Robot Chicken

Jump to navigation Jump to search
Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken Logo.png
GenreSketch comedy
Parody
Satire
Black comedy
Surrealism
Created by
Based onToyFare
Voices of
  • Seth Green
  • Various
Opening theme"Robot Chicken" by Les Claypool
Ending theme"The Gonk" by Herbert Chappell
Composer(s)Michael Suby
(seasons 1–4)
Adam Sanborne
(seasons 1–4)
Charles Fernandez
(seasons 3–4)
Shawn Patterson
(seasons 5–6)
Randall Crissman
(seasons 7–present)
Kevin Manthei
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons10
No. of episodes200 (and 10 specials) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Alex Bulkley (2005–2012)
  • Corey Campodonico (2005–2012)
  • Whitney Loveall (2019–present)
Running time11–12 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original networkAdult Swim
Picture format480i (SDTV)
(2005–2009)
1080i (HDTV)
(2010–present)
First shown in2001 (as Sweet J Presents)
Original releaseFebruary 20, 2005 (2005-02-20) –
present
External links
Website

Robot Chicken is an American adult animated stop motion sketch comedy television series, created and executive produced for Adult Swim by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. The writers, most prominently Green, also provide many of the voices. Senreich, Goldstein, and Root were formerly writers for the popular action figure hobbyist magazine ToyFare.[2] Robot Chicken has won an Annie Award and six Emmy Awards.[3][4]

Production history[edit]

Robot Chicken is based on "Twisted ToyFare Theatre", a humorous photo comic-strip appearing in ToyFare: The Toy Magazine.[5] The show's name was inspired by a dish on the menu at a West Hollywood Chinese restaurant, Kung Pao Bistro, where Green and Senreich had dined; the series originally was intended to be called Junk in the Trunk.[6]

The show was created, written, and produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, and produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (ShadowMachine Films Seasons 1–5) in association with Stoop!d Monkey, Williams Street, and Sony Pictures Television (Sony Pictures Digital Seasons 1–5). The series first appeared as Sweet J Presents on the Sony website Screenblast.com in 2001.[7] In the first episode ("Conan's Big Fun"), Conan O'Brien was a featured character, voiced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane (2005–present).[7][8] Sweet J Presents ended after 12 episodes and moved to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim in 2005 as Robot Chicken, premiering on Sunday, February 20, 2005.

Some television networks and sketch shows rejected Robot Chicken, including Comedy Central, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, and even Cartoon Network. However, someone at Cartoon Network passed the pitch along to Adult Swim, around the same time that Seth MacFarlane told Seth Green and Matthew Senreich to pitch the show to Adult Swim.

The show mocks popular culture, referencing toys, movies, television, games, popular fads, and more obscure references like anime cartoons and older television programs, much in the same vein as comedy sketch shows like Saturday Night Live.[9] It employs stop motion animation of toys, action figures, claymation, and various other objects, such as tongue depressors, The Game of Life pegs, and popsicle sticks.[6]

One particular motif involves the idea of fantastical characters being placed in a more realistic world or situation (such as Stretch Armstrong requiring a corn syrup transplant after losing his abilities because of ageing, Optimus Prime performing a prostate cancer PSA for the humans, and Godzilla having problems in the bedroom).[9] The program aired a 30-minute episode dedicated to Star Wars which premiered June 17, 2007, in the US, featuring the voices of Star Wars notables George Lucas, Mark Hamill (from a previous episode), Billy Dee Williams, and Ahmed Best.[10] The Star Wars episode was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award as Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour).

The series was renewed for a 20-episode third season, which ran from August 12, 2007, to October 5, 2008.[7] After an eight-month hiatus during the third season, the show returned on September 7, 2008, to air the remaining 5 episodes.[7] The series was renewed for a fourth season which premiered on December 7, 2008, and ended September 20, 2009.[7] In early 2010, the show was renewed for a fifth and sixth season (40 more episodes total).[11] Season five premiered on December 12, 2010.[7] The second group of episodes began broadcasting on October 23, 2011. The 100th episode aired on January 15, 2012.[7] In May 2012, Adult Swim announced they were picking up a sixth season of Robot Chicken, which began airing in September 2012.[12] The seventh season premiered on April 13, 2014. Season eight premiered on October 25, 2015.[13] Season nine premiered on December 10, 2017.[14] Season 10 premiered on September 29, 2019.[15] After a five-month hiatus during the tenth season, the show returned on June 28, 2020, to air the remaining 7 episodes with the 200th episode.[16][17]

