The Venture Bros. Press Panel At NYCC 2011
The Venture Bros. cartoon, which began airing on The Cartoon Network in 2003, was created by Christopher McCulloch (aka. Jackson Publick) and Doc Hammer. The show is centered around Dr. Thaddeus Venture, his two teenage sons and their Secret Agent bodyguard, Brock Samson (voiced by Patrick Warburton). It’s sort of a twisted take on the Jonny Quest universe with a number of characters from that show even popping up from time to time.
When asked about the show’s creation, both McCulloch and Hammer insisted that no drugs were involved. It grew completely out of a need for that Jonny Quest experience. McCulloch said, “I’m jazzed to bring that back because that’s what bummed me out about Jonny Quest, it was like a genre that never caught on, but for us it just overlapped all those other genres… and I miss that kind of ‘Go Science’ kind of thing.”
Having just recently signed on for a fifth and sixth season of the show, McCulloch and Hammer now have the ability to think about longer story arcs for the show. They mentioned that they’ve had a master plan for the show and they’ve always done large and small arcs but with the fear that they’d be cancelled. As they moved into seasons three and four, they got more comfortable, which gave them “the bravery to take side roads into other characters”. Since they’ve had the extra time off after season four, they’ve been able to plan things a little more and they’ve grown to the point where they take criticism from each other better than before. In fact, Hammer sums up their relationship by saying “If I say, on your way to the base can you bring me a pack of cigarettes or something, he just brings it and I don’t pay him. Then when I bring it, something, he doesn’t pay me…We just know that we’re gonna be here tomorrow and we can keep bringing the cigarettes.”
As for hypothetical spin off’s and such, they’d love to do pretty much anything you can think of. An entire episode of the old Rusty Venture Cartoon, a full Dr. Orpheus spin off, any of it. Hammer said, “We love writing for our characters. You can’t come up with a dumb enough idea that we’re not like yeah that’s not great, but it’ll probably never happen.” Asked what they would do with no restrictions, things got crazy pretty quick. They’d love to use more songs and things from pop culture without having to pay for them and Hammer added he’d do a lot of jokes involving fists that I won’t detail here. They did add that in all seriousness, there’s not a whole lot that they have to fight for and a lot of it has to do with what Family Guy can get away with. A show on Cartoon Network at 11pm is a far cry from a show on network TV in prime time so it’s worked out for the best for them.
A Venture Bros. comic book? Probably not going to happen. They’d want to write it themselves and there’s just no time right now. They also said they tend to be kind of control freaks making it difficult to give it to someone else. This led right into my question about a Venture Bros. video game. This is something I’d definitely like to see but this also will probably never happen, mostly because of time but also because Hammer hates video games. It’s because he gets motion sick easily and even though he buys every system that comes out, he can’t find a game that works for him. He tried L.A. Noire and two scenes in said, “I don’t care, I don’t care what this guy did, I just wanna steal a car and crash into some things.” Someone asked what about Pong and Hammer said he had no problem with that but it was boring. He said he even gets sick playing Bejeweled when the jewels drop but he probably wasn’t serious.
There’s no chance of a Venture Bros. musical episode, even though just saying that makes them want to do it. They’ve decided they’re not show tune guys and Matt and Trey from South Park know how to do it better than anyone so they’re not going to try.
When asked about whether they ever believed the show would be this successful or run this long, McCulloch said that they figured they’d be “successful enough to stay on, but never be a big mainstream thing” and that they’d be a cult hit and be happy with that. They also felt that “by season three or four we’d be done creatively” but when they were writing the season four finale they came up with ideas for three or four episodes that will be in season five. It’s great because they feel they’re at a creative high point and they’re loving what they’re doing right now. Hopefully that means that we’ll see many more episodes past season six.
Go Team Venture!
Check out the Venture Bros. cosplay from the weekend along with the public signing on Saturday in the gallery below.