Dino Stamatopoulos: The TV Squad Interview
(Left to right: Scott Adsit, Jay Johnston and Dino Stamatopoulos)
Dino Stamatopoulos has written for some of the funniest cult comedy series in the last ten years, including Mr. Show, TV Funhouse, Tom Goes to the Mayor, and most recently Moral Orel, an oft-misunderstood stop-animated cartoon created by Stamatopoulos himself. He's also written for other series, including Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and Mad TV.
With the new second season of Moral Orel starting November 12, Stamatopoulos and I spoke on the phone about what fans could expect in the new season, and about TV comedy in general.
Adam: I got my time zones mixed up so earlier today I was wondering why you hadn't called yet.
Dino: Oh shit. Damn it, you must have hated me for awhile.
Adam: It's like, I'm two hours later, not him. I said to myself, "I'll give him until 11:30 and then send him an e-mail," but luckily I figured it out before then.
Dino: I was dropping my kid off at school around that time.
Adam: Is that Tigger?
Dino: Tigger, yeah.
Adam: Is that your only kid?
Dino: Yeah. Although, I did give sperm for awhile in the '80s so I might have some more.
Adam: I was gonna say I might be your kid, but I was born in the '70s.
Dino: Yeah, yeah. No, if you were born around '91 and have a big nose, you might be my kid.
Adam: Did you come up with the name Tigger for your daughter?
Dino: Actually, my wife at the time, she loved all those Winnie the Pooh books. She liked the original versions.
Adam: The Milne versions.
Dino: Yeah, so she kind of jokingly suggested "Tigger" and I thought it was really funny, and we just kept calling her Tigger while she was pregnant, and it stuck. And it's really her middle name, but that's what we call her. She goes to this Waldorf school, it's all anti-TV and Disney, and you can't wear any shirts with any kind of logo on them. For awhile they refused to call her Tigger because it's a Disney character. She's like, "no, it's a book!"
Adam: So what can we expect in the new season of Moral Orel? Is everything in the can?
Dino: No, I think we delivered, not even the first two episodes, we're kind of shooting them out of order. The first episode that's gonna air is still here, Adult Swim doesn't even have it yet. But we've got two completely done and two that are about mixed, and all the special effects, all the post effects [need to be completed] and that's about it. There's twenty in production.
Adam: I noticed on the schedule they were listed out of order.
Dino: Yeah, you know, it's kind of my fault. I numbered them really strangely because I would write two and I would go, "I hope they don't air these together cause they're kind of similar." So the first two I wrote were like episodes twenty-two, and you know, thirteen. I'm just so confused now. I gotta stick with those numbers, but there's a hyphen and 201, 202. It's just a nightmare.
[Season two] is gonna focus more on the other characters. As Scott Adsit put it, in season one the Orel stories were more Orel doing horrible things to the town and the Orel stories in this season are I guess more like the Christmas episode where horrible things are done to Orel.
Adam: The first season episodes were more or less self-contained, but there were some subtle things about the relationships between the characters that made it a little confusing seen out of order.
Dino: I didn't expect them to be that out of order. I told Adult Swim, "whatever you do, the Christmas episode has to be the last one aired." It turned out it was the first. But I kind of like that they make those kind of idiot decisions, because it just confuses everyone. I'm all for it.
Adam: Standards and practices had a lot to do with them being out of order, right?
Dino: We didn't even know if the show was going to air after they were all done. Turner took a look at them, not Turner the man, but the corporation, and said, "why did we make these?" They were very concerned about religious groups protesting because Turner is very bible belt central. So Mike Lazzo [said] "since it's around Christmas and you're not airing any of the episodes, let's just air this Christmas episode and not waste it and see what the reaction is." It's definitely one of the harsher episodes. And it aired, and no one gave a shit. Then they started putting the other ones on. Then they held three back for various reasons. "God's Chef" was one of them. That one was the biggest problem.
Adam: What had to be cut out of that episode?
Dino: Nothing that really hurt the story. There was one shot of Orel actually climbing under the covers of the woman when he inserted the pastry bag. We didn't see him under the covers, but he did crawl under the covers. We'll put that back for the DVD.
Adam: So there will be a DVD?
Dino: Yeah, I think the DVD will be fun. I don't do a lot of like, shooting documentary stuff because I kind of hate that stuff around, them shooting. I tend to sort of clam up when there's a camera. There's a little bit of that, I want to do drunk [audio] commentary. Maybe have the option of drunk commentary or sober commentary.* Jay [Johnston] and I will participate, Scott Adsit doesn't drink. He'll have to do the sober commentaries. Alone.
