So far on Rick and Morty’s currently airing fifth season, we’ve seen things like Rick squabbling with oceanic royalty, the entire Smith-Sanchez clan battling multiple “decoys” of themselves, and a very funny, very karaoke-involved riff on Hellraiser’s “pain is pleasure” schtick. In other words, it’s been a killer season so far for the hit Adult Swim series, so we were eager to see what its San Diego Comic-Con @ Home panel had in store.
Assembled to discuss all things Rick and Morty, with an emphasis on season five, were co-creator and executive producer Dan Harmon and showrunner and executive producer Scott Marder (but not, curiously, co-creator and executive producer Justin Roiland, who voices both title characters), as well as cast members Chris Parnell (Jerry), Sarah Chalke (Beth), and Spencer Grammer (Summer), plus some “special guests” (skip ahead to 23:40 if you want to hear Roiland literally phone in a few words from “Rick” and “Morty”).
Shrug. It’s fun to see these folks yukking it up together, but this panel — which offered no new footage or announcements — was extremely lightweight. There was some discussion of season five character Mr. Nimbus, who was inspired by David Bowie but also, as Harmon put it, “the question ‘How could you be into Sub-Mariner in high school without getting beaten up every day?,’ And then we asked ourselves ‘What if the goal was to get beaten up’?” Another topic that came up was how the show is “becoming a little bit more than just Rick and Morty,” according to showrunner Marder, especially with the rising friction between the title characters and Summer’s expanded role as a sidekick.
Mostly, though, it was the cast, minus Roiland, having a mini-reunion and answering pointless questions (“Which character has milk for dinner?”) while Harmon occasionally made random observations like “a car is like a shoe for your whole body” and Marder admitted to never hearing the song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (the context of either of those isn’t even worth explaining). Look, Rick and Morty doesn’t have to do anything more, ever, to endear itself to its fans — the show is already a smash hit, and there are new episodes currently airing every week right now. But it’s entirely skippable panels like this that really make us miss the fan interaction aspect of San Diego Comic-Con, where one year we saw a group step up to the mic to ask a question while dressed in outstanding Vindicators costumes. Million Ants, ladies and gentlemen!
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