Adult Swim's Rick and Morty has aired some truly zany yet profound episodes, so how does the magic happen in the writers' room?
Rick and Morty co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon may come at the show from different angles, but considering the show's popularity and critical acclaim, the dynamic works. Rowland and Harmon recently spoke about writing the show in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Harmon highlighted his relationship with Roiland and where they get their most inspired ideas.
"Justin and I, our partnership is very based on mutual terror of each other," Harmon admitted. "We're both scared of how unfunny we'd be without the other," Harmon says. "It's not as simple as I'm the smart one making it a mainstream show and Justin is the crazy one that makes it flavorful. There's maybe a foundation of truth to that, but we both hate ourselves. Justin is smart and wants to do smart stuff, and I believe in fun, so it's not that simple. And then of course it's rumored there are other writers on the show that contribute stuff."
Harmon spoke to their policy of "just follow[ing] the laughter," adding, "It all starts with talking in the room about what was it like to be 14 years old, what our favorite sci-fi movies are, and what our fantasies are about sci-fi inventions and tropes. Eventually we crack up at something and write those down and go back to try to figure out if there are episodes in there."
Roiland was very candid about an episode in season 2 called Interdimensional Cable 2, which was a spiritual sequel to the season 1 episode Interdimensional Cable. He admitted that it did not work as well as the original:
"I feel like the first one was a lot better because I think it was a nice balance, there was more of a collaboration on the first one and the improv was plussed in a lot of ways," Roiland explained. "We went in and reworked certain stuff. Stuff that was great we left alone and stuff that needed work we went in and f--ed with. On the second one, I kept it to myself for a lot of the process."
While both Roiland and Harmon admitted to some struggle with season 2, their dynamic usually balances well in creating fresh, new episodes.
Rick and Morty does not yet have a set season 3 premiere date on Adult Swim.