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So, we failed to bring you the entire transcription of this press conference because typing is tiring. To recap: there was a Venture Bros. panel for press before the panel for the general public at New York Comic Con, and since I didn't go to the latter, I am bringing you a transcript of the former, hoping it's unique and original. Enjoy.
Question: Now that you have the next two seasons ordered, does that change your writing approach in any way?
Jackson: We have changed our approach, but not because of that.
Hammer: It does give us the sense that we can do longer arcs, because before we were always ready to be canceled.
Jackson: We had that for season 3 and 4, it gave us the bravery to take side roads into other characters.
Hammer: We're undisciplined children.
Jackson: We're taking criticisms from each other better than we used to.
Hammer: Yeah, it's easier to argue. Before, if one of us didn't like something the other person did, there were feelings involved. Now it's like an actual discussion. Our relationship is... You know what we do? This is one of my favorite things about the relationship that Jackson and I have: If I say "If you can, on your way to the 'Base, bring me a pack of cigarettes" or something, and he just brings it. I don't pay him. When I bring something, he doesn't pay me. That's a great relationship. There's no: "Hold on, how much was it, eight bucks?" We just know that we're gonna be here tomorrow, and we can keep bringing the cigarettes. Please find an over-arching beautiful sentiment that is embodied in that statement to make it pertinent, so it doesn't seem like an anecdote that has no payoff.
Like a common law marriage!
Hammer: Like a common law marriage! Where did you get that shirt, it should be ILLEGAL! [Fella was wearing a HENCH shirt.]
Question: Are the flashbacks to Rusty Venture as a boy actual parts of his life or are they part of the Rusty Venture show?
Hammer: The actual cartoon that they show inside of the Venture Bros. --
Jackson: -- is heavily stylized.
Hammer: Much more stylized. There's a grain effect to it to look like it was transfered from film. It has no real humor to it, it was a brutal show.
[Sidebar: They finish each other's sentences, isn't that the first sign of being an old married couple? Nevermind the cigarettes metaphor.]
Question: Would you ever consider doing an entire episode like that?
Hammer: I would LOVE to do that. Any of these hypotheticals that you're suggesting, we'd love to do! We love our characters. You can't come up with a dumb enough idea. We think it all sounds great. But we never get enough time to do them.
Question: What would you do if you had no restrictions?
Hammer: We would use more songs that we didn't have to pay for, from pop culture. We'd use a lot of things that exist in pop culture that we're not allowed to say.
Jackson: We'd have people wear name brand clothes, and have posters on the wall.
Hammer: We'd have Homeboy figurines. I would make a lot of fist-fucking jokes. Just a ton. A constant barrage of the ugliness of getting fisted.
Jackson: Creatively, we're not really held back.
Hammer: Except for the fist-fucking.
Jackson: Legal stuff is kinda the only stuff we don't get to do. Occasionally, the sexy stuff. But it's not like we fight for it. "C'MON, WE WANNA DO FIST FUCKING!"
Hammer: "THIS SUCKS, THIS IS CENSORSHIP, YOU NAZIS!"
Jackson: For the most part, we haven't gotten notes from Standards and Practices in a really long time. We couldn't pee on the mummy, we had to fight for that. And the alligator couldn't be frightening when we killed it. We're allowed to do more now because Family Guy came along and was doing this kind of stuff, and we said "They're doing it at 8 o'clock on network tv, you won't let us show it at 11pm on Cartoon Network?" So that kind of eased things up.
Hammer: I would use more characters that exist that we didn't get to use. We could have an episode where we don't do a parody of Batman, Batman is there, and we don't have to worry about the legal repurcussions of having Batman as a nemesis.
Question: Was Shallow Gravy a one hit wonder?
Hammer: Wow, I don't think there was a wonder or a hit involved.
Jackson: I know a lot of people who were pretty obsessed with that jacket song. My friend's band is planning on trying to cover it.
