Venture Bros. cocreators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick

We chat with the duo behind The Venture Bros., Adult Swim’s absurdist animated comedy about boy adventurers and failed superscientists.

This is like Christmas, my first BMX bike and meeting the cast of Firefly all in one!” The words of excitable minion Henchman 21 ring true for any Venture Bros. devotee given the chance to speak with the two men responsible for their favorite television show. Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, cocreators of Adult Swim’s absurdist action-comedy animated series, are no strangers to superfans nor to the convention circuit. They’re holding a panel at New York Comic Con for followers of socially inept brothers Hank and Dean Venture, failed superscientist Dr. Rusty Venture, secret government agent Brock “Swedish Murder Machine” Samson and the rest of the series’s motley crew (Main Stage 1-D; Oct 11 4–4:45pm).

RECOMMENDED: New York Comic Con guide

On working with Aziz Ansari and Kate McKinnon as guest voice actors:

Jackson Publick: It’s so good when we can get someone we like that’s on TV. And it’s especially great when you have a character that’s new, and you don’t really have a feeling for them yet. And then they just bring something to it and you just have fun. Aziz and Kate both brought two characters who were not very distinctive on the page to life. And you’re like, Oh, all right, I know who these people are now. And Kate is just hysterical.
Doc Hammer: When Kate does somebody, she gives a performance that’s twice as large as what you [expected], but twice as good.

On using alt-rock band Pulp’s “Like a Friend” for the ending dance sequence of “Operation: P.R.O.M.”:

Jackson Publick: The minute we started writing [the episode], we knew what song we wanted to use for it. And we definitely wanted to get a real song, because a deejayed event on our show needed just one real song. When we figured that one out, it guided the writing.

On revealing the identities of the mysterious, string-pulling Council of 13:

Doc Hammer: It was just time to do that. We have so many characters, and we can use them in the way we created them. Then we can kind of bust them up and use them in new ways, and then we murder them. That’s really how we run the show.
Jackson Publick: The only way to get Brock [Samson] back in the show [since he quit being the Ventures’ bodyguard] was to actually spend some time with the O.S.I. [top-secret government agency the Office of Secret Intelligence], and to do that, they needed a mission. So it became all about getting to the bottom of the Guild [of Calamitous Intent, which oversees the world’s supervillains], just so we could have Brock in the show.

On whether or not fan favorite Henchman 24 is really dead:

Doc Hammer: Oh, he’s absolutely dead. But it’s a scientastic world we live in, so who knows? Anything could happen. Jackson Publick: I take pity on our fans. We hurt their feelings; we killed someone they loved. For no damn good reason.
Doc Hammer: Yeah, the reason was it was a terrible idea, so we did it.
Jackson Publick: Yeah. It really was, it was like a dare.

  1. Q & A
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