The biggest news to come out of Thursday night’s “Rick and Morty Live” event at Starburns Industries in Burbank was the final confirmation that Season 3 will be here in a month.
But for fans hoping for a window into the creative chaos that helps give birth to the polished final product, the two-hour event, hosted by cast member Brandon Johnson, gave them just what they were looking for. With co-creator (and Rick/Morty voice) Justin Roiland giving some background on Season 3, storyboard artist Erica Hayes providing some live sketches and with writer Dan Harmon manning FinalDraft, the evening followed wherever the riffing led them.
At various points in the night, the three would work together to come up with some improvised sequences. It’s the only way something as pure as Star Rick and Star Morty makes it into this world. (Look at those angry Rick eyebrows!)
Two hours is an unwieldy chunk of time, but it’s worth digging into for a few of these off-the-cuff character beats, just to see the rich detail and rapid-fire jokes that goes into a script like this, even on short notice. They’re filled with stage directions packed with inside screenwriting jokes, brand new characters based on famous tweets and plenty of Rick patronizing everybody.
At one point early on in the evening, Harmon showed off his infuriating ability to multitask by presenting a three-minute scene that he’d been writing as everyone else had been talking. The impromptu reading gave fans the chance to see Roiland hop back and forth between voicing both of the show’s title characters.
As fans know, “Rick and Morty” doesn’t make itself overnight, but as Harmon joked, even what they’re able to whip up in 15 minutes is only slightly less entertaining than any of the show’s actual episodes.
For anyone curious to see more of the preamble to this live read (and hear Roiland and Harmon talk about the future of the show), check out the full event archived through the Adult Swim website.