Rick and Morty Writer: Ryan Ridley

by Y Combinator6/7/2017

Ryan Ridley is a writer on Rick and Morty. Before that he was a writer on Community. We talk about the sci-fi elements of the show, their new VR game Virtual Rick-ality, and Ryan’s advice for creators.


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Craig Cannon [00:00] – Hey, this Craig Cannon, and you’re listening to Y Combinator Podcast. So today’s episode is with Ryan Ridley, who’s a writer for the TV show Rick and Morty, and before Rick and Morty, he worked on Community, Ryan and I had an awesome time talking about how the show works, so we covered a bunch of the sci-fi references in seasons one and two, we talked a little bit about season three, which is coming out, and we also talked about their new VR game, which is called Virtual Rickality, and you can download that now. And before we get started, I just want to say thanks to Dan Guterman, who I used to work with at The Onion, and he was the one who introduced us to Ryan. Okay, here we go. Alright, man, we should probably jump into Rick and Morty, at some point, before we do that, how about you just give your background up until Rick and Morty?

Ryan Ridley [00:44] – So I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life. I was a terrible student, I just, I didn’t do anything, I didn’t, like, it was before the era of even making any kind of videos, or so, you know, I didn’t really know how to channel my creativity, I mean, I would make like, camcorder videos when I was a younger kid, and then in high school, it was just getting high, and skipping school, and you know, goofing off with my friends, and I didn’t really know I wanted to get into comedy, I thought I wanted to, maybe because I was drawing, get into cartoons or comic books, or something like that? And then I just didn’t have the discipline for that. And so it was after high school, I was barely graduated, barely gotten into community college, which turned out to serve me well for being a writer on Community. So, but I was like, “I don’t know what I’m doing,” and then I somehow had an epiphany, which I’m gonna reveal some biographical information, and you’ll go, “That’s not really an epiphany.” I decided to do standup. Now, my dad owned a standup comedy club. So I was going to standup comedy clubs my whole life, and he was a huge, it’s a huge comedy club, it’s considered one of the premier clubs in the country, and so growing up I got to see, you know, Garry Shandling and Drew Carey, Ellen DeGeneres, Jim Carrey I saw on my 16th birthday, with all my friends, and that was, that was still one of the most mind-blowing experiences, ’cause it was pre-Ace Ventura, post-In Living Color.

Craig Cannon [02:12] – Wow.

Ryan Ridley [02:14] – So he was big, but he wasn’t, you know, as big as he would become in the next 10 years after that. And so, and he was so quick, and so I remember we were all there, and I had one friend, we were like 16, so of course you’ve got friends of different ages, I had a 14 year old friend who was very small, and it’s an adult club, where I’m the owner’s kid, so he gets up and he walks across to go to the bathroom, and Jim Carrey mid-bit just stops, he goes, “Hey, mister, that fakes mustache won’t fool me!” And it was just, like, the middle of his bit, he just like, saw that kid, and he just like… And then we all like, my dad brought us back to the green room, shuffled us back there, and you know, opened the door, and he was just like sitting there, just emanating energy, and he’s like, “Hey, so it’s your birthday?” And I’m like, “Yeah,” and he’s like, “Cool, you wanna come back to my hotel room and watch some porno?” And I was like … It was what you’d want, from meeting Jim Carrey. So anyways, so then I, yeah, I was like, “Yeah, I wanna get involved in comedy,” but this is pre any kind of internet video, YouTube, or anything, and even, like, I didn’t know, all I knew how to do was edit camcorder to VCR…

Craig Cannon [03:21] – Oh, like dual VCR thing?

Ryan Ridley [03:22] – Yeah, so I wasn’t really doing that, so I was like, well, standup is something where you can write comedy, and then you can perform it, and you can get an immediate reaction. So I started doing that, and doing the open mics, and then eventually I was like, “Okay, well Detroit is not for me, the place I want to find my comedy voice,” so I moved to Chicago, which was a great transition city, and immediately I was watching these people on stage in Chicago, and just, everyone was blowing my mind, just comedically, and so, got involved in that scene, and I met a lot of people there are like, I always, I probably should stop namedropping, but my comedy class at that time was like Kumail Nanjiani, and TJ Miller, Pete Holmes, Kyle Kinane, Matt Braunger, these are all guys who I did open mics with, they started, you know, so we all kind of became friends, and that was really my college, because I didn’t go to college, really, I went to community college for two years, and I transferred to Michigan State, where all I did was watch TV constantly, and say, “I just wanna write on a TV show.” And specifically, I wanted to write an animated sci-fi comedy show, and this was before Futurama.

Craig Cannon [04:30] – Dude, okay, so there was really nothing that existed in in any way.

Ryan Ridley [04:35] – As far as that particular…

Craig Cannon [04:36] – As far as like, something you, like, aspired to.

Ryan Ridley [04:38] – Yeah, I mean, you know, you’re watching, I watched Conan and I watched old sitcoms, like Seinfeld, and I’m like, “I like this stuff,” but I knew that I wanted something that was sci-fi, ’cause I like sci-fi, or genre, fantasy, something, and, but also comedy, it was like, I had no clue I’d ever be involved in a show like that, like Rick and Morty is literally the exact show that I was fantasizing about at 20 years old. And on top of it, to be able to do it with friends, as opposed to, let’s say, gotten hired on Futurama, I’d be like, “I’m getting hired on a Fox show,” because I, who knows, either they love my script and they hired me, or I worked my way up from my writer’s assistant. But Rick and Morty is like, it’s sci-fi fantasy, comedy, and it’s dark, as dark as my sensibility is, which Futurama never really was as dark as I think ultimately I liked to write, and then just doing it with your friends. Which you have a rapport, you have an understanding, it’s like being in a band. I hate using that metaphor, that’s just, I actually like using that metaphor, but I feel like I need to say, “I hate it” because it’s, like, it might be perceived as pretentious. But it is, because you have a rapport with people, as opposed to being hired and thrown into a staff, where it’s like, “Hey, I assume we’re all funny, professionally funny enough to be on this show, but I don’t know what your sensibility is.” So, anyway, I think that’s a long way of getting to how I got to Rick and Mory, which was…

Craig Cannon [06:05] – Yeah. Skipped how you actually got to Rick and Morty.

