Robot Chicken is an American stop motion sketch comedy television series, created and executive produced for Adult Swim by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. The writers, especially Green, also provide many of the voices. Senreich, Goldstein, and Root were formerly writers for the popular action figure hobbyist magazine ToyFare. Robot Chicken has won an Annie Award and six Emmy Awards.
|Opening theme||"Robot Chicken" by Les Claypool|
|Ending theme||"The Gonk" by Herbert Chappell|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9|
|No. of episodes||179 (and 11 specials) (list of episodes)|
|Running time||11–12 minutes|
|Original network||Adult Swim|
|Picture format||4:3 SDTV (2005–2009)|
16:9 HDTV (2010–present)
|Original release||February 20, 2005 –|
Robot Chicken is based on "Twisted ToyFare Theater", a humorous photo comic-strip appearing in ToyFare: The Toy Magazine. The show's name was inspired by a dish on the menu at a West Hollywood Chinese restaurant, Kung Pao Bistro, where Green and Senreich had dined; the series originally was intended to be called Junk in the Trunk.
The show was created, written, and produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, and produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (formerly Stoop!d Monkey) and ShadowMachine Films (Seasons 1–5) in association with Williams Street, and Sony Pictures Television (Sony Pictures Digital Seasons 1–5). The series first appeared as Sweet J Presents on the Sony website Screenblast.com in 2001. In the first episode ("Conan's Big Fun"), Conan O'Brien was a featured character, voiced by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane (2005–present). Sweet J Presents ended after 12 episodes and moved to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim in 2005 as Robot Chicken, premiering on Sunday, February 20, 2005.
Some television networks and sketch shows rejected Robot Chicken, including Comedy Central, MADtv, Saturday Night Live, and even Cartoon Network. However, someone at Cartoon Network passed the pitch along to Adult Swim, around the same time that Seth MacFarlane told Seth Green and Matthew Senreich to pitch the show to Adult Swim.
The show mocks popular culture, referencing toys, movies, television, games, popular fads, and more obscure references like anime cartoons and older television programs, much in the same vein as comedy sketch shows like Saturday Night Live. It employs stop motion animation of toys, action figures, claymation, and various other objects, such as tongue depressors, The Game of Life pegs, and popsicle sticks.
One particular motif involves the idea of fantastical characters being placed in a more realistic world or situation (such as Stretch Armstrong requiring a corn syrup transplant after losing his abilities because of ageing, Optimus Prime performing a prostate cancer PSA for the humans, and Godzilla having problems in the bedroom). The program aired a 30-minute episode dedicated to Star Wars which premiered June 17, 2007, in the US, featuring the voices of Star Wars notables George Lucas, Mark Hamill (from a previous episode), Billy Dee Williams, and Ahmed Best. The Star Wars episode was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award as Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour).
The show airs in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of Fox and TruTV's Adult Swim block, in Canada on Teletoon's Teletoon at Night block (until the shift into 24/7 family-friendly shows on April 1, 2019) and the 24/7 Adult Swim channel (currently after the Canadian Cartoon Network cancelled the Adult Swim block), in Australia on The Comedy Channel's Adult Swim block, in Russia on 2x2's Adult Swim block, in Germany on TNT Series' Adult Swim block, and in Latin America on the I.Sat Adult Swim block (after the Adult Swim block was cancelled from Cartoon Network Latin America in 2008). Many of the show's sketches from Sweet J Presents were redone for Robot Chicken.
The series was renewed for a 20-episode third season, which ran from August 1, 2007, to September 28, 2008. After an eight-month hiatus during the third season, the show returned on August 31, 2008, to air the remaining 5 episodes. The series was renewed for a fourth season which premiered on December 7, 2008, and ended September 20, 2009. In early 2010, the show was renewed for a fifth and sixth season (40 more episodes total). Season five premiered on December 12, 2010. The second group of episodes began broadcasting on October 23, 2011. The 100th episode aired on January 15, 2012. In May 2012, Adult Swim announced they were picking up a sixth season of Robot Chicken, which began airing in September 2012. The seventh season premiered on April 13, 2014. Season eight premiered on October 25, 2015. Season nine premiered on December 10, 2017. It was confirmed at San Diego Comic Con 2018 that season 10 is being made.
On a stormy night, a mad scientist finds a road-killed chicken, which he takes back to his laboratory to re-fashion into a cyborg. Midway through the opening sequence, the titular chicken turns his laser eye towards the camera, and the title appears amidst the "laser effects" as Les Claypool of Primus can be heard screaming "It's alive!" à la Frankenstein. Claypool also composed and performed the show's theme song. The mad scientist then straps the re-animated Robot Chicken into a chair, uses calipers to hold his eyes open, and forces him to watch a bank of television monitors (with allusions to A Clockwork Orange and Watchmen); this scene segues into the body of the show, which resembles someone frequently changing TV channels.
