are we really doing this?’”
“We always have to see what Crackle says about these things,” added Wells.
After laughing, Green finished the thought by saying, “Nothing? Oh, it’s going in then.”
Robot Chicken has found a lot of success on Adult Swim. It only makes sense that, when the same individuals involved wanted to create a new show, it would go on the same network. Except, that’s not what happened. SuperMansion’s on a burgeoning internet service while Robot Chicken is staying steadfastly on television. According to Wells, they tried to get Adult Swim on board, but it didn’t work.
“Adult Swim didn’t feel it was right for them, but they let us take it,” Wells revealed. “We shopped it around…and Crackle wanted it. We like working with Crackle to define what they are. They’re great!”
While SuperMansion may be the more raunchy of the pair, it and Robot Chicken share a very similar design. They’re both stop motion programs involving created figures. To the untrained eye, it may not look like there are any major differences on this front. Turns out that’s far from true.
“Stop motion is a technique, so what sets it apart is the design,” said Green. “We wanted to make [SuperMansion] feel precise, clear. Robot Chicken needs to feel homemade so we leave in mistakes.”
“We had to keep it looking good,” added Root.
“If we make a second season, it will be even more refined,” finished Green.
Promotion for SuperMansion focuses heavily on the fact that its star, Titanium Rex, is an exceptionally old man. He’s not the spry superhero that he used to be. When asked by the moderator (IGN’s Eric Goldman) if Rex was competent at all, Cranston was very open about his normal insecurities.
“It’s about a guy trying to stay relevant,” said Cranston. “Whether you’re a common guy or a hero, it’s a regular threat. He also deals with regular problems, like shopping lists and bills.”
Later, Cranston added that we might not always watch an old Rex.
“What’s fun about the series is you can flashback to a time when Rex’s powers were more…potent,” revealed Cranston.
Bryan Cranston’s Inclusion
Despite each panel member being a major name in their own right, Bryan Cranston is easily the star most people recognize. His roles as Walter White on Breaking Bad and Hal in Malcolm in the Middle were critically loved and turned him into a household name. His performance as Titanium Rex actually came from a guest appearance he did on Robot Chicken, which impressed the creators so much that they wanted him to lead this show. One fan wondered if Cranston received any deterrence from the powers-that-be to do this, but the star denied it.
“I do get that from time to time, but not with this,” Cranston told attendees. “As an actor, you have agents and managers to guide you, but not to dictate.”
Cranston also revealed why he wanted to take on such different role.
“I don’t want to be known for one thing. I want to play and have fun!”
Green and Cranston are well-known now for putting their names on a lot of projects. Green himself was part of multiple panels at NYCC for completely different shows. Cranston, meanwhile, just finished a turn on Broadway as Lyndon B. Johnson in All The way (which is also coming to HBO). With such impressive resumes, where do these two want to go next?
“I like making stuff, so this is what I like to do,” said Green. “Outside of that…I want to go to space. I want to stay on the ISS. Maybe do a weeklong documentary on it.”
In response to Green’s desire to go to space, Cranston revealed that he recently attempted to send a signed box set of Breaking Bad to the ISS, but it was destroyed when the cargo capsule exploded.
Green was also very willing to discuss the issue of taking on too much and where his ultimate priority lies.
“I’m always laser focused on Robot Chicken, and I’ve gotten very good at not micromanaging. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights. It’s always difficult to balance things. You have to find what you like in the “thing” and accept the work. There’s no easy path.”
As for Cranston, he might not be done with the stage.
“I’m so lucky I get to take changes in a lot of different areas,” added Cranston. “Maybe a broadway musical because I’m not a singer.”
A Marvel Villain
Cranston is very, very good at playing a bad guy. Ever since Breaking Bad ended people have desperately wanted him to play a villain in a major film property. He was the internet’s frontrunner to play Lex Luthor before it went to Jesse Eisenberg. According to Cranston though, there is one character he’s ready to play once someone asks.
“I actually have an answer for that,” Cranston replied to a fan question on the topic. “Mr. Sinister. It intrigues me to play a character not played on screen before. I’m really interested in doing that.”
Breaking Bad and Robot Chicken
With Cranston and Green now working together, people couldn’t help but wonder if Green’s flagship property will tackle this AMC hit. It’s something that definitely could have happened before but now feels even more likely with this duo on SuperMansion. According to Green though, we’re not waiting long to see this.
“We just recorded something, and it is Breaking Bad,” Green announced to cheers. “It is magical. Eighth season, there’s a really good Breaking Bad sketch.
Taking this cue, a fan also wanted to know if Aaron Paul, Cranston’s Breaking Bad co-star, could also show up on SuperMansion. Everyone on the panel was all for this, but we’d have to wait.
“Yeah, of course,” said Wells. “We’d love to have him.”
“We’re finished with all recording for this season, but we’ll see,” continued Green.
You hear that Crackle? Give them Season 2.
SuperMansion is currently airing every Thursday on Crackle.
To view SuperMansion, click here.
Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television editor. Every Saturday afternoon you can read his video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.