Hammer: Awesome. I'll get them the sheet music. It was a one-obsession special. It wasn't a one hit wonder. Although their EP that included that song in different versions because of [?] they know that they just wrote Too Shy. But they're no Kajagoogoo, my friends. They're no Nick Beggs.
Question: Who is?
Hammer: Nick Beggs is.
Question: Did you ever imagine when you first created this that you'd still be on the air in 2011?
Jackson: Yes and no.
Hammer: When were you imagining this?
Jackson: I never would've imagined that it would take ten years to get to season four. So that part, I would've said "NO WAY! Who makes two year seasons?" Sometimes you daydream about garbage like that [that a show will be on that long] but you don't really think about it when you're making it. We didn't expect it to catch on too much. We thought maybe we'll be successful enough to stay on, but we're never going to be a big mainstream thing. We'll be a cult hit, and we're happy with it. We also thought we'd probably be done by season three or four, creatively. When three and four got greenlit we both were like "That'll do it," right?
Jackson: And we were ready for the finale and came up with three of the episodes you're going to see next season. We weren't ready to end it. So we were like "Tell the agents we'll sign a new contract!" It's weird, we're really excited actually. We're pretty keyed up to write these. We're really happy about the show, and creatively we're really in to making the show right now.
Hammer: Which is good for looking back on the show, it's gonna suck for you next season. All great things appear as crap when originally aired. You'll watch it and be like "Oooh, they ruined the show," and then you'll go back and watch it and go "Wow, that was the best season ever."
Jackson: So right now, people think season four sucked. And those people used to think season three sucked.
Hammer: Wait till season five! Season four will be AWESOME because season five sucked so bad! Then when season six comes out, everyone will love season six immediately. I don't know why. It's just gonna push all the right buttons. "It's almost like season five, this season six, which we loved immediately. That means season five is awesome, and we didn't even know this!" ...I'm just bullshitting. Through exuberance I can sell you anything.
Question: Are there any plans to expand the Venture Universe in comic books?
Hammer: We can barely get the show on. Do you know how long it takes to write these episodes?
Question: Could you get someone else to write it?
Jackson: We talk about it sometimes.
Hammer: We do.
Jackson: We're such control freaks we'd have to find someone we like who's interested. It would depend on who they suggest as a writer or an artist. I kind of dig letting go and seeing what somebody who's actually in to it could do if it doesn't change our show.
Hammer: When we're still on the air -- here's my problem. Wait 'til we get canceled and then just clog the market with crap. That's when you do that. Because when we're still making it, to have a substandard thing -- and I'm only saying substandard because Jackson and I won't be doing it, and it would just be substandard because we are great --
Jackson: We're the gold standard. It comes up once in a while. We're not NOT interested.
Hammer: What happens is it's like Splinter of the Mind's Eye where you're like "Did that really happen to Darth Vader? Is it apocryphal? Is it part of canon?"
Jackson: Don't you WANT to be part of that nerd discussion? That happens to everything you love.
Hammer: One day I'll grow my neck out and sit back and go "How we doin?"
Question: Why do you name some rock stars by name (like David Bowie) and others you don't?
Jackson: Our lawyers have asked us not to.
Hammer: Our lawyers have asked us to stop mentioning rock stars.
Jackson: We never fully understand the definition of parody, from a legal sense.
Hammer: Sometimes we've had it right.
Jackson: Sometimes you have to figure out how to say what you want to say without really saying it.
Question: Would you ever do a movie?
Hammer: If someone wants to make a movie and they come running at us with money shooting out of their ears, and an actual plan, then we'll discuss it. For us to just jump in to a movie, we wouldn't say no to it...
Jackson: I would love to make a movie. I love movies.
Hammer: Movies are great. But no one wants to make a crappy movie.
Question: If you ever could create a Venture Bros. video game, what type of game genre would it fall in to?
Hammer: I can't play video games, I get sick. I get motion sickness, simulation sickness. I own many game stations. I buy them thinking "This time, it will work," and I'll play it once and then never want to see it again.
Jackson: You get obsessed. Like the thing with Jango Fett and Boba Fett.
