Hey, Dave Willis here. I am a writer and producer of cartoons for Adult Swim including Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Squidbillies. I co-created ATHF and I am the voice of Meatwad and Carl. I'll be answering questions starting at 3PM EST.


That's really me. That's really Meatwad.

Hey guys, I'm about to sign off. Season finale's of "Aqua Something" and "Squidbillies" this Sunday night. Check out Squids Season 5 on DVD. There. Plug-time over!

I am now soaking my fingers. That was a blast. Bring me back.

Comments: 375 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

davewillis2232 karma

Yes, I could read The Raven in Meatwad's voice.

davewillis295 karma

Hey, I'm Dave Willis. Starting early. Thanks for checking in on this. Ask me anything! (except for questions related to my time as CEO of Bain Capital)

waitwutbro54 karma

I guess I'll be that guy. Is there any chance Space Ghost makes a comeback?

davewillis288 karma

Good question. Maiellaro and I were both burned out at the end, and we were also pumped about ATHF - and everyone else was working on other things, so it died quietly in the night. But speaking for myself, every once in a while I get curious about pulling it out of mothballs. We made a push 8 years ago to get Don Rickles for the show, to no avail. Ad sales did a commercial for "The Campaign" with SG interviewing Zach Galifsgdfbaiunor and Will Farrell - and I got jealous. I wish I had done the interview, and I wish it was up to the standards of the show. Short answer: Maybe someday. If we got Bill Murray.

davewillis251 karma

Fave ice cream? I'm a fro-yo guy. And I am involved with more frequent fro-yo clubs than I am with charities.

Jeremy56x48 karma

Can you try to get DANGER DOOM back up and running, and do another Adult Swim themed album? It's been way too long.

davewillis265 karma

I agree. That was a GREAT album.

waldos_brother37 karma

Could you read The Raven in Meatwad's voice?

davewillis262 karma

Yes, I could read The Raven in Meatwad's voice.

Keeble6436 karma

Hi Dave!

I don't really have a question and you may not remember me but I sure as heck remember you! I was one of the guys that tried out to be Carl at the "Totally look like Carl" contest at the San Diego Comic-Con '08. I was a nervous wreck the whole time leading up to the audition but when you came out and started spouting off Carl quotes I was just thrilled to get to meet and arm wrestle the voice and creator of one of my favorite cartoon characters of all time. I just wanted to say thank you for giving me a chance to be part of Aqua Teen and giving me my 1 second of fame on the Adult Swim commercials. I would've submitted a video for the contest but couldn't shave my head again since I was a theatre major at my college and had to grow it back out for a role. Also thanks for the totally badass, blue sweatpants!!

EDIT: Me and Dave at Comic-Con

davewillis254 karma

Yes, I think I remember you. I almost shaved your head, but then I saw a look of fear in your eyes. So I shaved the head of your girlfriend instead. You're a good kid, stay in school.

zombieparmesan30 karma

I don't know if you have the answer to this, but I've always wondered why Adult Swim chose to move away from animated shows to focus on live-action ones. It would seem to me that [as]'s popularity has gone down hill since the change.

davewillis251 karma

There's room for both. Every animator wants to secretly make movies, I think. And I think live-action comedies that I - and our audience - want to see are more prevelant on the internet than they are on TV. There is not a lot of absurdist stuff out there. Eagleheart and Delocated are great shows that I don't see anywhere else on my television. Children's and NTSF are great, too. So what's your problem?

pasta_monster29 karma

What's your favorite thing that has been written on Early's hat? I've been looking for one that says "No Habla Jibber Jabber".

davewillis242 karma

Free Hat: Limit 1 Remember 9-111 (irregular)

TospyKretts25 karma

  1. Are you currently working on a new show for Adult Swim.

  2. Ever thought about doing a Aqua Teen Hunger Force/Squidbillies super episode?

  3. Where in the world is carmen sandiego?

  4. You're awesome

davewillis249 karma

Yes. It's called "Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell" It's live-action and I'm writing and directing with Chris ("Stroker and Hoop") Kelly. It's about a dumbass demon in hell who is sent to earth to break up marriages, turn addicts back onto drugs, etc. etc. Like "Touched by an Angel" in reverse. The great Jon Wurster also helped write an episode, and it shows. The funniest guy in rock!

davewillis250 karma

ATHF/Squids crossover episode? If we ever do that, you have my permission to find me and shoot me in front of my family. But never say never. Sometimes people do stupid things for money.

zeffyte18 karma

Hey Dave I am a big fan! Is there really going to be another Aqua Teen movie?

davewillis242 karma

Yes, we wrote the script for the sequel - "Deathfighter". Travolta's people are still reviewing the material. Fingers crossed!

SoniM17 karma

What made you create ATHF and how did you get into animation?

davewillis229 karma

Boredom with Space Ghost. And excitement about a new idea. We wrote an episode of SGC2C where the Aqua Teens take over Space Ghost's show. The script note: Not enough Space Ghost. So we shelved it, but we loved the characters. So we pitched ATHF.

davewillis229 karma

I'm not really a visual artist. I can barely draw. But I loved cartoons as a kid and I used to draw a comic strip for my college paper. When I moved back to Atlanta in 1995, I knew I wanted to get into the creative side of producing television. But I couldn't figure out how to transition from fetching bagels and unloading C-stands into sitting behind monitors and saying "I told you smoked salmon, prick!". I had worked on 50+ shoots - music videos, commercials, industrials - and I finally PAed on a cartoon network shoot. That led to me meeting Matt Thompson and Adam Reed ("Sealab 2021" "Archer") and they hooked me up with Andy.