We actually wanted to get Scott's sister [to do commentary]. She saw "God's Chef" and she's a very Christian woman and they got into a little fight about it. Actually, it was kind of a big fight. She was really offended by it. It was kind of a bad move on Scott's part to show her that episode first. That one's just asking for it. He quit for a couple days, he's like, "I can't, it's tearing my family apart." Then they decided, "ok, we just won't talk about it with each other." Then I thought, why don't we have her do a commentary for the episode, and she can just say whatever she wants, and we wouldn't make fun of her. She was gonna do it for awhile then decided she didn't want to, which is unfortunate.
Adam: It would be cool if you could get someone to do that.
Dino: I'm thinking maybe after the show gets a little more popular it would be more interesting to have some opposing viewpoints, so maybe with the next DVD. Right now they're talking about doing it in volumes rather than seasons, so the first DVD would be all of season one and part of season two, just so there'd be more. I guess fifteen [episodes] for every DVD.
We were at the Comic Con and did a panel with other Adult Swim shows, and once again, Jay and I were really drunk. It was a lot of fun, a lot of screaming and stuff. We want to put that on the DVD, too, with commentary, maybe.
Adam: Is Comic Con as "fanboy surreal" as everyone says it is?
Dino: A little bit. Part of the premise of our panel was that no one cared about our show. We were on a panel with Robot Chicken, Venture Brothers and DethKlok [later renamed Metalocalypse --Adam]. Those are three huge shows people are really excited about it. I think [Moral Orel] is a very quiet show. I feel like it will gain popularity once people get to know the characters. It's taking its time, which I like.
Adam: I think you compared it to the first season of The Simpsons.
Dino: I actually compared it to the Tracey Ullman "Simpsons" when they were still trying to figure out what these characters were. The first season of The Simpsons I thought was brilliant. I actually enjoy those first seasons more than seasons three, four or five. I thought the characters had integrity and Homer wasn't too stupid, he just had his point of view. They were the most human family on TV at the time. That's what I'm inspired by for Moral Orel. I prefer, for season two and even season three, to make these characters very real and deal with real problems. In a funny way, hopefully.
Adam: Moral Orel does have that extra level underneath, it's not like an Aqua Teen, which is also a good show, that's right in your face with joke after joke and weirdness thrown at you.
Dino: Which is good. When I was a kid I loved that, too. I'm just a little tired of it. A lot of the other shows I've written for were a lot of that. I guess I just wanted to do something a little different. You know, with characters that would be substantial.
Adam: I suppose the younger generation is more into that kind of instant gratification.
Dino: I know the show sometimes gets criticized for taking the easy way out and just being a character study rather than jokes, but I think it's the other way around. I think the real trick is to make these characters important to everyone who's watching.
Adam: Which is why going from watching something like Aqua Teen to something like Moral Orel, which requires a bit more thought, is a little weird.
Dino: It's not in a good spot. I would actually like it to follow Tom Goes to the Mayor or something. I think people who like that show probably would like our show.
Adam: You were involved with the first season of Tom Goes to the Mayor.
Dino: Yeah, a little bit. Those guys, they know what their characters are and they know what they're doing. Bob [Odenkirk] wanted me to come in and throw in ideas. And they were great, and they'd listen to everything I had to say and probably didn't put much in the show, because they have their own ideas.
Adam: When I first discovered Tim and Eric, long before Tom Goes to the Mayor, I had that giddy feeling when you discover something new and cool. The humor was unlike anything I'd seen before and I couldn't figure out where it came from.
Dino: I think they were raised by wolves. It's that kind of humor, it comes from nowhere.
Adam: Not that I could write an episode of The Simpsons, but I can watch it and get a feel for the humor, but Tom Goes to the Mayor, I wouldn't know what combination of drugs to take to get to that place.
Dino: I don't think those guys do any drugs, but you're right, to be like them you'd probably have to. I guess I'd do some crack and acid and then come down with some heroin.
Adam: Out of all the shows you've written for, was it harder to get into the groove writing-wise for some of them?
Dino: I'm usually good at facilitating other people's vision. As long as I'm excited about the show I can fit in pretty well. I was there at the beginning of Conan, so fit into his silly, childlike humor. With Mr. Show, it was fun, and David and Bob were very precise about what they wanted to do and made it clear what they would like to be in the show. It was usually just whatever's funny, whatever's going to make them laugh.