Ryan Ridley [06:12] – So, so then I was doing standup in Chicago for four years, and towards the end of it, I was like, “I want to make videos,” and I remember, I’m so, Guterman and I, I’ve referenced him now twice, Dan Guterman, a writer, producer on Rick and Morty, and one of the biggest ingredients of making that show great in the last two seasons. We were talking about how we’re both driven by proving to the world that we know what we’re doing, but also being terrified of being exposed as frauds, at the same time, and so we’re angry, we’re like, “People are gonna respect us, to validate that “We know what we’re doing, and we’re funny.” And so, yeah, so I saw this guy make a comedy video in the standup scene, like a video video, which was relatively infrequent back then, and I watch it, I was just so angry, I was like, “I’m gonna make a video 10 times better than that guy,” and so we met, I was waiting tables with a guy named Danny Jelinek, who’s now a big comedy director, he directed, like, Children’s Hospital, and, I mean, he directs on Last Week Tonight. Is that what John Oliver’s show is called?

Craig Cannon [07:16] – That sounds right.

Ryan Ridley [07:17] – Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. So he just directs tons of comedy, but at the time, we were waiting tables together, and we just hit it off, you know, just joking around and riffing, like, waiting tables together. And so I found out he’s in film school, and, like I said, up until that point, I’d only done VCR editing, so when he showed me how to edit on a computer, my mind was blown. I was like, “You can just drag a song underneath this, and then it, I don’t have to record a song in the background in a boombox?” And so we made a couple of comedy videos together, with a lot of these standups, I gave Kumail Nanjiani his first role. In fact, I confirmed that, I hung out with him a couple of weeks ago, and I was like, “Was Vive, this video Danny and I made, was that your first acting role?” He was like, “Yeah.”

Craig Cannon [07:59] – Wow.

Ryan Ridley [08:00] – So, you can look that up. Anyway, we started making videos together, and then I found out about Channel 101, which is this, should I explain what that is for your audience?

Craig Cannon [08:12] – Yeah, people won’t know what that is.

Ryan Ridley [08:13] – Okay, so it’s still going after 15 years. So Channel 101 was started by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, Dan’s a creator of Community and Rick and Morty, and Rob is a director who’s directed a lot of stuff also on TV, comedy stuff, and Sarah Silverman’s show, co-creator. At the time they were writing partners, and they were really feeling the futility of selling stuff. They’d made a show called Heat Vision and Jack, pilot with Jack Black, that had been solo-directed, but Fox didn’t pick it up, and I think it was crushing, and they were selling, crushingly disappointing, and they were selling all these shows and movies, but they weren’t getting made, and they’re like, “What are we doing, we’re just writing and nothing is being seen by anybody.” So they started Channel 101 just to make stuff, videos in 2003 with their friends. And the framing device essentially is a film festival, but they would, it was set up like it was a competitive TV network, so. They would, you’d make stuff, you’d submit it to the primetime panel, the primetime panel was the creator of shows that were currently in the screening, so that gave them the credibility to be judging over, but it’s purely democratic, so what happened is, the creator, the five returning shows would be put up against five pilots, and then the audience would vote for their top five favorite shows among those ten. So you could get canceled, and you could be off the primetime panel and then a new person could get on. So it always was, you know, people would say, “Oh, it’s a conspiracy, they’re gonna put in shitty shows so that they don’t have any competition.” But no, because anyone with a pure heart and soul, which Dan and Rob do have creatively, and most of us who became their peers that sort of came to Channel 101 have this, too, it’s like, you want the show to be good. You want, you actually want to put stuff in there that’s gonna make you work harder. That’s what made me better, when I moved to Chicago, I worked, you know, the people in Detroit were comedy people in Detroit, who were, you know, if you’re really serious, you move to Chicago, LA, or New York, so once I moved to Chicago, I was around people who were that much more serious, they pushed me harder. LA, you know, same thing, and then you’re in Channel 101, and you’re like, you’re watching, you know, Justin Roiland’s early stuff, you know, a guy named JD Ryznar did Yacht Rock. These people, they were, everyone was getting better, and they were making you have to get better, and Dan and Justin, at the time, and Rob, and at the time the Lonely Island guys had a show in there, who now, Sarah Chalke was in their early stuff, and I was like, “The girls from Scrubs!” And now she’s the voice of Beth, which is weird. So… Okay, I’ve gotta turn this off, this is Rob Schrab texting me…

Craig Cannon [10:38] – Oh, whoa.

Ryan Ridley [10:39] – So.. I moved out there because a friend of mine said, “Hey, you know, you like that Heat Vision and Jack pilot, these guys, they created this thing called Channel 101,” and so I moved to LA specifically just to get on their radar and make stuff for that thing, ’cause I watched the videos, and I was like, “This is exactly my kind of comedy.” And so the first video I made, I submitted it, and it was rejected, and it was the most heartbreaking experience. And then I submitted another one, and it got in, but it didn’t get voted back.

Craig Cannon [11:12] – Okay.

Ryan Ridley [11:13] – And so that’s what happens, it just made you work harder, you go, “Oh, I’ve gotta make something even better now,” and you have to just, it forces you to just keep working harder until you make something that the audience can’t deny, you know. And then when you do that, your peers will go, “Oh, hey man,” at the screening, you know, “Hey, nice video, that was pretty funny.” And then eventually you’re getting so good, they’re like, “You wanna hang out?” And then eventually you’re getting so good, they’re like, “Hey, we just got a TV show, you wanna work on it?” And that’s basically how it all played out.

Craig Cannon [11:43] – So that’s how you’re employed and you have friends.

Ryan Ridley [11:44] – Basically.

Craig Cannon [11:44] – Congrats.

Ryan Ridley [11:45] – And, you know, listen, it’s a curse and a blessing to have your employers also be your friends…

Craig Cannon [11:49] – Yeah, no, I know the feeling. So I think that like, you’ve done a bunch of interviews on Rick and Morty, and like, Dan and Justin have also done a bunch of interviews on Rick and Morty. I think what people listening to this will probably be most interested in, is just the sci-fi elements, the random tech elements of it all. I was wondering if you could just like, explain where you get your ideas for stuff, or, like, is it coming from, like, you know, sci-fi fiction of the past, or are you just making stuff up, where does it come from?

Ryan Ridley [12:20] – Definitely a big helping of fiction from the past. We, you know, are all well-versed in every iconic sci-fi genre movie and television show of the past 50 years. Okay, fine, maybe not 50 years, let’s not, I’ve never seen a Lost in Space episode.

Craig Cannon [12:39] – 25.

