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13 Reasons Rick And Morty Is The Cult Comedy You Should Be Watching Right Now

If you aren’t watching Rick and Morty, you should probably watch Rick and Morty.

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Humble, Depraved Origins


Borne out of a failed Channel 101 pilot, Rick and Morty began its road to irreverence as trollbait by another name: Doc and Mharti.

“At the time (October 2006), I had nothing to lose and my original intention was to call this 'Back to The Future: The New Official Universal Studios Cartoon Featuring the New Doc Brown and Marty McFly' and then I'd just sit back and wait for a letter from their lawyers to arrive. That's actually why it's so filthy,” wrote creator Justin Roiland on his Vimeo page.

“Then, as I began editing the radio play and boarding it, the two characters ended up becoming something different than just a bad impression of Doc and Marty from BTTF. They slowly became two of my favorite characters that I've ever voiced.”

Justin Roiland

Remember the name, because the former Channel 101 funnyman behind House of Cosbys is a man who’s going places — weird places.

Notwithstanding his “parkour-like” ability to record vocals for both Rick and Morty at the same time, Roiland serves as co-creator, executive producer, writer, and director on his twisted labor of love.

Dan Harmon

The reinstated Community showrunner and satire savant (also of Channel 101 legend) is known for elevating otherwise lowbrow TV by pushing the envelope, and the case is no different with his dip into animation with co-creator Roiland.

“I know how to do 20-minute A-story, B-story and yet, over at Adult Swim, you can have people’s brains being blown out, you can have people defecating on screen,” Harmon told the LA Times. “The exciting thing about it was what it meant to Adult Swim because they hadn’t done it before, and you could tell that they were gearing up for something special and they wanted us to be it.”

A Familiar Family

If the vocal talents of comedy regulars Sarah Chalke (Roseanne, Scrubs) and SNL alumnus Chris Parnell as Morty’s parents don’t ring familiar to you, perhaps you can relate to putting up with a raging alcoholic for a grandfather who cracks inappropriate jokes at the expense of the son-in-law he resents while occasionally getting you into mischief.

Maybe that is sometimes a thing that happens to some of you. IDK.

The Dialogue’s a Gas

Rather than spewing out punchlines ad nauseam, Rick and Morty's competitive advantage lies in dialogue that’s anything but polished. Littered with stuttering and belching, Roiland’s oft-improvised banter lends itself to the show's comedic timing. What’s more? It's totally method.

“The burps are real,” according to Roiland. “While doing all of Rick's dialogue for an episode I mark specific lines that I want to go back and do ‘burp takes. on. [...] I use low-calorie beer (Miller 64) and water to get air into my stomach. Then wait for the burp and try to get it in the middle of a line. […] This whole process is disgusting.”

A Love Letter to Pop (and Not-So-Pop) Culture

From obscure sci-fi and horror of old (The Lawnmower Man, Zardoz) to the more obvious (BTTF, Jurassic Park, Inception), each episode is a treasure trove of winks and nods complete with the same cultural and self-referential Easter eggs Community fans have come to expect from Harmon and company.

“I watched a TON of horror and sci-fi movies when I was a kid,” Roiland told io9. “I always picked out the worst horror shit. As early as 5 years old. Not kidding. That's probably where a lot of my sensibilities come from.”


You proved you "fucking love" it on Facebook, so why aren’t you watching it here? Sure, some of it’s weird — likely even bogus — but if we can't get our youth interested by way of inter-dimensional sex robots or alternate universe-peeping goggles, we can kiss America’s future STEM ranking goodbye.


“I would summon a Meseeks every time I sat down to answer an email,” said Harmon in a Reddit AMA, “so that he could say, ‘Ooooo, Dan, you did a goooood job on this eeeemail, but I doooon't think your huuuuumor is registering, maybe you should make it cleeeearer that you're kiiiiiiding!’ “

Easy Access

Those who’ve cut the cord on cable will be excited to find that Adult Swim makes episodes available to watch online for free shortly after their air date. The show also broke ground for being among the first to premiere a new episode on — of all social networks — Instagram.

(Yup, a 22-minute episode presented in 15-second clusters. Because ADHD.)

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