In the episode "1987", Michael Ian Black claims in the "Best Robot Chicken Ever" sketch that this sequence tells the viewers that they are the chicken, being forced to watch the skits. As a result, the show does not actually focus on the Robot Chicken until the 100th episode, when he finally makes his escape and later kills the mad scientist when he takes his hen girlfriend Cluckerella.
Beginning in the sixth season, a new opening sequence has been featured with a role reversal. The Robot Chicken comes upon the body of the scientist, which has been decapitated. He decides to do to the scientist what the mad scientist did to him: add robotic parts to him, turn him into a cyborg, and give him a laser eye (although he gives the scientist a blue eye instead of a red one, which necessitates a change in the title's background color), then strap him to the same chair he was strapped to and force him to watch the same TV monitors while the chicken and his girlfriend share a kiss.
Beginning in the eighth season, a new opening sequence has been featured with the Robot Chicken being uncovered in snow, frozen in a block of ice by cyborgs. Taken back to the futuristic laboratory, the Robot Chicken is taken out of suspended animation by a masked scientist, revealed to be a descendant of the mad scientist who first reanimated the Robot Chicken. The descendant mad scientist then proceeds to force the Robot Chicken to watch a wall of projected images with different shows, as his ancestor did before him. This new opening was necessary following the plot of last season's episode "Chipotle Miserables" in which the mad scientist's son rips out his father's remaining eye to open a door controlled by an optical biometric reader, and then creates a posse of reanimated half-cyborg animals, as well as a cyborg homeless person. The posse then proceeds to kidnap all 5 living Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. The Robot Chicken and Mad Scientist then team up to rescue the presidents, after which, the Robot Chicken flies away, free.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||20||February 20, 2005||July 17, 2005|
|2||20||April 2, 2006||November 19, 2006|
|3||20||August 12, 2007||October 5, 2008|
|4||20||December 7, 2008||December 6, 2009|
|5||20||December 12, 2010||January 15, 2012|
|6||20||September 16, 2012||February 17, 2013|
|7||19||April 13, 2014||August 17, 2014|
|8||20||October 25, 2015||May 15, 2016|
|9||20||December 10, 2017||July 22, 2018|
|Specials||2005, 2007–2010, 2012–2015, 2017|
|DVD title||Release date||Ep #||Discs|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|Season One||March 28, 2006||September 29, 2008||April 4, 2007||1–20||2|
|This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 1 in production order. While it contains many sketches that were edited from the TV airings, several of the original Sony Screenblast webtoons, and the words "Jesus" and "Christ" as an oath unbleeped (though "fuck" and "shit" are still censored out), the episodes are not all uncut. One particular segment that featured the Teen Titans meeting Beavis and Butt-head was omitted from the DVD because of legal problems. The Voltron/You Got Served sketch shown on the DVD has a replacement song because of legal issues over the song that was used on the TV version. At a performance of Family Guy Live in Chicago, during the Q&A session that ends each performance, Seth Green was asked how they came up with the name Robot Chicken. He explained that the title of each episode was a name Adult Swim rejected for the name of the show. A Region 2 version of the set was released in the UK on September 29, 2008. Three edited shorts from Sweet J Presents were included on the Robot Chicken Season 1 DVD boxset.|
|Season Two||September 4, 2007||September 28, 2009||November 11, 2007||21–40||2|
|This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 2 in production order and uncensored, with the words "fuck" and "shit" uncensored (except for one instance in the episode "Easter Basket" in the Lego sketch). It is currently available for download on iTunes (though the episode "Veggies for Sloth" is absent because of copyright issues involving the "Archie's Final Destination" segment). Seth Green stated at Comic-Con 2006 that the second DVD set will contain the "Beavis and Butt-head Meet the Teen Titans" sketch, which had been removed from the first DVD set because of copyright issues. However, the sketch is absent from the DVD (although it is available on iTunes). Bonus features include the Christmas special. A secret Nerf gun fight can be found on the disc 1 extras menu and pushing "up" over the extras and set-up items on the menu reveals more special features.|
|Star Wars Special||July 22, 2008||August 11, 2008||August 6, 2008||1||1|
|This single DVD features the Star Wars special in its TV-edited version (i.e. with bleeps in place of profane words) and several extras about the crew and their work on the special, including a photo gallery, alternate audio, and an easter egg demonstrating the crew's difficulty in composing a proper musical score for the sketch "Empire on Ice". It also features various audio commentaries, featuring members of the cast and crew.|