Ryan Ridley [12:40] – Yeah, and on top of that, one of our writers, Mike McMahan, seems to read every sci-fi book, and graphic novel, and I mean, you know, I watch a lot of TV and movies, and I read occasional sci-fi books, but I just, he’s like an encyclopedia of that stuff. So we’ll be talking about all of these ideas, like, “Oh, what if it’s something like this, what if it’s like this plot from this book, combined with this episode of,” you know, I always give the example of the Total Rickall episode from season two, where the parasites are in the house with them, I think McMahan pitched that as, “Oh, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season five, they introduce this character, Dawn, as her sister,” and everyone’s pretending, I mean, they’re not pretending, they’re treating her like she’s always been there, and you know that, as a viewer, that she hasn’t had a sister for the first four seasons. And so you find out the supernatural explanation for why that is. So I think that’s where it started, and then we built on top of that a Thing element, like, they’re all trapped in the house, and they’re all suspicious, and then it was like, “Oh, what if we do the,” I think Guterman pitched the idea of, “Well, what if this is a way to do a clip show?” So you’re actually throwing the clips, but the clips themselves are not memories in the sense of like, a traditional clip show, they’re actually part of the sci-fi. And so it ends up being a patchwork of different references that are hopefully combined enough so we’re not doing a spoof of any one thing. What I would never want to do, not that we haven’t, I mean, Anatomy Park is, you know, is considered maybe one of the weaker episodes, at least by us, because it’s just a Jurassic Park spoof meets a Fantastic Voyage trope spoof, that’s been done 1,000 times, and you know, we try to do a darker, weirder version of it, but that’s not the most ideal episode, we want to like, really make it feel that the references are, if anything, hidden.

Craig Cannon [14:27] – But then, okay. So, for like, in the Total Rickall episode, right, like, they ended up getting spotted because it’s something like, they only have positive memories, something like that? Was that something you guys made up, or you just like…

Ryan Ridley [14:38] – Yeah, that was, you know, that was one of those moments that, you know, when you get to so far in a script, and you’re trying to figure out what that, I can’t remember if that was like the third act twist, I assume… You’re like, “Okay, what is going to solve this problem?” And then that’s just when good, old-fashioned writing ingenuity comes in, you know, and I don’t remember who pitched it, but, it was, yeah, the idea of, you can identify the parasites because you’ve only have positive memories of them, unlike your family, you’ve had all the complicated emotional experiences with that we all have. But, you know, that example, that’s the anatomy of that episode, but, you know, sometimes it’s more like Mortynight Run, was like, “Oh, let’s do a Midnight Run kind of road adventure,” and that’s, we’re not referencing Midnight Run, there’s no, you know, “Oh, that’s clearly the Yaphet Kotto character, but he’s green, wearing sunglasses with three eye lenses.” But it’s like, it’s that, the essence of that, you know… so well, yeah, go on, I don’t want to ramble on too much.

Craig Cannon [15:43] – I forget that, no, no, you’re doing great. What’s the title of the episode where it’s like world within world, within world, within world?

Ryan Ridley [15:51] – The title is called, God, I get, we don’t have any consistent naming formula, a lot of times it’s puns with their names of famous movie titles, and then sometimes it’s just completely, oh, I think it’s The Ricks Must Be Crazy.

Craig Cannon [16:04] – That sounds right.

Ryan Ridley [16:05] – Yes, yeah, yeah, yeah, the microverse and the miniverse.

Craig Cannon [16:08] – Yes, where did that come from?

Ryan Ridley [16:10] – That, Justin had this idea of… That Rick had some machine that it would, he would liquefy an entire civilization, because it was the only way to create this incredibly delicious dipping sauce he loved–

Craig Cannon [16:27] – Oh, the Mulan.

Ryan Ridley [16:28] – Not the Mulan sauce, this was way before the Mulan sauce. But it was something similar, it was like, you know, which, obviously the common theme is that Justin is obsessed with these kind of random things, and then we just want to like, capture that energy, and put it in there. So it was just the idea of what could illustrate Rick’s character better than he just, he would sacrifice an entire civilization. One of the greatest inventions is creating life, complex life, just because once you liquefied it, it just happens to be the most delicious recipe. So I can’t remember, it was always, they go in, and a character comes out, I think we actually, for the final version the character never leaves, but there’s a version where they’re sort of, the characters go in whatever combination, in the earliest version, and then one of the people kind of comes out, so from the point of the view of the character coming out, it’s like, this is where like, the world of the gods, you know.

Craig Cannon [17:25] – Yeah, I don’t think they did.

Ryan Ridley [17:26] – We didn’t do that, yeah, but that was a big element. But at some point in early on in the writing of that, it felt a little too much like the episode of The Simpsons, where Lisa’s tooth becomes, it’s a Treehouse of Horror where her tooth, I think Bart touches some Petri dish that her tooth is in, and then the static electricity creates life, and then it has a little civilization, and to the point where they get to the future, and now there’s like, nukes and spaceships flying around and attacking Bart, and it felt like it was a little too much like that, and so, and I think also, ’cause we were doing the beats where Rick and Morty were traveling repeatedly throughout time periods, so they’d get to the medieval period, and it just sort of felt a little too like, “Oh, I get it, this is like our medieval period, but it’s aliens in a jar,” and, you know, it’s trying to figure out how to get it so we’re doing something that hasn’t been done by either Simpsons or Southpark or Futurama, which is not an easy cone, path, whatever, there’s those highway cone paths when you’re doing driver’s training, it’s a weave-through.

Craig Cannon [18:30] – I’ve heard you guys mention that before, but like, do you have someone who has, whether it’s like encyclopedic knowledge, or is there some website where you’re like, plugging in the references you’re using? Because it seems like, impossible to avoid.

Ryan Ridley [18:43] – I think it is impossible to avoid, and we haven’t done a good job all the time, because I remember we were doing the episode Lawnmower Dog, which had the inception thing, and there’s Scary Terry, who’s the Freddy Kruger character, and we were way too far down the road, and Mike McMahan said, “Oh, you know, Southpark did, you know, their inception episode had Freddy Kruger,” and we’re like.

Craig Cannon [19:06] – Thanks.

Ryan Ridley [19:07] – That would have been good to mention yesterday. Adam Sandler, everybody, my Adam Sandler impression. Yeah, but it’s like, great, and now we’re too far down the line to change it, and, you know, then you just feel like a hack. And none of us had seen it, and the thing is, I love Southpark, but I can’t watch every episode of that show, they…

Craig Cannon [19:25] – Let alone remember everything.

Ryan Ridley [19:27] – Yeah.

Craig Cannon [19:27] – I think it’s just like, oftentimes when I’m working on creative projects, I’m just like, “Is this new, or I like, faintly remember it?” And like, is it an exposure to something?

Ryan Ridley [19:36] – By the way, there’s a feeling that I get that’s a combination of self-loathing and self… What’s the opposite of self-loathing?

Craig Cannon [19:47] – Confidence?