Hammer: That was fun, but I got a terrible headache.
Jackson: I don't know how a Venture Bros. video game would work like with a Medal of Honor thing.
Hammer: I tried to play the L.A. Noir and got like two scenes in and was like "I don't care. I don't care what this guy does anymore, I just want to turn this game off."
Question: What about pong?
Hammer: I played when I was a child. I also buy those games, like at K-Mart that you just plug right in to get the game --
Those don't induce motion sickness, then.
Hammer: But they're not fun. It's a little dot.
Jackson: The camera doesn't move. If you went on one of those rides where you don't go anywhere but the screen moves, you would get sick.
Hammer: I would get sick just looking at that ride. I get sick playing Jewelz. "Things are falling in to place, oh God, I'm nauseous!"
Question: Are we ever going to get any more Jasper McVain songs?
Hammer: Jasper lives in England. So to get more in the show --
Jackson: Do you mean are we going to put more in the show or are there any more?
Question: ARE there any more?
Hammer: Yeah, there are still different Jasper McVain songs. But Rev Me Up is such a great song, it's inspirational. It's hard to listen to that with my pants on.
Question: Is there any chance that there will be a Venture Bros. / Super Jail crossover?
Hammer: Those two worlds don't exist together, they're not part of the same world. Hank *might* watch Super Jail and then wonder if anyone else sees it, like it's part of a fever dream he had.
Question: Any chance of a musical episode?
Hammer: Can I say no? Because that's horrible. The little kid in me is screaming "NO! NO! Don't ruin it!"
Jackson: I retreat from that, but then I want to do it. Sometimes you just want to do terrible things. "Don't you just hate evil twin episodes? Man, we gotta do an evil twin episode."
Hammer: I don't want to do a musical episode.
Jackson: Mike's always trying to talk us in to doing the "I'm Rusty" musical. And that, we've actually been kicking around, but we would never do a full musical. Well, we can't say we'd never do it --
Hammer: NO, we CAN.
Jackson: We almost tried to write an episode where a musical is being made. It's being rehearsed. But it's so Family Guy. They like showtunes. We're not good at showtunes, we're not big showtunes guys. Family Guy does that stuff and they're good at it.
Question: Is there any chance the kiss between Dr. Mrs. and 21 is going to be important going forward?
Hammer: It has resonance, yes. Is it explored, no, because of the fisting involved. We talked to the network and they hate the fisting.
Jackson: If we can figure out a way to do it without fisting, once you take the fisting out...
Hammer: It's not romantic anymore. Everything that happens on the show really happened. And we'll move forward as if these events have occured. Until J.R. wakes up. It's all happening in a snow globe.
Question: Do you have something in mind for after Venture Bros.?
Hammer: Well, as you know, we are international playboys. So aside from Venture Bros --
Jackson: We'd do a lot more boogying.
Hammer: Yeah, we LOVE TO BOOGIE. We love the night life. After that, we'd go to a dig in Cairo, maybe Monaco again, keep it real.
Jackson: If you're asking if we have a bunch of side projects that we're working on, not yet, but we will make some.
Hammer: We just wrote a Liam Neeson movie! Boom! That's the kind of intellectual creative power you're dealing with. We're a machine. A FISTING MACHINE. I was personally offended that they didn't contact Jackson and I for the Doctor Strange movie. OFFENDED! Like actually angry!
Jackson: Like how we were when they didn't call us about the Johnny Quest movie.
Hammer: OFFENDED! We didn't write and tell anybody that we wanted to do it, but since they didn't call us, I'm indignant. Insane! I think that people should be thinking "HOW could we move foward WITHOUT them?" You can get me on Facebook! It's that easy! I'm so easy to find, you could just write me a little message: "We're doing a Doctor Strange movie, would you be interested?" Interested?! I have notebooks upon notebooks of ideas for Doctor Strange! I've been making that pitch since I was eight years old. I can just walk in to a room and go "Are you ready? For the greatest Doctor Strange movie ever made?" And they'll go "We never made a Doctor Strange movie," and I'll be like "Yeah, it was a really crappy one." Remember that Doctor Strange movie where he spent an hour knocking on doors?
