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Dressed as the cast from the ’80s sitcom A Different World, The Venture Bros. co-creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer and cast member James Urbaniak (Dr. Venture) exploded on to the stage to the musical stylings of Bell Biv DeVoe.
The panelists quickly sprayed the crowd with rapid-fire self-deprecating jokes, including a curious hint to a live-action Venture Bros. idea. Publick mentioned that he had been trying to quit smoking in order to “bulk up” for his role as Sgt. Hatred, which he claimed was going as well as writing the next two seasons of the Adult Swim series.
Quickly after confirming that the show has indeed been renewed for two more seasons, Publick and Hammer desperately pushed to screen the official Shallow Gravy music video for the song “Jacket.” Shallow Gravy is the musical collaboration between Hank Venture, Dermott Fictel and their robot H.E.L.P.E.R, all characters from the show. The video had been kept such a secret that even Urbaniak hadn’t seen it. Publick and Hammer commented that, in addition to an acoustic version with outlandish accompanying instruments — Hammer described it as “just awful” – they’ll also release the song through iTunes.
With nothing left to announce, the panel turned to the audience for Q&A.
First to the mic was a Sgt Hatred impersonator asking if there were any plans to develop a Sgt Hatred action figure. The fan made the joke that he enjoyed children’s toys, to which Publick let out a small chuckle before answering, “We’re thinking about it.”
Another fan asked about the status of the character 24, and whether he was really dead or something else. Hammer jumped in to say they had explained it enough. “I thought we cleared that up, like the way TV clears up anything,” he said.
“We don’t like to interpret our own work,” Publick added. “If you think he’s a figment of 21’s imagination, fine. If you think he’s a ghost, also fine.”
Next a fan asked whether Peter White’s appearance was take from Hammer’s likeness. Hammer noted that the voice is Publick’s impersonation of his father, and the hair came from Hammer’s love of Phil Oakey of Human League. Publick further noted that most of the show’s cast started out as background characters. Publick said, “we always wanted to make everybody as interesting and weird as possible. It’s like, what’s that guy’s story? We’ll never know. And then we turn them into a major character.”
A series of fans approached the mic with questions about the future of the show, to which both Hammer and Publick repeatedly answered, “All questions regarding the future of our television show will be answered in the future by our television show.”
During the course of the Q&A, Publick and Hammer made a handful of announcements in between shutting down countless fans. Publick and Hammer confirmed they will be bringing back several characters, namely some females, that the fans would least likely suspect. Hammer mentioned he had created a new female character that should please fans.
Hammer also expressed his interest in involving Dr. Venture with a woman, saying to Urbaniak, “We need to get you on-screen hooked up with a lady.” The crowd cheered, leading Hammer to respond, “Any kind of applause means, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re going through with it.’”
The last question came from a young woman who asked about the future of the relationship between The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend. As the crowd oo’ed, what came next was expected. “We need a better last question,” Hammer quickly stated. “All future-of-our-show people get out of line now.”
The Venture Bros. special From The Ladle To The Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy premieres at midnight Aug. 28 on Adult Swim.