Ryan Ridley [19:48] – Confidence, but I’m trying to still make it negative, like, self-glorifying, where I, if I think I’ve come up with a really particularly brilliant idea, I immediately go, “This had to have been done before,” you know? And so, but there is, there are actual websites, TV tropes and movie tropes you can look up, but I think it’s almost, sometimes it’s just too nuanced, you’re like, “How do you even describe this particular bit?” You know, it’s just so, and the fact is, it’s sort of like when they do these videos every now and then of comedians get busted, like, “Did Amy Schumer steal Louis CK’s bit?” I don’t know, because there’s so much standup comedy being generated, and there’s only so many ideas in the world, and I don’t even mean there’s only so many jokes, I mean like, people are always kind of landing on the same human thoughts about life, you know?

Craig Cannon [20:37] – Yeah.

Ryan Ridley [20:37] – So you know, I could say we’ve never consciously ripped anything off, and, you know, sometimes maybe it’s to a fault, where you’re like, you’re trying so hard to stay away from something that you, you’re like, you’re not having any fun.

Craig Cannon [20:51] – Well, I was wondering about that with like, I mean, maybe not Southpark or Simpsons or something, but like, you know, an older, you know, piece of fiction, where it’s just like, “Let’s do something almost identical to it, but basically add the Rick and Morty spin on top of it,” and like, that opens it up in a new way. I guess you’ve sort of done that with a bunch of episodes, that are like throwbacks, but I wonder if it goes more nuanced than that with like, obscure stuff?

Ryan Ridley [21:17] – God, what was it, it was the one where they first introduced the Council of Ricks, and it was called A Rick for Every Season, or something like that. But that episode is, I think that it’s sort of, it’s one of the few episodes where, oh, you know, actually, ironically, people did say, “Did you guys rip off the Council of Reeds?” Which is a storyline from the Fantastic Four, which is a bunch of Reed Richards from different parallel realities in the Marvel universe formed a Council of Reeds, no, we didn’t know about that. But it’s also an obvious place to go with Rick, but more importantly, the story itself around it just felt, it felt like a movie compressed in a 22 minute episode, it was more like a, not really a familiar story, but like a, “Oh, this would be, this is kind of a classic, This is a mystery,” it was a mystery episode, it was like, who they were investigating, you know, Rick was trying to clear his name. So that was a Rick and Morty take on a mystery, a, you know, trying to think of examples of movies, you know, there’s The Fugitive, you know what I mean, that’s a movie or a show before that about a guy who’s trying to hunt the real killer of his wife, while he’s being pursued by the authorities. So that was the Rick and Morty take on that trope, but that’s, or genre, or sub-genre. And I think that’s, ’cause I didn’t even think of that as being a fugitive spoof, ’cause it wasn’t, it’s just, it’s like you said, it’s like the Rick and Morty take on a classic.

Craig Cannon [22:48] – Yeah, I mean it’s like, how many movies are just like, you know, recomposed Greek myths? Right, and you’re just like, “Well, it’s sort of the same thing, but not really at all.”

Ryan Ridley [22:56] – Yeah, we do an episode in season three that’s, it’s not a spoof of anything in particular, but we started referencing very specific movies, and we’re like, “Well, this is, okay,” and I’m gonna try to weave through this without spoiling anything, it’s like, you know, 127 Hours is, I think I might have even talked about this at Comic-Con so, it’s actually probably okay to talk about, but there’s an episode where Rick turns himself into a pickle, and it’s the only other footage that’s shown, they showed it after the premier of season, of episode one in season three, so that’s not a spoiler.

Craig Cannon [23:35] – Okay, thank God.

Ryan Ridley [23:35] – Rick turns himself into a pickle. What the episode’s really about is, he turns himself into a pickle, and then he sort of gets trapped, and he ends up involved in a situation, one thing, one twist leads to another, and he’s totally screwed. And he doesn’t have the same resources that he usually has access to, he’s a pickle, so he’s not himself, he can’t reach into his lab coat and pull out his portal gun or any of his other infinite inventions he has hidden in there, and yet he’s in the most mundane of circumstances, he’s just on earth, he’s a few hundred feet from the house, he’s not, but he’s a pickle, so he has to figure out how to get himself out of that with really basic ingenuity, and so he kept talking about 127 Hours, or Gravity, like these movies about characters that are just in these situations, that they are alone, and they have to figure out, you know, “What do I do to get out of this?” And so that was a great, once again, to do the Rick and Morty version of what that sub-genre is. I don’t even know what that sub-genre is called, survivalist, sort of survivalist sub-genre?

Craig Cannon [24:44] – Room escape type deal?

Ryan Ridley [24:46] – Yeah, yeah.

Craig Cannon [24:47] – Okay, and so then, so all the gadgets, you talked about the portal gun and stuff. The aliens have random gadgets, when they go to a different world, everyone’s got different weapons that they attack them with, where does all that stuff come from?

Ryan Ridley [25:01] – Well, that I know, I mean, you know, like the first example that pops up in my head is I think that Justin wanted to base the Citadel of Ricks off of something from Halo? I’m not a huge video game person, he is, so there’s some big spaceship citadel thing in the game Halo. And so a lot of times… The elements of the planets, or the technology will be, you know, straight-up visual references, like, “Oh, this is like a gun from this movie.” I’m not as, I’m not a big tech person, I never thought about this until just now, but I’ve never really cared that much about what the tech looks like, as long as it, you know, you want to make sure kind of everything feels and looks different, and there’s a flavor to it, but I like the, I’m pretty into the alien design, so I’ve gotten involved, I’ve, you know, talked to art directors, and character designers and been like, “Alright, this alien has to look like this. If it looks like this, it’s not gonna work, it’s not gonna be as funny. If it looks like this, it’s gotta look like, you know, it’s gotta be like, you gotta take it seriously. Or it’s from this kind of planet,” so it’s got to have these specific anatomical features.” And it’s true, like you, I mean, it’s so funny, though, because there’s been so many times when, you know, the Meeseeks is a perfect example, I feel like I’ve talked about this, I’m so sorry if anyone who’s watching this is like, “I have already heard…”

Craig Cannon [26:22] – Anyone who’s heard this before is gonna want more, like, they want it again.

Ryan Ridley [26:25] – But the Meeseeks, I wrote that episode, and when I say “I wrote,” you know, it’s such a collaborative effort, my name was on that script, but, you know, we all sort of write a little bit of everything. So, and Dan does so much of the final dialogue passes and stuff. So the Meeseeks start as, you know, this voice, this concept that Justin pitched, and then I wrote the episode, and I wrote the episode script and I still, in my head, pictured them as tiny, little, tiny, little for you at home, creatures like the size of smurfs or something.