I think I would have been a great writer for Letterman in the early '80s. I wasn't that good when I was there because I wasn't excited about the show because the show wasn't anything I wanted to do. He was more concerned with getting ratings to beat Leno at the time. He had country western bands on his show, for god sakes. I don't even know if he's beating Leno now, I think he just gave up at some point.
Adam: I was born too late to have really appreciated Letterman in those early years.
Dino: Every now and then they'll play the reruns somewhere, and they're great, man. I remember watching those shows when they first aired and just laughing hysterically, and then I watched the old tapes when I was at Letterman, and they were still just as funny, but I realized no one in the audience was laughing at all, for the most part, especially when [the show] was a couple months old and people didn't really know what the show was yet.
Adam: There's a lot of shows like that, kind of ahead of their time.
Dino: I think Tom Goes to the Mayor is definitely before its time.
Adam: You know, it is. If it doesn't survive, it's going to be one of those shows where people will talk about it and be like, "damn, that was a good show." There will be that handful of people who still talk about it. Maybe the Ben Stiller Show, too, which you also wrote for.
Dino: The Ben Stiller Show, I feel, was of its time only. A lot of topical stuff. I don't know if it holds up as much. There are a few Odenkirk pieces that are hilarious and a couple other ones here and there, but it was very topical, and then there were parody bits like "Eddie Munster in Cape Fear," which made no sense whatsoever.
Adam: Taking famous characters and putting them in weird situations.
Dino: Which I hate.
Adam: Speaking of parody, you also wrote for Mad TV.
Dino: Yeah, well, I needed the money. (Laughs) I have a child. Actually, there's a lot of great writers on Mad TV, but none of the good stuff gets through, really. When it does, it's very poorly produced. There's something about the show that looks so cheap.
Adam: Shows like Mr. Show and Monty Python also had a kind of cheap look to them, but in a good way.
Dino: Well, also, everyone knew how to shoot comedy on Mr. Show, and I don't think they know how to shoot comedy on Mad TV. And it's too performer oriented. These [actors] ad lib and you're forcing [their] characters into structured comedy pieces and unraveling everything. It's a star vehicle, it's a stepping stone for actors the way Saturday Night Live is, it's not about the quality of the show anymore. "Let's use this to go on to movies."
Adam: I rarely watch Mad TV, but when I do catch it, I still see the same characters from years ago.
Dino: It's funny you mention that, because Mad TV is not in the spotlight at all. I can't believe it's been on so long. No one ever talks about it. It's just this thing that gets just good enough ratings that they'll just keep it alive because it's profitable. When people asked me what I did I'd say, "Well I'm working on Mad TV now," and they'd say, "really? Is that show still on?" No one watches it.
Adam: Going back to Mr. Show, what scenes did you write you were especially proud of?
Dino: I liked the "pre-taped call-in show." I wrote that with Brent Forrester. It was his initial idea on the Ben Stiller Show. He just walked up to me and said, "hey, what do you think about this idea? It's a call-in show, but they have to pre-tape it."And we started laughing. What was fun and funny about the whole process was trying to figure out the logistics of it, and trying to figure out how they would do it and the problems that would occur. It wrote itself, really. Those are the kind of sketches I really like, where you have the premise and it's pretty much tripping and falling down the hill. "The Audition" is very similar to that.
Adam: Where David Cross acts out a scene about doing an audition, for an actually audition.
Dino: Yeah, he's auditioning from a play called "The Audition." It's actually a bit I used to do. I wrote a play in Chicago and we were performing it, we did it at the Annoyance Theater and then afterwards, the cast or whoever was in the audience we'd go up on stage and do fake auditions just for fun, and it came from them. I actually ended up doing that audition piece at real auditions for awhile.
Adam: Did that go over well?
Dino: Of course not. (Laughs) It alienated everyone. I'm not really an actor.
Adam: You did perform on Mr. Show.
Dino: A little bit. I don't really enjoy performing unless it's a very specific part I know I could do. A lot of times they'd say, "oh, you should do this." I'd say, "guys, you don't know, I'm not that good." They like me, and I'm a fun guy to have around the office, so they think I'll be funny on camera. And I'm not, I'm not that kind of performer. I'm not a character actor.
Adam: Do you think it's possible for someone to be a comedy writer and not have at least some acting experience?