Opening sequence[edit]

On a stormy night, a mad scientist finds a road-killed chicken, which he takes back to his laboratory to refashion into a cyborg. Midway through the opening sequence, the titular chicken turns his laser eye towards the camera, and the title appears amidst the "laser effects" as Les Claypool of Primus can be heard screaming "It's alive!" quoting Frankenstein. Claypool also composed and performed the show's theme song. The mad scientist then straps the re-animated Robot Chicken into a chair, uses calipers to hold his eyes open, and forces him to watch a bank of television monitors (with allusions to A Clockwork Orange and Watchmen); this scene segues into the body of the show, which resembles someone frequently changing TV channels.[citation needed]

In the episode "1987", Michael Ian Black claims in the "Best Robot Chicken Ever" sketch that this sequence tells the viewers that they are the chicken, being forced to watch the skits. As a result, the show does not focus on the Robot Chicken until the 100th episode, when he finally makes his escape and later kills the mad scientist when he takes his hen girlfriend Cluckerella.

Beginning in the sixth season, a new opening sequence has been featured with a role reversal (after the events of the show's 100th episode). The Robot Chicken comes upon the body of the scientist, which has been decapitated. He decides to do to the scientist what the mad scientist did to him: add robotic parts to him, turn him into a cyborg, and give him a laser eye (although he gives the scientist a blue eye instead of a red one, which necessitates a change in the title background colour), then strap him to the same chair he was strapped to and force him to watch the same TV monitors while the chicken and his girlfriend share a kiss.[18]

Beginning in the eighth season, a new opening sequence has been featured with the Robot Chicken being uncovered in snow, frozen in a block of ice, by robots. Taken to a futuristic laboratory, the Robot Chicken is taken out of suspended animation by a masked scientist, revealed to be a descendant of the mad scientist who first reanimated the Robot Chicken. The descendant mad scientist then proceeds to force the Robot Chicken to watch a wall of projected images with different shows, as his ancestor did before him. This new opening was necessary following the plot of last season's episode "Chipotle Miserables" in which the mad scientist's son rips out his father's remaining eye to open a door controlled by an optical biometric reader, and then creates a posse of reanimated cyborg animals, as well as a cyborg homeless person. The posse then proceeds to kidnap all 5 living Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. The Robot Chicken and mad scientist then team up to rescue the presidents, after which, the Robot Chicken flies away, free.

Beginning in the tenth season, a new opening sequence has been featured with the Nerd being turned into a cyborg by both the Robot Chicken and the mad scientist and being forced to watch the skits while they high five. This is a result of the previous season finale where the Nerd dies from a cliff jump stunt to get the show renewed. The letters TEN in the title have been also highlighted to mark the show reaching ten seasons. In the 200th episode, as the title is showing, David Lynch shouts "Robot Chicken!" in a off-screen.

Characters[edit]

While Robot Chicken uses a variety of famous real people and fictional characters, it also has original characters created exclusively for the show.

