Mr. Pickles on Adult Swim – Q&A with the Writers Dave Stewart and Will Carsola!
Q: What was the inspiration for Mr. Pickles?
A: We sat the in theme room and said, let’s come up with 10 ideas each, a couple sentences, and just try to make each other laugh. And then it was just doing a writeoff where we would were just coming up with a bunch of ideas and Will came up with the first 2 sentences about “how about a dog that likes to murder and worship satan. And he likes Pickles.” And we gave that idea along with 4 other ideas to Adult Swim, and they picked up that one. And we started developing around it. And originally the idea was that the dog worships satan but that’s not the case anymore. As we developed Mr. Pickles character, it was this evil entity by itself. Eventually there will be more backstory, about his true character and what his origins are. But for now I’d say he’s just evil.
Q: Was this based on true life at all, such as having a bad dog or experience?
A: No we love dogs. Mr. Pickles is this lovable cute character, with this over the top dark side where he kills people but in pretty absurd ways, like wearing somebodys skin as an outfit and he just takes it to another level. But he’s so cute and lovable. Really the only one in the world that knows that is the Grandpa, other than the prisoners in his doghouse.
Q: Where did the motivation for “Old Town” come from?
A: Old Town is based on alot of places that Dave and I have lived at or been around in Virginia. Specifically a place that I lived up until I was about 5 years old, this old fashioned town in Virginia. And I draw alot of inspiration from this place that was kind of stuck in time. Even when I visit today it’s still a little stuck in time. The idea was just that we have this old town, a Mayberry type of place, but you have all these twists and it’s taken over by the modern world. Alot of characters are inspired by that same experience, small town and people with all these twists to them.
Q: Is the story told through the dog Mr. Pickles (kind of like Dexter) or is it about him?
A: It’s not really told through him. The story is mostly all of Tommy, and Mr. Pickles goes off and does his thing. It’s mostly told through Old Town. Every episode though begins and ends with Mr. Pickles in some kind of way. He kind of threads the episodes. Most of the episodes will be following one of the main characters, family memebers, and what their storyline is. But then coming back to waht Mr. Pickles is doing, and at the end of hte episode he’s some kind of mastermind, and everything is kind of leading to this one thing that Mr. Pickles is going to do.
Q: Do you ever test jokes or concepts on an audience and if so, how?
A: We really just try to make each other laugh. If I can get Will to laugh hard about something or vice-versa, it just usually extends beyond our writing. We started out just writing and making things to crack each other up. We started out in Virginia where we were the only ones making films and sketches, as opposed to out here (LA) where everyone does. We didn’t really have other people that were making stuff to look at or be influenced by, and that’s probably where we developed our own style early on. And we’d go that’d be funny let’s do this, or that, and luckily because of the internet it got out there and we realized we have an audience, but totally motivated on our own just to crack each other up.
Q: What was your first project together?
A: We used to sell alot of tshirts back then called Day By Day, and we thought let’s brand the company with what we like? So we made this video with skateboarding, and graffiti, and music videos, and thought we should put some funny stuff in there too. And that’s where we started writing sketches and mostly pranks. We didn’t know what we were doing. Through the underground circuit, the skateboarding and graffiti world, we had pretty good success. Through those Will and I just became more obsessed with making sketch comedy which led to writing and going full-fledged into film and sketches, which led to animation.
Q: How did you guys originally meet?
A: In Virginia, we were about 21 years old, around 2001. I was still in college, going to school for painting. And we both had an interest in film and video, but had never really gotten to do what we wanted with it or tried out that much. Dave had this cheap little camera and we just started making stuff, videos and comedy. I became so obsessed with editing and making any kind of videos that I would up dropping out of school for painting. We really taught ourselves through making mistakes, to hone down what our sensibility is and sense of humor is. So when Dave and I are pitching jokes to each other, we’re not offended if the other one doesn’t like the idea because we just move on. We both kind of have the same sense of humor, and just work together really well. I think that is a big part of it for being a comedy duo. Our comedy is definitely strange and obscure, and we’re definitely on the same wavelength. Sometimes I feel like Will and I live in a constant sketch.
Q: It hasn’t premiered yet, but who would you say is your target audience?
A: Toddlers 6 months to a year, and people over 100. We hope it’ll be diverse. There’s 2 sides to the humor, one is kind of a more for the thinker crowd. We have a little bit of social commentary we like to hit on in there, that comes with being grown up and disgruntled about things in the world. And then there’s also a lot of absurd humor, and I think the absurd humor will appeal to the younger audience. It’s just easy laughs, and it’s pretty mixed. And I also think that Dogs will watch. And people who do acid. We’re not saying you should take drugs, but if you Happen To Already, and if you take them And watch the show you’re going to have a really good time.