SDCC ’13 SUPERJAIL! Interview with Executive Producers

As a connoisseur of golden age cartoons, Adult Swim’s gag driven animated series, Superjail!, hits a real soft spot in my heart.  For those who are unfamiliar with the show’s formula, it usually has a simple story line that is filled with visual jokes that culminate in a massive bloodbath of insane cartoon violence on the grandest of scales!  It’s awesome.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with the series’ creators/executive producers, Christy Karacas & Stephen Warbrick, at Comic-Con to talk about the upcoming over-the-top season!

What to Expect – Karacas and Warbrick agree that seasons 1 & 2 lead up to season 3, which has a good blend of story and violence.  Season 4 will continue that trend.  “If you liked season 3, you’ll like season 4.  If you hated season 3, you’ll hate season 4.

It’s More Sitcomy – Season 4 feels very “throwbacky”, they described it as being more situational 80’s TV-esque, but with a big fight scene peppered with random violence.

New Fights! – Having a clear theme is key to keeping the fight scenes gag driven.  New themes for season 4 will include a weather fight, fire fight, bayou fight, and an alien mutant spore fight!

More Characters – Like season 3, the new season will include more of the staff and inmates interacting as the inmates have come in to their own as characters.  Many characters are returning.

PeeDee – The character ‘Prison PeeDee’ is based on the real producer PeeDee Shindell (although he is not a puppet in real life!).  Shindell is the person most responsible for keeping the show on track and makes it all happen.

In Response to Fan/Network Pressure – “We don’t try to please anyone, we just try to make it as funny as possible.”

StoryboardingSuperjail really comes together in storyboarding.  The producers had trouble explaining the scripts to the network early on, although nowadays they are trusted to make a great show.

Upon Seeing Aircraft Carriers Out the Window – “The ships are huge here.  We should do a fight with ships.”

Censorship – They never have trouble with the FCC or network standards department for their violence.  The network is sensitive to very specific things such as killing babies, cannibalism, pubic hair, and realistic looking organs.   Whenever they have to change something it always turns out weirder and funnier.

Voice Talent – There are no guests stars this season, just a continued powerhouse performance from David Wain as The Warden.

Challenges – Staying creative with the fight gags is Karacas and Warbrick’s biggest creative challenge, but it is always the most fun.

Revelations – “You learn a lot giving these interviews because you’re forced to think about your answer.  We don’t sit around going ‘what’s the show about?’ We just make it.  It is almost like a kids show that has violence.  The more I think about it, it is a pretty silly show, I mean, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Superjail! season 4 premieres on Adult Swim in 2014.  That’s plenty of time to catch up on the first 3 seasons!  I’m excited for more of that outta control craziness!!

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The Author

Brian Rudloff

Brian Rudloff

Brian loves two things: movies and vacations. He has a B.S. in Cinema/Television Production and an M.S. in Recreation and Tourism Management. While he certainly anticipates the latest releases, he is more often found dancing on flying sarapes through the ether of yesteryear and wistfully prancing on clouds of nostalgia. He does not understand kids these days or the entertainment they consume.