  • Robot Chicken (vocal effects by Seth Green) - The show's titular character. He is a cyborg chicken with a red laser eye revived by a mad scientist. In the 100th episode, he was freed by a maid and later kills his creator after he kidnaps his girlfriend.
  • Cluckerella (vocal effects by Seth Green) - The Robot Chicken's girlfriend. She wears a dress and has hair and lipstick. She was kidnapped by the mad scientist during the 100th episode, causing the Robot Chicken to go to the scientist's lab and kill him to rescue her.
  • The Mad Scientist (voiced by Les Claypool for the laughter and one line in the opening and David Lynch for the speaking voice in the Season 10 finale) - A scientist who revived the Robot Chicken. He has wild hair and an evil grin. Starting with Season 3, his name is revealed to be Fritz Huhnmörder, which is seen at the gravestone. He was killed by the Robot Chicken after the events of the 100th episode only for him to be revived as a cyborg. In the Season 10 episode "Fila Ogden in: Maggie's Got a Full Load" with the Saturday Night Live-styled opening, it said the mad scientist's name is Rick Sanchez, which is strangely named after another Adult Swim mad scientist character.
  • Mad Scientist's Son (voiced by Zachary Levi) - The mad scientist's 32-year-old twisted son, who steals his cyborg-making tools as part of a plot to kidnap all living US presidents for ransom. According to the script of the Season 7 finale, it revealed his real name is Tony Huhnmörder-Anderson.
  • The Nerd (voiced by Seth Green) - A boy with square-framed glasses. He appears in many episodes and often ends up in wild situations in famous media. His real name is Arthur Kensington, Jr., or referred to as Gary in the Season 1 episode "Joint Point". He dies in the Season 9 finale only for him to get revived as a cyborg.
  • Bitch Pudding (voiced by Katee Sackhoff) - A parody of Strawberry Shortcake. She is a foul-mouthed, crass and violent 8-year-old girl who often kills people. She has a Season 7 episode dedicated to her, "Bitch Pudding Special".
  • Unicorn (voiced by George Lowe) - A white unicorn. In his debut episode of the show's second season ("Suck It"), it is revealed that rubbing his horn constantly would give the person rubbing it "mayonnaise".
  • Mo-Larr (voiced by Michael Ian Black) - A dentist who takes care of Skeletor. In the Season 5 episode "Terms of Endaredevil", his real name is Moe Larrstein.
  • Composite Santa (voiced by Christian Slater) - A monster who is half Santa Claus, half snowman. In the Season 4 episode "In a DVD Factory", he has been created by a diabolical scientist that combines the DNA of Santa and Frosty the Snowman.
  • Little Drummer Boy (voiced by Seth Green) - An anime-styled drummer whose drums can cause powers when hit.
  • Humping Robot - A quiet robot who humps machines (most commonly a washing machine).
  • Daniel a.k.a. "Gyro-Robo" (voiced by Seth Green) - A negative minded nerd who has an online show where he complains about things Robot Chicken sketches get wrong.
  • Munson (voiced by Breckin Meyer) - A jerkish teenager that bullies the nerds, especially Daniel.
  • Aliens (voiced by Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Adam Talbott, and Patrick Pinney) - A race of wacky grey aliens.
  • Bloopers Host (voiced by Jamie Kaler) - The host of the blooper sketches, who often do stupid things such as killing himself at the end. He often says tongue-in-cheek phrases.
  • Gummy Bear (voiced by Michelle Trachtenberg) - A sentient gummy bear that is doomed to scream in pain from stepping on a bear trap.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRegion 1 DVD release dateRegion 2 DVD release dateRegion 4 DVD release date
First airedLast aired
120February 20, 2005 (2005-02-20)July 17, 2005 (2005-07-17)March 28, 2006September 29, 2008April 4, 2007
220April 2, 2006 (2006-04-02)November 19, 2006 (2006-11-19)September 4, 2007September 28, 2009November 11, 2007
320August 12, 2007 (2007-08-12)October 5, 2008 (2008-10-05)October 7, 2008January 25, 2010December 3, 2008
420December 7, 2008 (2008-12-07)December 6, 2009 (2009-12-06)December 15, 2009August 30, 2010December 2, 2009
520December 12, 2010 (2010-12-12)January 15, 2012 (2012-01-15)October 25, 2011TBANovember 30, 2011
620September 16, 2012 (2012-09-16)February 17, 2013 (2013-02-17)October 8, 2013TBANovember 20, 2013
720April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13)December 7, 2014 (2014-12-07)July 21, 2015TBASeptember 16, 2015
820October 25, 2015 (2015-10-25)May 15, 2016 (2016-05-15)TBATBATBA
920December 10, 2017 (2017-12-10)July 22, 2018 (2018-07-22)TBATBATBA
1020September 29, 2019 (2019-09-29)July 26, 2020 (2020-07-26)TBATBATBA
Specials10December 22, 2005 (2005-12-22)October 8, 2017 (2017-10-08)July 22, 2008 (SW1)
July 21, 2009 (SW2)
July 12, 2011 (SW3)
July 9, 2013 (DC1)
October 14, 2014 (DC2)
November 18, 2014 (Christmas Specials)
March 27, 2018 (TWDS:LWW)
August 11, 2008 (SW1)
July 27, 2009 (SW2)
July 4, 2011 (SW3)
August 6, 2008 (SW1)
August 5, 2009 (SW2)
August 3, 2011 (SW3)
September 18, 2013 (DC1)

Voice cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Main and major recurring actors/writers are:

Celebrity guest stars[edit]

Among those celebrities who have contributed to this show are:

Other voice actors[edit]

Besides the celebrities above, many famous voice actors work on this series including:

Syndication[edit]

All Robot Chicken episodes are available on HBO Max and Hulu.

