A Delightfully Odd Conversation With Aqua Teen Forever Creators Dave Willis And Mike Maiellaro [Exclusive Interview]

[Note: Maiellaro was wearing a stylish cowboy hat, a sparkly country-western shirt, and was holding a double-necked guitar throughout the interview.]

Am I going to get a solo? 

Maiellaro: Well, I would play it for you. But, because of the Airpods, you can’t hear it. 

“Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm” is very funny and very strange. It comes after a hiatus in the franchise, but prior to its release, you were working on the three-minute shorts called “Aqua Donk Side Pieces.” Was that a way to get back into fighting shape?

Maiellaro: Yeah, we wanted to slowly get our vast audience used to this show coming back. And since it was so funny at 12 minutes, we just did threes. Y’know, to give a little taste of it. Get ’em roused up for it. And then — BLAM! — the movie. 

What possessed you to bring back the Aqua Teens?

Willis: Well, you say this like it was our choice. To “bring it back,” like we’re George Lucas and we’re gonna go like “I’m gonna do sh***y prequels!” Nah, they reached out to us. And the show was always great, you know? But we burned out, maybe, on it. I wouldn’t say they canceled it. They just sort of drew it to a close, and it kind of made sense at the time. And then, years later, when someone calls you and says, “Do you wanna make more?,” you’re receptive to it.

[pause, then sarcastic] It’s a really interesting story, isn’t it?

Maiellaro: It is. Keep going.

Willis: [Commenting on his own video broadcast] I look like a ghost! I look like the ghost of Dave facing the window. Can you even make out my features?

Maiellaro: No. 

Willis: That’s alright. Alright. Whatever.

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