Seth Green on Making Tough Choices for ‘The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special’

     March 26, 2018

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If you’re a fan of Robot Chicken and/or The Walking Dead, you should be aware of The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking coming to DVD/Blu-ray tomorrow. We’ve already shared a deleted scene from the Blu-ray’s excellent bonus features with you, and that came with the bonus commentary from our own interview with co-creator Seth Green. Now, I’m happy to bring you the full interview with Green about the special, working with the AMC drama’s cast, and what’s ahead for Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

If you missed the Walking Dead special when it aired on TV, now’s the perfect chance to pick up this fantastic one-off. It features the bulk of The Walking Dead lead cast, past and present, starring in their famous roles, with a comedic slant to them, of course. The soundtrack–yes, the special features hilarious original musical numbers–is also available now through Adult Swim, making it a perfect pair for the Blu-ray when it arrives tomorrow. Look for my Blu-ray review tomorrow, and read on for Green’s behind-the-scenes take on the special, starting with our deleted scenes discussion.

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Image via Adult Swim

On the ‘Patches’ Deleted Scene – I believe this was one of Breckin Meyer’s scene suggestions that got cut. What was it about this scene that didn’t work?

Seth Green: There’s nothing about it that didn’t work. The whole hard truth of editing, especially editing for broadcast, is that you have a finite amount of time that the program’s going to be. So it comes down to seconds, you know? When we have sketches that are made up of microseconds, you only have enough time … you do math in either direction: If I keep these two things, it means sacrificing this longer thing, or if I sacrifice this longer thing, perhaps I can keep these four little things. Once you get into that conversation of, “Alright, guys, we’re losing 30 seconds wholesale; where are we taking that from?” in something like The Walking Dead or even in previous specials that are more storytelling, it’s anything that’s off-topic. So if you watch the narrative of the special, it’s all very thorough in a relatively straight timeline, and it does service to as many characters as we can in a timespan.

And then you look at a sketch like “Patches” [laughs] and say, “Alright, well this is cutable for broadcast.” And it’s not because it’s not hilarious, or something that we all loved and laughed out loud at, it’s just the time. It becomes very clear, when it comes down to cutting this many seconds, what you’re going to keep and what’s off-topic.

Speaking of Deleted Scenes, I was happy to see the Square Dance scene make it to the Blu-ray extras. Why did that not make the final cut even though it went through all phases of the animation process?

Green: It was just last-round. It was in the absolutely last round of cutting and I think we were in exactly that conversation of, “Alright guys, we have to remove 16 seconds from the broadcast program; where can we take it?” There were two sketches that we kept by cutting the square dance. That’s even luck that anything is animated that doesn’t make it to the broadcast. Nobody understands how much this costs or how complicated the production is. If we’ve done our magic trick correctly, they never will; they just watch the program and enjoy it. The rarity of something actually being animated and then not making it to broadcast is high.

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Image via Adult Swim

Can you talk about why you were in the minority regarding the Lucille origin story sequence?

Green: I love the bat with a cape. It’s so silly. It feels very Robot Chicken. But, again, we come down to this argument of seconds here and there. Even that summation felt … I had to say, is this on or off topic? They way we argued for it, the way it ultimately works so well, is because it’s imagined in the post-whatever the apocalypse is. So now we’re looking back at how humanity was almost destroyed and it’s probable that the legend would be, A) wildly misunderstood, and B) sensationalized for the audience. So that’s where it’s funny. And Carl is furious about it. “None of this is true and a fucking bat killed my friend!” It really feels very Robot Chicken to me.

Why else are we doing this? If we’re saying there’s something meaningful to our point of view on this intellectual property, then we have to back that up. We try our best to entertain the hell out of you.

In the commentary, you mentioned that viewers should zoom in on the bookshelf in the final scene—the Talking Dead bit—for a surprise. (I tried but couldn’t see anything there; what am I missing?) Is there anything actually there?

Green: I doubt it. [laughs] But we live in a James Halliday culture, so happy hunting! I could speculate though, because our crew is mischievous and we absolutely support burying stuff everywhere. We never like to lean toward an Easter egg, but any time you can sneak something in that only Wade Watts is going to find, then do it.

Our crew, all of the artists who work on the show in various categories, are very talented. Everyone works incredibly hard. And we always encourage everybody to improve something if they have the opportunity to. I can’t even claim credit. We’re fortunate enough to be backed by a tremendous gang of people who are all swinging for the fences on this kind of stuff.

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