Dino: Yeah, definitely. You know, Brent Forrester was not a performer of any kind, and he's a good writer. Greg Cohen is a great writer, and he has no interest in that. He writes for Futurama now, and he wrote for Conan and TV Funhouse. He has no interest in performing, and I have no interest in seeing him perform. Bill Odenkirk, I guess he had a couple little cameos on Mr. Show. He's not a performer, but a really great writer.
Adam: Now that you have Moral Orel, are you enjoying the freedom of writing your own stuff for your own show?
Dino: The first season was a lot of fun to write because I was excited and starting to know who Orel was and trying to throw in other characters. It had a repetitious feel because I wrote them very quickly and needed a template. I think with first seasons you get more of that. I think first seasons are usually not that great if the characters don't come from somewhere else like The Simpsons did. I think I'll look back on season one and cringe a bit because of the repetition and the heavy-handedness of it. But it was fun to write something totally on my own that I thought, "okay, I take credit and blame for these episodes."
Adam: The first season of a lot of shows tends to be the "practice season."
Dino: It really is. Don't get me wrong, I think the [first season episodes] are good in terms of what's on TV right now, but I'm excited about season two and even more excited about season three because I think I know where I want the show to go.
Adam: So are we guaranteed a season three?
Dino: Let me go on the record and say I do, but Adult Swim doesn't. I'm very optimistic about it because I feel like they like the show, and I feel like the ratings have been acceptable. Even in its fifth or sixth rerun at 1:15 in the morning the ratings spike up a little bit. I think the show will build an audience as it goes on.
I'm still writing season two, by the way. I'll tell you -- well, I wonder if I should tell you this.
Adam: Yes, yes, you should.
Dino: We're gonna save one of the episodes we recorded for season three because we wanted to do something that was really fast animation-wise, because we're a little behind right now. I thought of this idea I'm really excited about where Orel will show his new movie that he stop-motion animated to some of the authority figures of the town in his backyard on a sheet like kids do, with a little Bolex projector. So he's customized all his toys to make them look like characters in the town, so he's showing this movie and most of the episode is going to be this movie that's animated. I'm going to animate it up in my office. We'll have cutaways to the characters watching the film and reacting to it. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.
Adam: (Jokingly) Is this going to be kind of a "screw you" to the audience then?
Dino: (Laughs) I don't think it's a "screw you," it's more of a "screw you" to me cause I have to do all the work. I'm working really hard to make it not just a gimmick and make it a story with an arc, and fun.
Adam: When you mentioned the idea, I was thinking of what South Park did when they aired an entire episode of Terrance and Phillip.
Dino: No, this is strictly because we need to catch up some time. I thought rather than doing a clip show when they say, "remember when we did this?" It would be a cheap and also a very fun way of doing a show. It's going to be Orel's interpretation of what happened in season one. He's going to make a little film about it, and all his friends are going to do the voices, they're going to sit behind the screen.
Adam: Do you also animate the stop-motion that appears over the credits at the end of every episode?
Dino: I did that in season one. Jay, Scott and I animated those. I don't know if you know this, but Scott is now doing 30 Rock. So he left, but he's still producing, we still send him versions and he makes notes, and he was here for a lot of the season. So he's gone now, and Jay had a lot of other projects, so he's not here that often. And I'm really busy so I have interns and assistants doing it now.
Adam: Scott still does the voice of Orel's dad?
Dino: Yeah, he's still doing the voices. He's actually coming in next week to do the next five episodes.
Adam: You had me worried for a second, I thought Orel's dad had lost his voice.
Dino: I know, I know. The show would not go on. That character's brilliant. I'm blessed because I have really great voice actors doing the show. Jay does like seven or eight main characters. Scott does a few; he does Doughy.
Adam: I always like to try and pick out Jay's characters.
Dino: Usually the old women are Jay.
Adam: And Coach Stopframe and Officer Papermouth.
Dino: Yeah, Officer Papermouth because we use paper mouths to animate with. He also does Sal Figurelli, the store owner, and Ms. Censordoll, the librarian.
Britta Philips does a few of the women. She does the mom. She also did the singing voice of Jem on that '80s cartoon. Carolyn Lawrence does Orel.
Adam: And she does Sandy on SpongeBob.
Adam: Is comedic timing difficult with animation?