Craig Cannon [26:58] – Okay.

Ryan Ridley [26:59] – And Justin, it was, I’m not kidding, it was the blue dress-gold dress of the writer’s room, because half the people reading the same script and crew imagined them life-sized, and half imagined them as tiny little gremlin things, or smaller than gremlins. And so, I guess the script was written in a way, we had never really thought about their scale, you know? So there’s a scene where Jerry and Beth are in a restaurant, and they all bust in, and I remember thinking like, “Oh, that it’d be funny if they’re like, on the table,” like, you know, three apples high, in Jerry’s face with a gun, and everyone’s like, “No, no, no, it’s like a life-sized, “human-sized, six-foot person with a gun.” I was like, “Well, that’s gonna be terrifying.” So anyway, It’s those conversations, though, that are important, because you’re like, it’s a very different concept, if they were smurfs versus what they ended up being, you know? And then on top of that you have, just, what do they look like? Are they complex, are they simple? Are they blue, or monochromatic…

Craig Cannon [27:52] – So how do you decide for, you know, the six-food Meeseek versus, you know, the little munchkin version?

Ryan Ridley [27:58] – Lots of debate.

Craig Cannon [27:58] – Yeah?

Ryan Ridley [28:00] – Lots of debate, yeah, you’ve gotta discuss it, you know, and like I said, it was so evenly divided that it wasn’t like, just me fighting for them being small, it was like other people, too, and then, you know, eventually you figure out what’s the best way. And like, every other argument we’ve ever had, eventually the episode gets finished, and made, and it comes out, and then you just kind of forget about all of the problems, like, “That would have been better if they were two feet high,” but then you’re like, years go by, you’re like, “Who cares?”

Craig Cannon [28:30] – Well, that’s the thing, though, like, someone watching it can’t know. I mean, maybe now they can know, but yeah. Have you ever done like a, I don’t know if it’s a director’s cut animation, where you’re like, “I kinda wanted ’em to look like this, so can you, you know, edit that in and then throw it in as an extra?”

Ryan Ridley [28:46] – Well, there’s been lots of story-boarding that we’ve redone, and you know, revised, and that’s what ends up getting us in trouble, is we’ll just, because it’s animation, we’ll be like, “We’re gonna rewrite the script, and you can redraw it.” You know, it’s not a good thing to do, because we’re not a Fox show with unlimited, or at least near-unlimited funds. So there’s lots of stuff that we’ve had that’s like totally alternate versions of scenes there, and the premiere of season two, which was really just soul-crushing, heart-breaking episode to break, that no one has ever been ultimately satisfied with its final result, that we kept revising and changing it, and we could never really land in what the logic of that episode was, it was the one where the thing keep splitting?

Craig Cannon [29:32] – Oh, yeah.

Ryan Ridley [29:33] – Yeah, and so it’s like a split-screen episode, and we just could never figure out what the logic was, ’cause at the end of the day, admittedly, unlike Futurama, none of us on the staff have, we’re barely educated, we’re not mathematicians, we don’t really know that much about science, we’re writing from the point of view of tropes, and genre stuff, and we want to tell good stories, we’re more scientists of story, if you will, as opposed to like, we don’t really know how any of this shit works, we should get a science advisor. So that episode we, at one point it was so, there was a whole running thing where Morty had gone and gotten some point short-shorts, and no one calls attention to it ’cause, you know, the world has been frozen between season one and season two, and so you find out that they’ve just been running around, having fun, looting department stores, and Morty at some point grabbed short-shorts. And he’s walking around, and at one point Rick starts leaning into him, berating him, and he points out the short-shorts, and starts roasting him about the short-shorts, like, “What is this, the new look for season two?” And he starts breaking the fourth wall, “And you’re hoping that you get one of these limited-edition, alternative action figure with short-shorts, Morty?” Which I love, by the way, I think that’s one of the funniest parts of the show is that you can weave in and out of the fourth wall, but still, you’re still invested in the story. But anyway, not that scene ended up being on the air, but it’s on the DVD, I think, and yeah. And by the way, even more of that in season three, there’s like, we re-wrote some episodes so much that there’s animatics that are like, so different from the final product.

Craig Cannon [31:06] – Yeah, well, that’s what I was wondering, I mean like, season three isn’t out yet, but except for the first episode. I was wondering if you could jump into that, like, what can we expect, what kind of weird things are coming up, without revealing everything?

Ryan Ridley [31:19] – What I like about the show, and from a broad point of view, personally, is that people seem to be invested in the reality of the show. In other words, you know, people are wondering about certain characters. “Oh, when is that person gonna come back? What’s happening with that character?” And the fact that anybody cares about characters that were introduced once in season one, and like intriguing ideas, like the eye-patch Morty, who’s the evil Morty, you know, was that character gonna come back? In season three I think that we stay true to the idea of those, the world is real, there are consequences. At the same time, we’re gonna have lots of one-off things, but there’s consequences both, I mean, you know, you saw it in the first episode, that they get divorced. That has consequences that play out through the whole season. But there’s also consequences that are outside of, you know, some of the stuff that you’ve seen already is gonna play out more in season three.

Craig Cannon [32:12] – Okay.

Ryan Ridley [32:12] – Yeah.

Craig Cannon [32:13] – So along those lines then, of like, random things that like, maybe get addressed, maybe don’t get addressed. I have a question from another YC person, Kat Manalac. Her question is, “Can you make Roy the game?”

Ryan Ridley [32:28] – Can we make it?

Craig Cannon [32:30] – Will you make it?

Ryan Ridley [32:32] – Will we, the writers of an animated comedy show, create a virtual reality simulation? Can we get funding for it, I think is the question to your viewers.

Craig Cannon [32:41] – I mean, maybe we can figure it out.

Ryan Ridley [32:44] – Maybe we already have, and that’s what this is.

Craig Cannon [32:46] – Oh, shit, we’re in Roy. What’s the second one, Dave?

Ryan Ridley [32:50] – Well, we’re in Ryan.

Craig Cannon [32:50] – Oh, okay.

Ryan Ridley [32:52] – Yeah, yeah, what was the second one called? I think I might have pitched that joke, the whatever the Roy sequel is called.

Craig Cannon [32:56] – I think it was Dave or David, or something like that?

Ryan Ridley [32:58] – Yeah. So the answer is, no, because we’re incapable of that, but also, maybe we already have. Yeah, I think in the virtual reality game, Virtual Rickality, I think it’s called. I think Justin told me there’s a scene, there’s an easter egg where you play a knockoff version of Roy, it sounded hilarious, I played some of that game, but I didn’t get this far, you find like, a bootlegged Roy, and then you, so you’re playing a virtual game within a virtual reality game, ’cause it’s the virtual…

Craig Cannon [33:34] – Yeah, well, so yeah, just like, we should step back and explain what the actual Rick and Morty virtual reality game is, ’cause it just came out, right?

