Whether traditional or avant-garde in style, biopics featuring fine artists usually come with an air …
Will Carsola and Dave Stewart are two best buds with demented imaginations. They have a trove of sketch comedy and songs via their production company DaybyDay, have been featured on HBO’s Funny or Die, and have seriously messed with Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
They are also the creators of the Adult Swim series Mr. Pickles.
If you’re unfamiliar, the series is about the adventures of the conservative and clueless Goodman family. There’s a buxom, aproned mom (voiced by Brooke Shields), Dad, and a sweet little boy in leg braces named Tommy. There’s the family dog, Mr. Pickles, so named because he loves Pickles as treats. This family also includes Grandpa Gobbleblobber, who is the only one who picks up on the dead bodies and Satanic rituals in the forest just outside of a town. It’s a place full of alcoholics, bullies, and a derpy lisped sheriff. No-one believes Grandpa’s rantings that Mr. Pickles is evil.
And is Mr. Pickles evil? Sure he talks in ancient evil languages to other ghosts and demons and has a party-lair for the dead under his doghouse. But he’s so darn lovable. And he only rips out the spines and limbs of bad people, particularly the vain and selfish. He deals with people who are abusing power or themselves with the dumb joy that a dog finds rolling around in gross stuff. And it’s all about protecting his human Tommy.
Season two ended with Rob Zombie voicing an annoying vegan cult leader (see if you can pick out Weird Al in that episode, as well), and a surprise character back from the dead.
The animated series is full of heavy metal riffs, so to roll out Season 3 (premeiring on February 25th) , Adult Swim along with the creators have put together a 13 city metal tour featuring veteran thrashers Exodus and comparatively newer thrashers Municipal Waste. We got a chance to chat with Will and Dave about their work, what to expect from Mr. Pickles season 3, and the Mr. Pickles Thrashtacular. All questions were answered from their conjoined brain.
- How did you two come to make comedy together back in Virginia?
Will & Dave: Some eighteen years ago now, our company, DaybyDay, started out as an idea of a record label that turned into a T-shirt company where we promoted mixed media art shows all around Richmond. Finally we wanted to make film that represented our brand at the time, so we set out to make a video/film of skateboarding, graffiti, and music videos. When that didn’t feel like enough we began making little sketches to put in between the other video parts. Eventually we became obsessed with making sketch comedy and switched our focus solely in that direction.
- In one of your documented pranks, you were each able to get multiple outlandish driver’s licenses from the state of VA. Did you get in any trouble? Do you think this made any kind of statement or dent on these government offices or does it matter?
Will & Dave: At the time, the DMV threatened to revoke our licenses if we didn’t return the ones with ridiculous photos, but we told them that we set them on a window sill next to a fresh apple pie and somebody stole them. Basically we told them that we lost them all and that was more or less the end of it. That particular DMV was getting bashed pretty hard in the media at the time for letting us get away with disguising ourselves in the I.D. photos. This was post 911 and apparently some of the terrorist had also gotten their liscenses from that same DMV, when homeland security was supposed to be clamping down. Now you can’t even smile in a Virginia DMV photo and they went from color to black and white. We’ve been told we inspired the new existing laws of driver liscense photos in Virginia.
- Will you be doing any new video series or working on new projects on daybyday?
Will & Dave: We have some new things in the works…nothing we can currently elaborate on. Eventually we’d like to get back to doing live action projects and hopefully a movie. Daybyday is always changing so we just go with what we’re exited about at any given moment. So the future could lead us to eventually make anything from underwater marionette shows for old folks’ homes to underwater hordcore porn films for old folks’ homes. We just never really know.
- How did animation come into play?
Dave: Although our main focus was live action, sometimes Will would often make short animations drawn by a mouse, so they looked extra shitty back then. As the years went by, the animations got a little more polished and we started having fun with all of the ideas we could do in animation that would have been impossible to make with live action. For instance, giving a 6 year old boy breast implants or getting a dog to cut somebody’s legs off then wear them as stilts. That would be quite hard to do in live action. Ultimately, we pitched Adult Swim both a live action and animated show and wound up going the animated route.
11: I hear you guys do the vocals on Mr. Pickles theme song. Who did the music? Excellent timing on the guitar noodling/licking).
Will & Dave: Mark Rivers composed the theme music for our show. He’s composed the music for several TV shows over years and is also the drummer in the band Rat Dog on the show Parks and Recreation. The guy is a musical genius.
- How did you decide to do a metal tour in celebration of Mr. Pickles season 3?
Will & Dave: Adult Swim actually pitched us the idea and we were immediately on board.
- What relationship do you have with the bands?
Will & Dave: We’ve known the guys from Municipal Waste for years and came up with them around the same time in Richmond. After we moved out to LA, we stayed friends and usually catch up with them when they’re playing in town. We don’t know Exodus yet, but they’re friends with Waste and they’ve toured together before.
- Can you give me a hint of the most fucked up and or beautiful thing that will happen in this season of Mr. Pickles?
Will: The most beautiful thing that happens in season three of Mr. Pickles is when little innocent Tommy makes friends with a pair of shoes. One beautiful thing that happens is little innocent Tommy gets to be reunited with his Grandma, Agnes. The fucked up part is that everybody thought she was dead this whole time, but in actuality, she had been down under Mr. Pickles’ dog house serving him as “Steve”, Mr. Pickles’s leather wearing man-pet and guardian of his evil lair. What happens next is even more fucked up.
- Mr. Pickles is a hellhound, so to speak, (or maybe he’s just straight up Satan), but isn’t he really the hero of these tales?
Will: You could call him a hero, but really he’s just your regular happy dog, murdering and humping his way through life, trying to get that Pickle.
Portland is the second stop for Mr. Pickles Thrash-tacular, landing at The Hawthorne Theatre on February 23rd. Along with enjoying face melting guitar riffs, fans attending the Thrash-tacular Metal Tour can take photos in the Mr. Pickles hellacious dog house, purchase exclusive Mr. Pickles merchandise and receive free Adult Swim swag. For more information, please visit Adult Swim Presents.