fedhead1115 karma

Thanks for being awesome. How long does it take to write and produce the average Aqua Teen episode? Also, do you have a favorite "villain" on ATHF?

davewillis246 karma

Matt and I will get together at a coffee shop and spend most of a morning talking about people that we know behind those people's backs. Then we order an impossibly lavish lunch at Panera Bread, look at the clock repeatedly and ultimately start cranking out a draft no later than 3:30 in the afternoon - usually based around an idea that is a thinly-veiled jab at one of those people we were gossiping about earlier. The next morning, we reread it, laugh, declare it to be perfect, then totally rewrite it. Usually two passes.

davewillis230 karma

We do mess with it in the record, improve, ad-lib, throw out new lines and we might punch it up as we edit. It may sit with one of our editors for months while I tweak it. Usually an episode might take 8-moths, but we have 6-8 in production at any given time.

Apostolate13 karma

I fucking love your work.

All of it. Probably 30% of all my humoristicness I learned watching those shows late at night when I should have been asleep in high school etc.

Can I ask you, where did you learn your humor? What influences made you laugh a lot as a young guy?

davewillis227 karma

Obviously, SNL was a huge influence. As a teenager, my friends and I used to shoot those classic skits with a VHS camera, without embellishment, thinking that the comedy would somehow seep into us. Later on, The Simpsons was a revelation. Then Mr. Show. These are all pretty stock answers. I probably could have used more Python in my undergraduate work.

Ruddiver12 karma

Who was the funniest guest star on Space Ghost?

davewillis229 karma

Cross & Odenkirk Conan O-Brien (tie)

SourHopHead10 karma

How did you like this years SDCC panel? Will there be another Aqua Teen movie? Will there be a Squidbillies movie?

davewillis220 karma

Squidbillies movie? There's an idea!

ubikuity8 karma

What are your all-time favorite episodes of Space Ghost/Cartoon Planet? And thanks for doing an AMA, you're a legend.

davewillis225 karma

I love SGC2C "Edelweiss" with Beck as the guest. Not because it's great (it's not) but I will always remember it as my first solo writing credit. And I remember interviewing Beck in his grimy Ramada hotel room off Armour Drive and thinking that he was very quickly going to be huge. Episodes never hold up the way I remember them. But I have fond and vivid memories of Joshua, Pavement, Fire Ant, King Dead, Sweet for Brak and the one with David Cross and Ba Bodenkirk.

andrewsmith19867 karma

What is your favorite cartoon of all time?

What is your favorite character that you have created?

davewillis230 karma

I love Meatwad, but he's hard to tap into unless I'm looking at a kitty cat or a baby. That's why we keep infants and kittens in the studio at all times.

I love Carl. I feel like I can slip into that character whenever. And I love that he was the straight guy in the early episodes, but as time passed, it was Shake and Frylock who were ultimately creeped out by him.

davewillis222 karma

Not sure if it is my favorite cartoon ever, but I always had a sift spot for Xavier: Renegade Angel. Those scripts were amazing. If you didn't like it, you didn't give it a chance.

snooptray6 karma

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

davewillis214 karma

Fave ice cream? I'm a fro-yo guy. And I am involved with more frequent fro-yo clubs than I am with charities.

guernicaa5 karma

Hey Dave! How did you get your start at Adult Swim?

davewillis221 karma

Andy Merrill (aka Brak) hired me as his PA for Cartoon Planet in 1995. I've been here at Cartoon Network ever since. He and I shared a desk for a year. To his fault and his credit, he let me write very early on, and he let me produce a few of my crappy scripts - because he and Pete Smith were churning through a ton of material for that show on their own. After a year, I moved over to Space Ghost and worked for Matt Harrigan, and ultimately Mike Lazzo and Keith Crofford. After Harrigan left, I stayed on and produced SGC2C with Matt Maiellaro, Pete Smith, Andy, etc. I just kept hanging out, for years, making this weird show with adult sensibilities on a kid's network, until they built the block. It's like I got grandfathered in.

smellykelly5 karma

HUGE fan of the show. Do you hang out with any of the other actors outside of the show, like Carey Means and Dana Snyder? Or does Carl's disdain for the characters reflect reality?

davewillis214 karma

Carey is a man of mystery wrapped inside a rubik's cube shrouded in ninja gear. I rarely see him outside of a voice record, though I am told he hangs in a karaoke bar in Smyrna.

Dana: whenever he is in town, we eat and drink, heavily. Unless he is on a Benihana/Trader Vic's bender. Then I opt out.

rcdude10tc324 karma

What ever happened with Cheyenne Cinnamon? It was so good!

davewillis210 karma

I agree! That show had it all. I'm still shocked, and bummed about it. Contact Adult Swim!

jeadler3 karma

Can you share some information on your new live action Hell show? Title, people in it. I'll take what I can get!

davewillis28 karma

"Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell" Iggy Pop signed off on the title! Matt Servitto plays Satan. He's awesome. A truly great actor, best known for his work on The Sopranos. Craig Rowen, a very funny improv actor and writer from the UCB in NYC, plays Claude. And Henry Zebrowski plays the lead demon, Gary. This guy is a discovery. Everyone will know who he is three years from now. I say this without reservation. Ridiculously funny and insanely likeable. All of them were slathered with red makeup for a 6-week shoot in 100 degree heat in Atlanta this Summer. We just wrapped last week and should be in edit and graphics for the next few months

alexxerth0 karma

Might get tons of downvotes, but proof please? I mean the picture was posted hours before now, there's nothing linking the two except this persons word. Can you post on your twitter that it is starting now?

davewillis210 karma

I just did. Check it!