Robot Chicken writer Breckin Meyer and co-creator Matthew Senreich say the sketch show's upcoming The Walking Dead special is parody done from a special place in their hearts. The long-running Adult Swim show, which pokes fun at most everything in the pop culture vernacular, has yet to tackle the hugely popular AMC series head on – and let's just say, the Robot Chicken team is super excited to jump right into that walker pool heading into the show's new season.
At SDCC 2017, Meyer and Senreich talked with Screen Rant about the upcoming season, including the special Walking Dead episode, which they said had the full support from showrunner Scott Gimple and creator Robert Kirkman. In fact, Senreich said he and Kirkman had been friends for years, stemming from their early days in comics, and Kirkman had recently wondered why Senreich had yet to parody The Walking Dead. A Robot Chicken short was thus born.
Meyer, however, is the one probably the most jazzed to be doing a Walking Dead special since he is a massive fan of the show. The Franklin & Bash actor has been with Robot Chicken pretty much since the beginning, writing and providing many of the voices, including Boba Fett, Superman and many more. When he heard they might be doing Walking Dead, he said he asked right away to be a part of it because he knew his love for series would come through in the parody. He explained:
"It's similar to what we do with Star Wars, which is lampooning and doing parody, but it's also done with this giant love for it. I mean there are things I'm not a huge fan of. I don't know Star Trek all that well. I've seen the movies, never seen an episode of the show. So when we lampoon Star Trek, or I write something, it's like, “What do phasers do, what could they do that's funny?” But with The Walking Dead, I love this show, so I can't wait to play with Negan. I'm dying to play with what Jeffrey [Dean Morgan] has been doing with Negan."
Meyer wasn't the only one pumped to do The Walking Dead – and he also had a little competition with Robot Chicken co-creator Seth Green in who would do which voice:
"Initially, Seth and I were battling with each other about who gets to do Rick. I mean, literally both of us were sitting there going, “Carl!” over and over again. This was IF we don't get the real guys, which of course we really wanted to get.
Then we f**king got everybody from the show! So we got to do nothing, except some peripheral characters. I laid claim to Negan. That was like the modern-day Boba Fett for me, I wanted to do Negan. But then we got Jeffrey Dean, and I'm like, “Okay, he's pretty good at it.” But, like Star Wars, we are just such big fans of the show. I want to know what happened after. When Negan – and I'm not spoiling it – killed Glenn, there's that thought, “What happened right after?” I mean, someone had to clean it up. Or that car ride home had to be awful. Someone tries to turn the radio one, and they're like, 'No, not right now.'"
Ultimately, Meyer believes most of the things they do on Robot Chicken comes from their love for the properties, like Star Wars:
"So it's done out of love. I think that's why George Lucas liked our show because he knew. People have lampooned George and George's tinkering with his movies 20 years later, even South Park did it. But I think he could tell with our stuff and the Emperor stuff, these guys get it. And it's fun. They are actually enjoying the whole thing."
Season 9 of Robot Chicken is said to be “coming soon,” but no premiere date has been announced. The Walking Dead season 8 premieres Sunday, October 22 on AMC.