MC Bat Commander (aka Christian Jacobs) talks The Aquabats! Super Show! Season 1 DVD and Season 2 Premiere!
Somewhere…Out in the middle of an Orange County Citrus Grove… KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park accidentally banged up against Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers…And thus, The Aquabats! Super Show! was born! This story of five heroes who travel the world in their battle tram to fight evil is a glorious blast of silly funcore that’s so unstoppable, and so unbelievable, you and your kids will want to watch it again and again, which is now possible with this week’s debut of The Aquabats! Super Show! Season One DVD!
That’s not all! The Aquabats! Super Show! Season 2 is set to debut glorious all-new episodes this June on the Hub! Can you believe it? We can’t! To celebrate this tasty gift to the world, we caught up with the show’s creator and star, and frontman of the long-standing Orange County Hardcore band The Aquabats (seriously, what’s more hardcore than fighting a Cobraman in your pajamas?) Christian Jacobs, aka MC Bat Commander, aka The Unbelievable Power of Awesome Friendship and Rainbows, and Burger Rain for Everyone, to chat about both The Aquabats! Super Show! Season One DVD release, in stores now, and their hugely anticipated return to Saturday morning, where they’ve singly handedly revived that age-old tradition of what it means to be a kid, up early and in front of the television on the weekend.
Here is our conversation about the return of classic characters, horror loving dogs, new episodes, and the upcoming torrential Burger Rain that will wreck hunger havoc upon everyone. Enjoy!
Included on this DVD set, in the extra features, is something called ‘the original pilot’. What is ‘the original pilot’?
MC Bat Commander: Between Season 1 and Season 2 of shooting Yo Gabba Gabba!, back in 2007, we thought, “Hey, you know, now that we have a little momentum going with this Yo Gabba thing, lets take some time and actually do this AquaBats pilot the right way.” We had shot a pilot for Disney back in 1998, and then we did one for Fox Family Channel in 2001. Then, neither one of them were what we were looking for. So, we had a chance to do it our way in 2007. We shot a twenty-minute pilot. And it includes the live action…It’s about fifty percent live action, fifty percent animated. I wouldn’t say it’s a lot different than the show is now, but it’s definitely different. It will be interesting for people to see it. Where the show came from, and what our original idea was. And how it departed off from that.
To continue that train of thought, what does the “…And More” consist of on this DVD set?
MC Bat Commander: The “…And More!” So, what is also there with the original pilot? There is audio commentary stuff, there are bloopers, there are a ton of bloopers…There are a ton more, when we get a chance to do a Season 2 DVD, hopefully…We will be able to mine out a bunch more of that stuff. But there is still a ton of bloopers. There are some behind-the-scenes clips. Some of them are real, a lot of them are mockumentary style adlibbed things that we did on the fly. There are a bunch of interesting tidbits. Mostly it’s just the pilot, the bloopers, and behind-the-scenes clips…It’s all there, and its pretty fun!
When the series originally debuted on The Hub, we were sent a mask and T-shirt. No lie, my dog kind of stole the mask. My dog wears it. Which I’m sure kids across America would love to do on Saturday mornings too! Is there a reason why the DVD set doesn’t come with a mask?
MC Bat Commander: Uh? I don’t know why we didn’t get those. To do it cost effectively, we would have to get the cheaper masks with the DVDs. We wouldn’t want the kids to get cheaped out. But! You can buy the actual masks online. (clickHere). Somewhere…We’ll send you some. A kid wouldn’t want to wear a cardboard mask while they are watching the show…
No, they want the real thing…
MC Bat Commander: Those ones are kind of bulky. Maybe you remember before the dog tore yours up. They are bulky and hard to ship, so…
The dog didn’t tear it up. The dog wears it. I have pictures of the dog wearing it if you don’t believe me.
MC Bat Commander: Oh, he wears it! Even better!
Yeah, the dog watches a lot of TV, too, so…I don’t know what’s up with that dog…
MC Bat Commander: That’s really amazing.
He watches your show every Saturday morning. Even the repeats. But, to be honest, he is partial to horror movies. I don’t know why.
MC Bat Commander: That’s crazy. Does he bark at the screen when scary stuff happens?
I have video of the dog watching Scream 4. She actually covers her eyes when one of the characters gets killed. Then she walks away.
MC Bat Commander: Wow. That’s too heavy for her!
REP: We have two villains in Season 2 that might make her do that, too.
MC Bat Commander: Oh, yeah, absolutely!
So, Season 2! That’s happening!
MC Bat Commander: Yes, yes!
REP: June 1st, 1 pm EST/10 am PST!
That’s exciting news. What can we expect to see in Season 2?
MC Bat Commander: The AquaBats in Season 1, they have saved the earth. At the same time, we get thrown into outer space, our fate is unknown. In Season 2 we come back to earth, and somehow, some way, we don’t know how we got out of the time loop, we don’t know how we got back to earth, and we are very disoriented. But, we come back, and everyone knows who we are. We’ve saved the earth, and we’re celebrities now, in Season 2. The tone of Season 2 is, now everyone knows who the AquaBats are in their AquaBats world, and they are Celebes, and they are expected to perform as heroes. But the AquaBats are still kind of bumbling idiots. And they don’t know what they are doing. That plays into the comedy of the whole season. In a nutshell, that is the tone of the season. Then, specific episodes follow suite, with completely different origin stories from all of the different AquaBats. All the different AquaBats have different versions of the way the AquaBats became a band. That’s fun to explore in cartoon flashbacks. There are some crazy guests. Tony Hawk, Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo, Gerard Way and Mikey Way from My Chemical Romance all helped us out on an episode. There is a bunch of crazy things going on in Season 2. I think the scale has gotten a little more epic. There are some crazy homaging bits to action movies and horror movies. Things like that, its fun!
I’m a huge fan of the AquaBats going back more than twenty years, and I was really impressed and amazed that you didn’t have to rely on your catalogue of past characters for the show. It’s almost entirely all new.
MC Bat Commander: That’s true. We did a lot of new stuff. That’s because we’d been living with the history of the AquaBats for so long, and that history itself…Its the Aquabats, so its silly and its fun…We thought, why not change it up and make new stuff? In Season 2 I think you’ll see a return of some of the earlier…For instances, in one of the origin stories, it stays completely faithful to the origin story of the AquaBats. So the original origin is represented in a cartoon that will show up here, in this new season. You’ll have to guess which AquaBat is remembering that as the original storyline. There are some bad guys from the past. Silver Skull comes back as a villain in Season 2. That is one of our old school villains. We are trying to work in more stuff from the past. In the first season, I didn’t want it to feel like we had to rely solely on the lore of the AquaBats. We wanted everything to feel really fresh. Now, in Season 2, weaving stuff in from the past has made it feel even fresher. Because people maybe aren’t expecting it so much. If that makes sense. That may just be us wrapping our heads around it. I think that makes the difference. If we just started doing a Martian Girl episode, we’ve been playing Martian Girl for almost 12 years this fall…I think that might feel stale to some of the guys in the band. So we left that out. But now we are gradually weaving the old stuff back in there.
Is a movie in the works?
MC Bat Commander: Oh, man. We thought about that last season. We thought, “We better start trying to get a deal, and do a movie right now!” Because all of us are so old. We’re going to have heart attacks someday on the show. But we’re working towards that!