Dino: Yeah, it's really difficult. I think a lot of the animators are used to a different style of humor, which is more cartoony. We have to constantly tell them to be more real. I find a lot of the boy animators will go for jokes within their shot to make us laugh, and it seldom does, because [the show is] about the characters more than anything. And all the animators are great, it all comes down to what the sensibility is. I think a lot of the male animators like to go for jokes. They're like, "these guys are from Mr. Show, they're gonna like this." There was one shot where Orel finds a dog, and the line is, "well, I don't see any identification." And one of the animators had Orel look up [the dog's] ass. But our editor is great, and animation is so forgiving that you can cut within that shot and cut that little part out. You might see a hint of it, but it won't be as blatant.
Adam: I suppose all animators are used to things getting cut.
Dino: Very little gets cut, because there's no second takes. The show is very tight in the animatic stage. Our animatics are just the storyboards and the voices, so there's no animation at all in the animatic, but it's still a very strict time. If the show is 11 minutes and 20 seconds in the animatic, it's pretty much 11 minutes and 20 seconds when it's done. There's not a lot of spare deleted scenes you would get on the DVD, especially with a story show. With something like Robot Chicken, they can move things around and take out whole pieces. You can't really with a story show.
Adam: You share studio space with Robot Chicken.
Dino: We're actually gonna shut down on Friday because Robot Chicken has a special they're doing. I don't know if I'm supposed to say, but I don't give a shit, I'll tell you anyway. LucasFilm saw some of their Star Wars parodies and now they're financing a whole half-hour special that's gonna be played for one of the network's halftime shows for Super Bowl Sunday. So they're building all these Star Wars sets around here. The nerds are creaming in their pants.
Adam: They are. I didn't like Robot Chicken at first, but it's grown on me.
Dino: I was introduced to the studio because of Nick Weidenfeld, who picked up Moral Orel and pushed really hard for it to be stop-motion, which is the perfect way to go, I just thought it would be too expensive. He said there's this company (Shadow Machine) doing this show called Robot Chicken, why don't you go there and help out with the writing. I went for like two weeks, and much like Tom Goes to the Mayor I went to help out with the writing and didn't really help at all. I haven't really seen the show since then. I'm a little burned out on sketch comedy, myself.
Adam: Because you've done it for so long?
Dino: Yeah, and I feel Robot Chicken is like The Ben Stiller Show in stop-motion, where they rely a lot on knowing what the source material is in the parody. If you don't know what they're parodying, it's not going to be that funny.
Adam: Robot Chicken tends to be very scattershot, some stuff hits, some stuff doesn't.
Dino: Some stuff is funnier, like the more non sequitur humor. I remember seeing one shot, something about a monkey sticking a fork in an outlet. At least I understand what's happening there. I feel so old when I watch Robot Chicken.
Adam: Seth Green and I are around the same age so the cartoons and toys they'll reference are all stuff I grew up with. They also have scenes where I think it's more funny in theory than seeing it actually played out, like, "wouldn't it be cool if the guys from Dragonball Z fought Christmas characters?"
Dino: How was the animation in that scene?
Adam: It was decent.
Dino: I think the Dragonball scene, one of the best animators on Moral Orel, she animated that. I think she won an Emmy for that, Sarah Meyer. I'd like to clone her.
Adam: They did a scene where Darth Vader calls the Emperor after the first Death Star blows up. It's hysterical. Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy did the voice of the Emperor.
Dino: What do you think of Family Guy?
Adam: South Park went after Family Guy, making fun of all the cutaway gags, saying there was no real depth to the show and it was just random things. When the show was first on, I said the same thing, but I didn't necessarily mean it as an insult. It just seemed like that's the kind of show it was, a kind of gag show. It wasn't going to be like The Simpsons, which had much more depth. Now when I watch it I'm really 50/50 about it, because there's some really great moments I think are really original and really funny, but at the same time it's really hard for me to ignore how much they borrow from The Simpsons.
Dino: I feel like their show is like when The Simpsons goes crazy and wacky. It's pretty much all that, that's what Family Guy is.
[At this point, my tape ran out and a small portion of the interview was cut out. The interview continues below with Dino telling me about meeting with the animators for the first time]
Dino: The very first meeting of Moral Orel, they said, "well we know this is a parody of Davey and Goliath and the way that looks. I was like, "a) it's not a parody, and let's not go that cheap, let's make it look good. You guys wanna make it look good, right?"
They were like, "Yeah, that's out job, we love making things look good." A lot of times with sketch shows or something like TV Funhouse you would have to ask these professionals to make their work look shitty and it was a little heartbreaking. Part of the reason we were a little behind in season two is because they're so into making the show look good. I think the first ten episodes especially will look amazing. The last ten episodes are quieter, more character study episodes.
