After Adult Swim's hit animated series "The Venture Bros." delivered a brilliant but painfully short season 5 this summer, we tracked down the show's creators, Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, at New York Comic-Con for a roundtable discussion on "The Venture Bros." season 6, naked robots, David Bowie and their ridiculous custom-tailored speed suits. Hammer and Publick, who write and oversee every episode of "The Venture Bros." (in addition to providing 80 percent of the voice work), say fans can expect the much-anticipated season sometime in early 2015.
On where they got their wonderfully absurd speed suits:
JP: These? These are standard issue. They gave them to us on the base.
DH: When you’re an occupant of a moon-orbiting space station —
DH: Owner-occupant. It’s just us and a bunch of robots. They don’t have to wear anything.
JP: And they got tired of us not wearing anything, so they made us suits. They treated it like it was a gift, but it was a really passive-aggressive kind of way to tell us “knock it off.”
On what we can expect from season 6, which just entered production:
JP: [exaggerated laugh] You can expect the Venture Brothers. Actually, you can expect a lot of big s**t, and that’s all we can say about it. Big stuff.
DH: Big stuff. Big changes.
JP: More continuity than maybe any other season, the way it’s shaping up right now. I don’t know. We’re still writing it, so even we don’t know what to expect really.
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On when we can expect season 6:
DH: That’s even harder.
JP: I think season 6 — we just started pre-production this week — will probably air very early 2015.
DH: That’s such baloney.
JP: But I think we’re gonna put something on, like a special maybe, in the fall to try to get you something.
On how David Bowie feels about being depicted as the leader of an international supervillain crime syndicate:
DH: No, he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t f**kin’ care. He has no interest in us whatsoever.
JP: We don’t know.
DH: Maybe he’s using my old number, the landline, the 274 one. That thing got taken out.
[In an exaggerated David Bowie impression] Hold on, Iman, they’re not answering the phone.
[As Iman] David, stop! Stop it!
[Bowie once again] I just can’t. I want them to know that I love them. Hold on a minute, I’m trying to call the Astrobase.
No, he doesn’t give a f**k about us.
On whether we can assume more of Augustus St. Cloud in season 6:
DH: You can assume anything you want! That’s how assumptions work. You might be correct. You might be incorrect. I’ll tell you, we’re not gonna drop a ball on anybody. If we do, we’re gonna physically drop a ball on their head and kill them.
On Trianna and her absence from season 5:
DH: She went away to school. We designed it that way. You know, you can only have lovelorn Dean for so long. And we can either have them have an actual relationship — you don’t want that.
JP: It’s not meant to be.
DH: Like, “Oh, the first girl I ever met, I’m now in a relationship with?” that just smacks of a bad idea.
JP: And she wouldn’t be interested in him. They’re friends!
DH: Not that we’re not gonna bring her off and have them married off in a big last episode.
JP: Yeah, when she gets her witch degree and becomes a sorceress for the Guild. Ugh.
DH: Right after the spinoff, then she comes back.
JP: Ugh, Jesus. Just kill me if that happens.
On whether they write episodes with Degrassi references in mind:
DH: Did you watch Degrassi? You can’t watch anything now without going, “Oh, she was on Degrassi.” And Drake! Crippled Jimmy is now a like baller. I mean, what happened? He was just running a T-shirt company with Spinner.
JP: I’m so glad I never watched Degrassi.
DH: That’s all from him. It’s awesome television.
JP: But we don’t put a lot of thought into [the pop culture references].
DH: Yeah, the way we do it is not like we have a map of one pop culture reference, one fecal matter joke. We just write it. It’s like talking to us. They just come out.
On killing their darlings and cutting pop culture references from scripts:
JP: You know what? The pop culture references aren’t the darlings.
DH: And there’s only so many people that can make them. We pay attention to the way our characters speak and think, and there are some characters that don’t make reference from the ’90s. They make references from the ‘80s. There are some characters that don’t make references at all. And then there’s Hank, who can reference anything. We never want to be a machine that coughs out pop culture references, but we are machines that coughout pop culture references, so it happens.
On the best joke “The Venture Brothers” had to cut:
JP: In “Spanakopita!,” there was my favorite joke that I had to cut, because I had to cut the scene it was in.
DH: It was a joke that — I laughed out loud.
JP: It was like, Sgt. Hatred called Hank and was like, “What can you tell me about this Spanakopita thing? It does’t seem right.” And Hank’s response was, “Oh! Don’t eat the grapes, ‘cause they’re olives!”
JP: And I love that joke so much. It was so Hank. And I was like, “Oh, maybe I can make Pete White say it,” but that’s Hank. That’s Hank all the way.
DH: I called him about that, too. I was like “I love that,” and he said, “Oh, I just cut that.”
On when they decided to backslide Gary (Henchman 21) back into henching:
JP: Go back into henching? Probably when we decided to take him out of henching. I don’t know.
DH: Somebody was just talking to us earlier telling us that Gary’s back home. And that’s kind of the way you think about it. Like being the henchman in the cocoon with the Monarch — that’s home.
JP: We kind of bring everybody home, but we take them on a journey so they come back home and they have a different relationship with it after the fact.
DH: And their home sucks.
JP: Like Dean went kind of off the reservation this year, but he’s coming back and he has a new understanding of his life. Everybody goes through these moments of doubt and pain where they have to express themselves and then resign themselves.
DH: They talk to an invisible Indian.
On whether the characters are finally moving out of failure:
DH: Well, that is failure. Failure is: Something happens to you and you learn from it and you move on. Then you fail again and move on again. It’s not about their downfall. Failure is when you f**k up and then move forward regardless. Nobody fails sitting in their bed. Except at life. And these people, if you look at them, are any of them really successful?
JP: Are any of them really geniuses? None of them are sucessful.
DH: Gary going back to a house that the cocoon smashed into — and lord knows who’s dead — and it’s barely a job, that’s success? After living in the Venture’s lawn.
On which celebrities will be in season 6:
JP: We don’t know yet. We haven’t written all the scripts yet, so we don’t know what all our new characters are.
DH: And what fans of “The Venture Brothers” are famous and will do for us.