Ryan Ridley [33:41] – Yeah, yesterday. That’s a game where you’re, it’s a virtual reality game, where you’re a clone of Morty, so when you appear in the game you’re in the garage, and Rick and Morty are standing there and yelling at you, and then you do different things, and you, you know, obviously it’s somewhat limited in where you can go, it’s virtual reality and you can’t just run around, but you go to like, different worlds, I think you can teleport to three or four different worlds, you can go in the house, which is pretty mind-blowing, because I, it’s weird, I remember I played the level, or I was just, Justin put me into the scene in the house, and I’m like, “This is the house? Like this is the living room? This feels so weird,” like I’m not used to experiencing it from that perspective.”

Craig Cannon [34:24] – That’s so funny, was there any like, disconnect between like, the house you imagined writing, and the virtual reality house that’s been created?

Ryan Ridley [34:33] – Well, the disconnect is pretty great, because I, you know, Justin pointed out something, ’cause you’re standing in front of the TV, and so the couch is behind you, and then to your, let’s say the TV is this way, to my left was the sliding glass door, which I know we’ve used a lot, you know, the party episode takes place in the house, but I’ve never really thought about it, and Justin says, “This is Myke Chillian’s parents’ house,” like, that sliding glass door and the way it looks outdoors, I never would have thought, that’s a friend of ours, he also happened to be the character designer of the pilot, so he actually designed a lot of the original characters. But I never would have thought that, until I was physically in the space, and I looked over and I’m like, “Oh my God, that is Myke Chillian’s parents’ house!” Like, I totally see it now, but I never would have thought of that, watching it. I mean, I forget that, I forget what color hair Beth has, like, in my mind for some reason she’s a brunette, and I always forget that she’s a blonde, because most of my experiences of the show is in my head. I don’t consume it as much as some people do, because I don’t, sometimes I don’t even watch the final episodes, you know?

Craig Cannon [35:34] – No, I believe it.

Ryan Ridley [35:35] – I’m like, you know, and if anything, I’m watching most of them when they’re in the animatic stage, when they’re all black and white, so sometimes I actually forget what the characters look like, like what their outfit, you know, Rick’s color pallette, there’s a joke in the first episode where he says, “I used to wear blue pants,” and then, to write that joke, which McMahan did, like, we had to look at Rick and Morty on a sheet of paper and be like, “Oh, okay, so he has brown pants, I think, a blue shirt, a white lab coat,” and then even like, when Rick takes his shirt off, like what he looks like underneath blew my mind once. I was like, “Oh, God, what is he?”

Craig Cannon [36:10] – Oh yeah. I hadn’t thought about that, yeah, that’s a good point. So, okay, so the Roy thing is an easter egg in virtual reality, sort of Virtual Rickality.

Ryan Ridley [36:19] – I think that’s what it’s called.

Craig Cannon [36:20] – Okay.

Ryan Ridley [36:20] – If I know how we name our property, our titles, yeah.

Craig Cannon [36:24] – I think so, ’cause then there’s like, the Instagram thing that it, Rickstaverse.

Ryan Ridley [36:28] – Yeah.

Craig Cannon [36:29] – What about the other games, like, I’ve played some of the other ones, the other games. What is like, caused you guys to jump into all these random digital property things?

Ryan Ridley [36:39] – Well that’s not us…

Craig Cannon [36:40] – It’s just Adult Swim?

Ryan Ridley [36:41] – Yeah, I think they’re driving it, I mean, I certainly, you know, I don’t, I was sort of involved, I was consulted a little bit on some of the web content that bridged season two and season three, which is out, you know, the thing where it’s like a website that’s in theory, you’re kind of, it’s the Galactic Federation’s website.

Craig Cannon [37:02] – Okay.

Ryan Ridley [37:03] – These guys, Carrot, I think the company’s called, they did a bunch of concept for that, I think they also designed the Rickstaverse. But that’s like, driven by Adult Swim and whoever they sub-contract, yeah. We’ve had more direct say on the DVD special features and a little bit, Justin oversees some of the merchandise, you know, like what the figures are gonna be, or look like, or the toys, or pitches for ideas for what they could do, you know, for different kinds of stuff that I may or may not be able to talk about. But I had a lot to say, personally, on some of the DVD stuff, like I remember for the season two, there was a lot of debate about what the little thing that we’re gonna have, in season one it was the Jack Chick tract, which is from the Council of Ricks episode, where there’s a Good Morty Jack Chick tract, so we just printed up real ones, and put it in, and then for the second one, we really had a long conversation about what should it be, and we finally landed, “Oh, it should be plumbus instruction manual,” and then we should do, the joke should be it’s like, in some alien language first, and then where usually Spanish or French would be is the English translation, so. Yeah, but nothing, I haven’t had a lot of say about other stuff, or certainly, I can’t speak for what Justin and Dan have been saying.

Craig Cannon [38:15] – And that’s true for the VR game, too? ‘Cause I figured like, you’d just have this room of nerds, and they’re like, “Oh, we should make a VR game.” Like, the accounting game, too, that was like…

Ryan Ridley [38:23] – Owlchemy?

Craig Cannon [38:26] – Justin’s accounting thing, right?

Ryan Ridley [38:27] – Yeah, I was getting confused, ’cause the guys who created the Rick and Morty VR game did a job simulator, so I always get, but accounting was Justin’s project with the guys who did the Stanley parable?

Craig Cannon [38:37] – Okay, I don’t know…

Ryan Ridley [38:38] – Yeah, I think they did that in like a week, the initial build of that, but anyway, I wish I was more involved in the Rick and Morty virtual reality game, ’cause I do have one nit to pick with it. And I think I, maybe I’m being a dick, but, ’cause the guys did a great job, the Owlchemy guys, and I think they kind of just created that from scratch. Like, you know, Justin I’m sure riffed a lot of the dialogue, because that’s what he does, and he’s great at it. But I think they conceived the whole game, and they did such a great job, but, maybe I shouldn’t even say this, but my one beef with it, it was like, because you’re a clone Morty that keeps dying, and then you go to a limbo, and then you can push a button and get re-spawned, I was like, “Dude, why wasn’t it a Meeseeks?” Because then he could be destroyed, or whatever, fulfill his purpose, and therefore die, and then you’re, instead of limbo, or hell, or whatever, you’re in the Meeseeks box, and then we could actually depict what that would look like, which could be, I would have loved to have pitched that. Because that could’ve been so cool, it could’ve been like a Dr. Who thing, or like a Hellraiser, like, you know, just bizarre imagery of what a Meeseeks box looks like, you know? But that’s just me as a writer… Yeah, I don’t know like, what makes the most sense from a video game point of view, you know?