Adam: I have to confess, I think I did make a Davey and Goliath comparison when I first wrote about Moral Orel, which didn't make sense because I've never seen an episode of Davey and Goliath.
Dino: That's okay, it was partly inspired by Davey and Goliath. I kind of went off what I thought Davey and Goliath was, which was an ultra pious kid, and then when I rewatched [Davey and Goliath] I realized the show isn't bible thumping, you know? It's more about a kid trying to grow up and be a good kid. They actually pushed the biblical lessons in a nice subtle way, they weren't hitting you in the head.
Adam: It seems whenever you satirize religion, it's bound to be misunderstood.
Dino: Yeah, everything's going to be misunderstood because there's so many people talking about it.
Adam: Certain people are offended automatically if there's any fun poked at religion at all no matter what, but then there are those people who might not be offended, but see the show as doing something that's already been done before.
Dino: Right, yeah. I always read that this is easy humor, and I don't know, maybe I'm just retarded, but it doesn't seem that easy to me.
Adam: I think Moral Orel has a lot of layers. It's about a kid who takes everything literally, and he also makes these jumps in reason, that, to him, makes sense. Digging up the dead and taking their clothes off, that makes sense to him.
Dino: That's what's great about having a character like that, it makes it [easier for me] as a lazy writer. You know, Orel just jumped to that because that's the kind of character he is.
Adam: And the adults in the town are the same way. Orel's father leads this dark secret life, but he can make it all seem reasonable to himself.
Dino: I think most people want things to be convenient. We want to live in a convenient society. What's happening with Christianity now is that it's a religion of convenience, "we want this to happen so we'll just say God wants us to do this and we'll somehow interpret it in this way." I've witnessed this with people, and it's a lazy way of raising children, too. Instead of explaining to them about sex they just say, "no, don't do that because God doesn't want you to." Jesus Christ, do a little work, don't let God do all the work, that guy's fucking busy enough.
Adam: That should be a line in the show.
Dino: (Laughs) Yeah, that's true, print it in the interview and then I'll use it in my notes.
It's about the laziness of people and the laziness of religion, but for a writer it's a nice shortcut, too. You don't have to do that much research about Christianity, once you have the premise that they'll make up anything. The sermons are so easy to write.
Adam: I think Bob Odenkirk has said before that it's better not to know anything about what you're satirizing because then you're more free to just run with it, and it's much funnier.
Dino: I definitely agree with that. It was certainly the attitude I had when we were writing the Faluza sketch [for Mr. Show], we hadn't watched Amadeus in a long time, and we just though we'd make it a parody of Amadeus without really researching it. It became sort of it's own piece with a hint of Amadeus. We're just using it as a stepping stone to write something funny.
It's like, Dan Castellaneta, his Homer Simpson was him trying to do Walter Matthau, but because he didn't research it and didn't try that hard, it became his own character.
Adam: What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
Dino: You know, I watched everything as a kid. I liked The Flintstones, which is purely coincidental that my name's Dino. I think that might have been my favorite cartoon, which explains why I like slow, situational cartoons. It was the predecessor of The Simpsons. I remembering seeing the commercials for the Christmas episode of The Simpsons, which was the first one they aired and thinking, "wow, this is gonna be an amazing show." Do you have the first season DVD of The Simpsons?
Adam: I have all the DVDs.
Dino: The first pilot they got back, before they redid it, did you watch that?
Dino: It's amazing how they didn't even know animation was so important. They get it back and Marge is kissing Bart without leaning down, her lips just kind of stretch out. Part of the challenge of Moral Orel is to go down and talk to the animators because you never know what you're going to get back. When you say a character walks across the room, that could be a million things.
Adam: It really shows how everyone, including animators, actors and writers have to work in sync to make a show work. If one part is off, the whole thing comes tumbling down.
Dino: I watch the episodes as they're being edited and I can look and tell you what animator animated that Orel or that Orel. "That Orel was animated by Sarah, that Orel was animated by Matt." They're light years away from each other.
Adam: Do you think that's something others notice?
Dino: I hope it's something only I notice. I mean, have you noticed?
Adam: No, not at all.
Dino: It's interesting. You start to obsess over it. I'll watch it and go, "oh my god, that doesn't even seem like Orel to me. Look at his eyebrows, they're so fat."
*Dino called me up this evening to tell me Adult Swim said "no" to his idea of doing drunk commentary. He's trying to find a way around this little problem, so don't give up hope of hearing a sauced Dino just yet.