Home media[edit]

DVD title Release date Ep # Discs
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Season One March 28, 2006 September 29, 2008 April 4, 2007 1–20 2
This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 1 in production order. While it contains many sketches that were edited from the TV airings, several of the original Sony Screenblast webtoons, and the words "Jesus" and "Christ" as an oath unbleeped (though "fuck" and "shit" are still censored out), the episodes are not all uncut. One particular segment that featured the Teen Titans meeting Beavis and Butt-head was omitted from the DVD because of legal problems. The Voltron/You Got Served sketch shown on the DVD has a replacement song because of legal issues over the song that was used on the TV version. At a performance of Family Guy Live in Chicago, during the Q&A session that ends each performance, Seth Green was asked how they came up with the name Robot Chicken. He explained that the title of each episode was a name Adult Swim rejected for the name of the show. A Region 2 version of the set was released in the UK on September 29, 2008.[19] Three edited shorts from Sweet J Presents were included on the Robot Chicken Season 1 DVD boxset.[8]
Season Two September 4, 2007 September 28, 2009 November 11, 2007 21–40 2
This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 2 in production order and uncensored, with the words "fuck" and "shit" uncensored (except for one instance in the episode "Easter Basket" in the Lego sketch). It is currently available for download on iTunes (though the episode "Veggies for Sloth" is absent because of copyright issues involving the "Archie's Final Destination" segment).[20] Seth Green stated at Comic-Con 2006 that the second DVD set will contain the "Beavis and Butt-head Meet the Teen Titans" sketch, which had been removed from the first DVD set because of copyright issues. However, the sketch is absent from the DVD (although it is available on iTunes). Bonus features include the Christmas special. A secret Nerf gun fight can be found on the disc 1 extras menu and pushing "up" over the extras and set-up items on the menu reveals more special features.
Star Wars Special July 22, 2008 August 11, 2008 August 6, 2008 1 1
This single DVD features the Star Wars special in its TV-edited version (i.e. with bleeps in place of profane words) and several extras about the crew and their work on the special, including a photo gallery, alternate audio, and an easter egg demonstrating the crew's difficulty in composing a proper musical score for the sketch "Empire on Ice". It also features various audio commentaries, featuring members of the cast and crew.
Season Three October 7, 2008 January 25, 2010 December 3, 2008 41–60 2
This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 3 in production order. This DVD is uncensored, except for the "Cat in the Hat" sketch from episode 7 on Disc 1. It also intentionally censored in episode 5 in the "Law and Order" KFC sketch. This DVD has special features such as deleted scenes and animatics. It also includes commentary for all of the episodes and has "Chicken Nuggets" commentary for episodes 1 and 3–5. The bonus features also include a gag reel and audio takes.
Star Wars Episode II July 21, 2009 July 27, 2009 August 5, 2009 1 1
This single DVD features the main Star Wars special extras, including normal Robot Chicken episodes and common DVD extras; "The Making Of"; and deleted scenes.
Season Four December 15, 2009 August 30, 2010 December 2, 2009 61–80 2
This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 4 in production order. The special features include "Chicken Nuggets", San Diego Comic-Con '08 Panel, "Day in the Life", New York Comic-Con '09 Panel, video blogs, an Australia Visit, Alternate Audio, deleted scenes and deleted animations, and commentary on all 20 episodes.
Star Wars Episode III July 12, 2011 July 4, 2011 August 3, 2011 1 1
Interview with George Lucas, "Chicken Nuggets" (sketch by sketch video commentary), Behind the Scenes, Voice Recording Featurette, Star Wars Celebration V Robot Chicken Panel, Skywalker Ranch Premiere Trip, Writer's Room Featurette, Deleted Animatics w/video intros, Audio Commentaries.
Season Five October 25, 2011 TBA November 30, 2011 81–100 2
This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 5 in production order. Nine of the episodes were previously unaired before the DVD release. The set includes commentary on all episodes, "Chicken Nuggets" on a few episodes and a featurette on Episode 100. Deleted scenes and deleted animations are also included. Among the deleted scenes are the sketches "Beavis and Butt-head Meet the Teen Titans" (deleted from Season 1 due to copyright issues) and the "Riverdale: Final Destination" sketch (deleted from Season 2 sets).
DC Comics Special July 9, 2013 TBA September 18, 2013 1 1
The Making of the RCDC Special, RCDC's Aquaman Origin Story, Chicken Nuggets, Writers' Commentary, Actors' Commentary, DC Entertainment Tour, Stoopid Alter Egos, Outtakes, Cut Sketches, 5.2 Questions.
DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise October 14, 2014 1 1
The second set of specials parodying DC Superheroes.
Season Six October 8, 2013 TBA November 20, 2013 101–120 2
This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 6 in production order. Special features include commentary on every episode, deleted animatics, featurettes, deleted scenes, channel flips and "Chicken Nuggets".
Christmas Specials November 18, 2014 TBA TBA 6 1
This DVD contains 6 Christmas-themed episodes: "Robot Chicken's Christmas Special", "Robot Chicken's Half-Assed Christmas Special", "Dear Consumer (Robot Chicken's Full-Assed Christmas Special)", "Robot Chicken's DP Christmas Special", "Robot Chicken's ATM Christmas Special" and "Born Again Virgin Christmas Special". Special features include commentaries, deleted scenes, deleted animatics and "long-forgotten" promos.
Season Seven July 21, 2015 TBA September 16, 2015 121–139 2
This two-disc boxset includes all 19 episodes from Season 7 in production order. Special features include commentary on every episode, a bonus Christmas special titled "Lots of Holidays but Don't Worry Christmas is Still in There Too So Pull the Stick Out of Your Ass Fox News Special" with commentary, featurettes and cut sketches.
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special ( collection) March 2018
The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking March 27, 2018 1 1