Craig Cannon [40:01] – And I imagine people want to be Morty, right? Like, when they’re playing a game…

Ryan Ridley [40:04] – But you’re not, you know, you’re still interacting with Rick and Morty.

Craig Cannon [40:07] – That’s true.

Ryan Ridley [40:08] – You’re a clone Morty, so you don’t actually even talk, you know, so. But they did incorporate these things called Youseeks, which are these Meeseeks that are involved, so the Meeseeks are in the game, but I was just.

Craig Cannon [40:20] – Okay.

Ryan Ridley [40:20] – That’s just me putting a writer hat on, you know? And I don’t want to tell anyone how to do their job, certainly, and I think those guys did a great job, but that was my one thing, I’m like, “That would have been so cool,” ’cause I think that’s what’s fun about anytime you do content like a video game, is being able to actually show other aspects that the show might not show. You know, the show is, we’ve talked about how we’d bring back Meeseeks, and if we were, we’d do, probably we’d want to really, if we’re gonna bother to do it, we’d want to really explore different aspect of it, but that’s one way to do it, right there, is show what the inside of a Meeseeks box looks like, that would have been really cool.

Craig Cannon [40:56] – Fair enough. So what else are you working on, now that like, Rick and Morty season three is all written, squared away, what’s coming up for you?

Ryan Ridley [41:07] – Just developing some stuff, trying to get out, get my own show, you know that expression, “It’s better to reign in hell than serve in heaven?”

Craig Cannon [41:15] – Nope.

Ryan Ridley [41:16] – Oh, that’s one of my favorite expressions. It means that, would you rather be a servant in one of the best shows on TV, or would you rather be in charge of a show that nobody cared about?

Craig Cannon [41:31] – Oh. So what show that nobody cares about are you working on?

Ryan Ridley [41:35] – You know, I’ve got a few different ideas, you know. I’m trying to crack, writing is hard, man. It’s, you know, writing a pilot is, it’s hard because it’s just nothing, and then you have to figure out how to make it something, you know? Coming aboard any TV show, I came aboard Rick and Morty after the pilot, so at least I sort of understood, we’re still figuring out those characters, by the way, even through season three. But there’s something that you can start playing with, which means, oh, you know, like I love writing Morty when he’s angry, because it’s just so funny to write him like, really angry and pissed off at Rick. And, you know, that’s because a lot of times he’s not, he’s, early on he was like, sort of low status, you know, and now to actually put him in a high-status position, where he’s like, reading Rick the riot act is fun. But you only, that’s only fun because you’re twisting the convention around. When you’re trying to come up with something from scratch, it’s like, what’s the convention, let alone how do you twist it? Yeah, so, that’s a long way of saying that I’m just, you know, I’m developing a few different shows, and seeing what, what sticks.

Craig Cannon [42:43] – Wow, that’s a metaphor I have heard before. Oh, thanks, man.

Ryan Ridley [42:51] – Yeah, that’s what sticks.

Craig Cannon [42:53] – If I learned one thing today. What about all your YouTube ideas?

Ryan Ridley [42:58] – Oh boy, okay, so I want to start a YouTube channel, well honestly, okay, here’s the sincere answer, ’cause I don’t have any ambitions to make a career out of YouTube. But what would be nice is that, you know, I was starting to get those e-mail requests about, “Hey, I’m a writer, what can I do?” And I’m like, “I don’t, I can’t really give any advice,” because as I already laid out, it’s so hyper-specific, and right place right time, and it is for everybody. But, you know, I don’t know, I was thinking about maybe making videos, just sort of talking about different things, I like to livestream, and so just sort of, just kind of having fun and not worrying about something being good enough to make money off of. Which is, that’s what happens when you’re developing a TV show, from my perspective is like, “Is this gonna sell, is this gonna make money?” It’s like, what if we just were creative and didn’t have to worry about that, so. But the other thing I want to make videos is about climate change, because I want to really figure out how to like…

Craig Cannon [43:58] – Like, a serious, well, maybe comedy, but like with a real purpose, is that what you’re saying?

Ryan Ridley [44:02] – Well, to finally expose the myth that is climate change, that it’s a hoax, and that the government is just trying to tax us all until, oh, sorry, I’m a climate change-denier…

Craig Cannon [44:10] – No, that’s good, I’m a flat-earth guy, so go for it, yeah, here’s your pedestal.

Ryan Ridley [44:15] – Well, you know, so I’m totally, that’s my big issue, I’m obsessed with it, and to be clear, I was joking, I’m obsessed with finding a solution to climate change, which starts with acknowledging that it’s real. And so, but I’m like, I’ll join these organizations, and I’ll go, and I’ll be like, “This is great, and I love to table, and volunteer, and march,” but like, is that really the most impactful use of my skillset? So I’ll like watch some videos online that are anti-climate change, and I’m like, the ones that are pro-climate change are usually pretty dry, and I’m like, “Maybe I can make something somewhat entertaining,” I don’t know, you know, that’s my little dream I have.

Craig Cannon [44:52] – Alright.

Ryan Ridley [44:53] – Using my communication skills and comedic abilities to do my little part to save this little blue dot.

Craig Cannon [45:02] – Well, this has been awesome, this was really great.

Ryan Ridley [45:05] – Cool, you got everything you needed?

Craig Cannon [45:06] – I think so, I mean is there, like, are there any words of wisdom you want to share, for people who aspire to be Rick and Morty-type writers? But like, or do you just not reply to those e-mails?

Ryan Ridley [45:17] – You know, I’m not great at it, but I have said, I have replied to ’em a couple times and said, ’cause the problem is that, you know, I’ll get a Facebook message or an Instagram message or a Twitter DM, and I’m like, I just forget and lose track of everything.

Craig Cannon [45:29] – Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ryan Ridley [45:31] – But, you know, it’s funny, ’cause I will say that I think now… Is such a weird time, because Dan and Justin and I are all within the same sort of age range, and man, we grew up in a world where, you know, all we wanted was superhero movies, and sci-fi shows, and they were so few and far between when we were teenagers, and so now we’re living in a world where like, that’s everything, and we’re able to do a show where it’s, we can take all of that, and just like, run it through a filter, and put it on TV, so if you’re a genre fan, I can’t tell if this is like the best time to be a genre writer, creator, aspiring, or the worst time, ’cause it’s like, you could say it’s the best time, because people are more open to that now, but it almost might be the worst time, because it’s so saturated.

