Robot Chicken writer Breckin Meyer and co-creator Matthew Senreich revealed to Screen Rant at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con that the sketch show was going to tackle The Walking Dead for an upcoming special. To say that they were excited was an understatement. After Senreich ran into Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman at a dinner during the Con and was asked why he hadn’t parodied the series yet, the wheels were put in motion and a special was born.
Screen Rant got a chance to chat with Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer, and Michael Rooker at a press conference, where the upcoming Walking Dead special was discussed. It’s difficult to imagine such a serious, dramatic series could be turned into something so hilarious, but the Robot Chicken team had a great time coming up with ideas.
They came up with so many ideas, it was difficult to narrow down the most hilarious bits into something that could fit into the proper running time. Meyer said:
“When we are writing, it’s just all ideas until we all agree on what’s the funniest and then, when you put the show together, you have to find that amount of time. Originally, this script was over 60 pages. Our first cut was 40 minutes and then we cut it down to 22, so we try and use all of the moments from the show that are funny, that are significant, that make us laugh and make us ask questions.”
One of the concepts for The Walking Dead special that was not cut, and that the creators were really looking forward to, was the Negan Musical. The inspiration behind the Negan Musical came from an observation that was made by the creators while watching Jeffrey Dean Morgan on screen. They noticed that he would perform a little dip after delivering a line. That dip prompted the inspiration behind the musical and, when Morgan recorded the voiceover work, he gave his approval of how they poked fun at the dip:
“When we recorded him, what made it fun was that he immediately saw it and went, “I didn’t realize I was doing that dip until the third day of being on the show and everyone started to point it out. You just have called this out in a beautiful way.”
Not only will fans have the chance to hear Negan sing, but they may also get a chance to hear Michael Rooker sing as well. And, according to the Robot Chicken crew, Rooker surprised with his singing prowess:
“Rooker was one of the last people who agreed to do it and it was only timing and he told me when I talked to him that he just hadn’t heard about it and so I was like, I want you to do this and it’s a singing thing. And he was like, 'Aw, man. I don’t sing. This is going to be terrible and you are going to need to teepee me because I can’t sing at all.' And I was like this will be fun. And then he comes in to record and he’s like, 'We’ll do 20 takes and we’ll go line by line.' And I’m really expecting this to be terrible. The very first take he sings the whole song, pitch f****** perfect and we were just like you’re playing us. You’ve actually studied singing.”
The Walking Dead isn’t exactly the source material one would consider for a musical, and Negan and Merle are also the two least likely characters from the show to break out into song. However, the idea of these two singing while smashing up the living and the dead is enough to bring a smile to one’s face.
The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who’s Walking premieres Sunday, October 8 at midnight on Adult Swim. Season 9 of Robot Chicken will be airing in fall of 2017, but no official premiere date has been announced. Season 8 of The Walking Dead premieres Sunday, October 22 on AMC.