Revolver Entertainment have released the first four seasons and all three Star Wars specials in the United Kingdom.[21] A box set including the first 3 seasons and a box set including all three Star Wars specials have also been released.[22]

Madman Entertainment has released all Robot Chicken seasons and specials to date in Australia and New Zealand.

International[edit]

The show airs in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of E4's Adult Swim block, in Canada on Adult Swim, in Australia on The Comedy Channel's Adult Swim block, in Russia on 2x2's Adult Swim block, in Germany on TNT Comedy's Adult Swim block, and in Latin America on the I.Sat Adult Swim block (after the Adult Swim block was cancelled from Cartoon Network Latin America in 2008). Many of the show's sketches from Sweet J Presents were redone for Robot Chicken.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (December 2, 2011). "'Robot Chicken' Duo Launch Animation Studio: Seth Green and Matthew Senreich pact with Buddy Systems to create Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and will produce tribute episode to DC Comics universe". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  2. ^ "R.I.P. ToyFare Magazine 1997–2011". Actionfigures.about.com. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  3. ^ "Emmys – Robot Chicken". Emmys – Official website. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  4. ^ "Annie Awards: 'Wreck-It-Ralph' Wins 5 Including Feature, Robot Chicken 'DC Comics Special' TV, 'Paperman' Best Short Awards Winners 2013". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  5. ^ "Before Robot Chicken: Twisted ToyFare Theatre Takes on DC Comics". Comicbook.com. 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  6. ^ a b "Video Games, Game Reviews & News". G4tv.com. 2005-02-16. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h The New York Times
  8. ^ a b Robot Chicken: Sweet J Presents (Summary)
  9. ^ a b "Seth Green Interview". askmen.com. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  10. ^ Mike Snider (June 13, 2007). "'Robot Chicken' digs its satirical talons into 'Star Wars'". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
  11. ^ "Robot Chicken Gets Unprecedented Two-Season, 40 Episode Pick-Up – TV Ratings, Nielsen Ratings, Television Show Ratings". TVbytheNumbers.com. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  12. ^ "Breaking News – "Robot Chicken" Season 6 Kicks Off on Sept 9th at Midnight!". TheFutonCritic.com. 2012-08-16. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  13. ^ "Robot Chicken Season 8 begins writing". League of Buddies. Stoopid Buddy Productions. 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  14. ^ Deckelmeier, Joe (September 26, 2017). "What Fans Can Expect From Robot Chicken Season 9". screenrant.com. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  15. ^ "Seth Green on Season 10 of 'Robot Chicken', Their 200th Episode, and Upcoming Special". Collider. 20 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Adult Swim Sneak Peeks "Robot Chicken" Season Ten Return". Bubbleblabber.com. 2020-04-01. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  17. ^ "Adult Swim Reveals Summer 2020 Schedule: "Tender Touches"; "Robot Chicken"; "12 Oz Mouse"; "Yolo: Crystal Fantasy"". Bubbleblabber.com. 2020-06-11. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
  18. ^ "Robot Chicken Opening – Robot Chicken – Adult Swim Video". Video.adultswim.com. Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
  19. ^ "Robot Chicken – Season 1 Box Set (Region 2) (Pal): DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  20. ^ "Robot Chicken – Season 2 Review". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 2007-08-31. Archived from the original on 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  21. ^ "sitcomsondvd.co.uk". sitcomsondvd.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-04-27.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "sitcomsondvd.co.uk". sitcomsondvd.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2010-04-27.

External links[edit]