Craig Cannon [46:22] – Well, I think the core idea is actually really interesting, which is like, make the stuff that you really want. Because like, I mean it’s basically your generation that’s allowed that to happen, right? So it’s like…

Ryan Ridley [46:34] – Thank you, we are pioneers, yeah.

Craig Cannon [46:36] – You’re amazing, man. But you know what I mean, right? So it’s like, if you’re 15 now, like you just make the stuff that like, you really want to make, and like maybe hopefully, eventually, people are into it?

Ryan Ridley [46:47] – Yeah, and that’s, that really is the number one advice, is just make the stuff that you wanna watch, and you really, you have to just make it for an audience of one, and of course hope that that ends up resonating with an audience of millions, because that’s how you make money. But, you know, and it’s hard, because it’s like, there’s ideas I have for shows, and I’m like, “This is the kind of show that I’ve never seen before.” Which means it’s terrifying, because you’re like, “How do I explain this to somebody?” But if I can execute it properly, then it’s a show that’s never been seen before, and that could be great, it could also be a total failure, but it could be great. At least it’s a risk, it could pay off. So yeah, I think that that’s the important thing, is just making stuff just for yourself, and when we made season one of Rick and Morty, no one knew what the show was, or cared what the show was, so we were just like, making ourselves laugh, you know? And then we had no clue it was gonna be, we’re like, “Well, it’s an Adult Swim show, so, like, it’ll be as popular as an Adult Swim show is gonna be,” you know, and somehow it has really struck a chord that I’ve, I’m just shocked by, because, you know, the fact that the McNugget sauce became a thing, that was like…

Craig Cannon [48:01] – Ridiculous.

Ryan Ridley [48:02] – The fact that I see, you know, like celebrities wearing Rick and Morty T-shirts, I’m just like, “What is going on?” This is, it still feels like just, you know, a group of friends who have been doing this stuff, like I said, we’ve made stuff for just, for free for ourselves, we made a podcast, made a web series that nobody paid for, that were just like, whatever, and, you know, to actually make something that people see, and you know, we’re making a living off of is pretty crazy.

Craig Cannon [48:32] – Have you been able to discern why it has such an outsized impact for like, just this random show?

Ryan Ridley [48:38] – Yeah, well, no, I’ve really tried to figure it out, because I thought, well, I mean, I think Dan’s a visionary brilliant creator and writer, and so I think there’s, it’s no surprise that anything he writes is gonna resonate. At the same time, I thought, well, but clearly it’s a combination of that and Justin’s voice, which I remember, from the second I saw Justin on camera, which was live action, not even animation, back in 2004 at Channel 101, I was like, “That guy’s hilarious, his voice is hilarious, I wanna work with that guy.” And so I thought, well, it’s that combination of that je ne sais quoi of his voice, if I may, with Dan’s writing, but then again, it’s popular internationally in Russia, and all these other countries, where it’s just dubbed over, with not with Justin’s voice, so, you know, it’s like, it is that, the Rick character is just one of those characters like, I don’t know, like a Cartman or, I can’t think of other examples, where you’re just like, “That guy, that guy fucking says the shit I want to say, but I’m not smart enough, or ballsy enough to say it,” so it’s really just a cathartic kind of character, and then it’s a family show, so that appeals to people, ’cause I think it feels somewhat like a real family, as opposed to maybe a Family Guy, which you’re like, “I don’t know,” they’re just characters bouncing off each other. This actually plays in real family dynamics, and it’s just also pretty to look at, ’cause the animators and the artists and the crew, finally, I’m stopping focusing on what the writers do. They do such a good job, the directors and everybody, it’s just so, I watched the first episode of season three like, so many times, not ’cause I was so in love with the writing or the jokes, but I was like, “Man, this is just so visually beautiful.” So it’s just, it kind of covers a lot of demographic voting blocks, if you will. If it was a candidate, yeah, it would do really well in the polls.

Craig Cannon [50:28] – I guess the last question that I have about that is, what’s the deal with the pupils, like the hand-drawn, not circular…

Ryan Ridley [50:34] – That’s absolutely Justin’s signature aesthetic, because he, I think from the early days of his cartoons, he did that.

Craig Cannon [50:43] – Oh, I haven’t seen those.

Ryan Ridley [50:45] – You’ve never seen House of Cosbys?

Craig Cannon [50:46] – No.

Ryan Ridley [50:47] – Oh, my God.

Craig Cannon [50:47] – Sorry.

Ryan Ridley [50:48] – House of Cosbys was what put Justin Roiland on the map. I’ll never forget, it was January, 2005, Channel 101, when that thing debuted, it blew the roof off the place, which was the opposite reaction of my show, Jack Everlasting, which kept the roof firmly on, in fact, you might even say it sucked the air out of the room. But yeah, it’s a show where a guy clones Bill Cosby, and it’s hilarious.

Craig Cannon [51:20] – Alright, so if people want to like, pay attention to what you’re up to, how can they follow you on the internet?

Ryan Ridley [51:25] – Hit up @RyanRidley on Twitter, RyanRidley at Instagram, I do livestreams pretty regularly on…

Craig Cannon [51:32] – Oh, yeah, what is…

Ryan Ridley [51:33] – Hold on, I’m comparing myself, Chuck Lorre of livestreaming, because I have about 10 to 15 livestreaming shows I do. I do a show called I Don’t Feel Like Writing Today, which is a show I do whenever I don’t feel like writing. I do a show called Law and Abed, where my friend, Abed Gheith, who was the basis of the Abed Nadir character on Community, talks to me about some of his legal situations, and I learn about the law that way. I do a show called Late Night with Ryan Ridley, which, when I just can’t sleep, I just start, you know, livestreaming. So anyway, that’s a real fun time. And it also, I’ll answer questions about Rick and Morty, or writing, or whatever. I don’t know, yeah.

Craig Cannon [52:14] – That’s perfect, we shouldn’t have even done this podcast, I should have just gotten you on livestream. Alright, man, cool, thanks.

Ryan Ridley [52:20] – Yeah, thanks for having me.

Craig Cannon [52:21] – Done.

Ryan Ridley [52:21] – Alright.

Craig Cannon [52:23] – Alright, thanks for listening. So if you want to learn more about Ryan, or read the transcript to the show, you can check out blog.ycombinator.com, where we have posts for every episode of the podcast, and as always, please remember to subscribe and rate the show, which definitely helps us out. Alright, see you next week.


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    Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups. Twice a year we invest a small amount of money ($150k) in a large number of startups (recently 200). The startups move to Silicon