In the July issue of Empire Magazine (via IGN), Rogen first acknowledged how much “TMNT” influenced both he and Goldberg in their early formative years. Rogen said:
“It’s hard to discern how much of Turtles created who we are, but it’s not a small amount. We were the absolute perfect age, and comic nerds, and animation Saturday-morning guys. It was a heavy influence on us.”
Children of the late ’80s and early ’90s were all about the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” That’s why we ended up getting a wide variety of Saturday morning cartoons trying to replicate their success with other mutated animals fighting crime, such as “Biker Mice from Mars” and “Street Sharks.” So it only makes sense that Rogen and Goldberg were inspired to do karate because of the heroes in a half-shell. Rogen explained:
“Part of the reason I did karate was because of the Ninja Turtles. Me and [co-writer Evan Goldberg] both did karate together. My dad got me nunchucks that I cracked my head open with, because I was obsessed with the Ninja Turtles, and Michelangelo specifically.”
Any kid who grew up with “Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles” has a story about breaking something or hurting themselves with either play weapons or something around the house that they pretended was one of the trademark Turtles’ weapons. Leonardo had swords, Donatello had a bo staff, Raphael had sais, and Michelangelo had nunchucks. Yours truly had a small dowel rod that he used as a bo staff and a pair of plastic nunchucks that he certainly smacked himself with. However, Rogen hit more than himself with those nunchucks.