Jackson: Yeah, in the 70s.
Hammer: We could make a better movie than that, it would be great and it would be funny.
Jackson: Let's make sure we see him go through every door, every room.
Hammer: In the 70s, they'd have three page scripts and they'd make a half hour show out of it. Watch any tv show from the 70s, it's very padded. But the Doctor Strange movie has him knocking on doors and it being the wrong door. No relevance to the plot whatsoever! Just knocking on the doors and saying "Oh! I'm sorry!" They padded it with him not getting the directions right! There was nothing to do with anything, he didn't look inside the doorway to see if there was a person handling a magic object -- you've seen our show right? We take about 40 pages and JAM IT in to 24 minutes.
Jackson: And then cut those down to 22.
Hammer: Yeah. If you miss a joke, we don't give a shit. If you give us an hour, it's not like we're going to be disciplined. We'll jam that thing in. You could watch it seven times and every time you watch it it'll be a totally different movie. The Mad Libs of film.
Question: Is there any aspect of the show that the fandom has latched on to and surprised you?
Hammer: What people like in our show is always different. There are some people that really like the soap opera aspect, the continuity. There are other people who are just dependent on it.
Jackson: There are people who are like "Why can't it be more like Season One, where it's funny?" And then there are people who ask if we're going to do a season of ten parts where it's one long story.
Hammer: I'm always amazed that two people watch the same show and one of them is watching an entirely different show that the other person. That amazes me.
Jackson: They're both a little frustrated, but they both keep watching.
Hammer: We can't decide what we are, either. We cater to both those idiots. We are those idiots.
Jackson: It still surprises me how a certain section of the audience really loves Dean and Triana. Really surprised that people still ask when Kim is going to be back.
Hammer: That surprises me. She's pretentious.
We sent the Dr. Mrs. The Monarch Cheerleader your way.
Hammer: Thank you, that was nice. I appreciate anybody dressing up as our characters, because it makes it weird in my head.
Jackson: They're head trippy characters.
Hammer: When they're mildly sexualized, I like it even more. But when I see people dressed up as Henchmen, I think they're real. Because they WOULD go to comic con. And they would wear their uniforms.
Jackson (as 24): "I'm not wearing it, it's gay. I'm going as Seinfeld."
Question: What costume from the show have you seen that surprised you the most? Is there any you haven't seen that you'd love to see?
Jackson: We saw some pictures from Dragon*Con that were some really amazing ones.
Jackson: Lots of Shore Leaves, which I was really happy to see.
Hammer: Two different styled Shore Leaves. There was S.P.H.I.N.X Shore Leave, and Shore Leave playing football on the lawn. "BOOM!"
Jackson: The most surprising one to me is the guy who did Jonas, Jr. He was sitting in a robot chair, it was amazing, really involved. Once you know people like all the weird crappy background guys, you know what's coming.
Hammer: And then we make more crappy background guys.
Question: What was your education? I know Doc went to school in Boston--
Hammer: I am a college drop out. I dropped out of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. I was a pottery major, which you can see is very handy today. I can throw porcelain.
Jackson: I dropped out of Rutger's University after I'd been going for four years. I'd forget to drop classes, so I would fail them.
Hammer: When you're a fine arts major, to show what you have, what do you need with a degree? Majoring in fine arts is like majoring in not being home with your mom. Majoring in throwing money down the toilet. They're not teaching you the fundamentals. The dadaists ruined that bullshit for you. So since the 1960s -- I was being taught by people who learned in the 1960s, when nobody could fucking paint. Think about it, what are they going to teach you? They hate Caravaggio, he doesn't mean anything to them. All they kept telling me was "You're never as good as you were when you were a child!" What? I couldn't draw a fucking house! How much money am I giving you to revert me back to my crayon stage!
Oh, it's always good when you end on a rant.