|Season Three||October 7, 2008||January 25, 2010||December 3, 2008||41–60||2|
|This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 3 in production order. This DVD is uncensored, except for the "Cat in the Hat" sketch from episode 7 on Disc 1. It also intentionally censored in episode 5 in the "Law and Order" KFC sketch. This DVD has special features such as deleted scenes and animatics. It also includes commentary for all of the episodes and has "Chicken Nuggets" commentary for episodes 1 and 3–5. The bonus features also include a gag reel and audio takes.|
|Star Wars Episode II||July 21, 2009||July 27, 2009||August 5, 2009||1||1|
|This single DVD features the main Star Wars special extras, including normal Robot Chicken episodes and common DVD extras; "The Making Of"; and deleted scenes.|
|Season Four||December 15, 2009||August 30, 2010||December 2, 2009||61–80||2|
|This two disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 4 in production order. The special features include "Chicken Nuggets", San Diego Comic-Con '08 Panel, "Day in the Life", New York Comic-Con '09 Panel, video blogs, an Australia Visit, Alternate Audio, deleted scenes and deleted animations, and commentary on all 20 episodes.|
|Star Wars Episode III||July 12, 2011||July 4, 2011||August 3, 2011||1||1|
|Interview with George Lucas, "Chicken Nuggets" (sketch by sketch video commentary), Behind the Scenes, Voice Recording Featurette, Star Wars Celebration V Robot Chicken Panel, Skywalker Ranch Premiere Trip, Writer's Room Featurette, Deleted Animatics w/video intros, Audio Commentaries.|
|Season Five||October 25, 2011||TBA||November 30, 2011||81–100||2|
|This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 5 in production order. Nine of the episodes were previously unaired before DVD release. The set includes commentary on all episodes, "Chicken Nuggets" on a few episodes, and a featurette on Episode 100. Deleted scenes and deleted animations are also included. Among the deleted scenes are the sketches "Beavis and Butt-head Meet the Teen Titans" (deleted from Season 1 due to copyright issues) and the "Riverdale: Final Destination" sketch (deleted from Season 2 sets).|
|DC Comics Special||July 9, 2013||TBA||September 18, 2013||1||1|
|The Making of the RCDC Special, RCDC's Aquaman Origin Story, Chicken Nuggets, Writers' Commentary, Actors' Commentary, DC Entertainment Tour, Stoopid Alter Egos, Outtakes, Cut Sketches, 5.2 Questions.|
|DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise||October 14, 2014||1||1|
|The second set of specials parodying DC Superheroes.|
|Season Six||October 8, 2013||TBA||November 20, 2013||101–120||2|
|This two-disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 6 in production order. Special features include commentary on every episode, deleted animatics, featurettes, deleted scenes, channel flips and "Chicken Nuggets".|
|Christmas Specials||November 18, 2014||TBA||TBA||6||1|
|This DVD contains 6 Christmas-themed episodes: "Robot Chicken's Christmas Special", "Robot Chicken's Half-Assed Christmas Special", "Dear Consumer (Robot Chicken's Full-Assed Christmas Special)", "Robot Chicken's DP Christmas Special", "Robot Chicken's ATM Christmas Special" and "Born Again Virgin Christmas Special". Special features include commentaries, deleted scenes, deleted animatics and "long-forgotten" promos.|
|Season Seven||July 21, 2015||TBA||September 16, 2015||121–139||2|
|This two-disc boxset includes all 19 episodes from Season 7 in production order. Special features include commentary on every episode, a bonus Christmas special titled "Lots of Holidays but Don't Worry Christmas is Still in There Too so Pull the Stick Out of Your Ass Fox News Special" with commentary, featurettes and cut sketches.|
|Robot Chicken DC Comics Special (collection)||March 2018|
|The Robot Chicken Walking Dead Special: Look Who's Walking||March 27, 2018||1||1|
Revolver Entertainment have released the first four seasons and all three Star Wars specials in the United Kingdom. A box set including the first 3 seasons and a box set including all three Star Wars specials have also been released.
Madman Entertainment has released all Robot Chicken seasons and specials to date in Australia and New Zealand.
Breckin Erin Meyer (born May 7, 1974) is an American actor, voice actor, writer, producer and drummer known for his roles in films such as Clueless, Road Trip, Rat Race and Garfield: The Movie.Chris McKay
Chris McKay, also known as Chris Taylor, is an American film and television director, producer, editor, animator, and visual effects artist. He is best known for directing and editing three seasons of Robot Chicken and two seasons of Moral Orel. He worked as an animation co-director on The Lego Movie (2014) with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. He made his feature film directorial debut with The Lego Batman Movie (2017). He is attached to direct a live-action film about Nightwing.Keith Crofford
Keith Crofford (born April 14, 1956 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama) is a senior vice president of Adult Swim, the adult-oriented division of Cartoon Network. He is executive producer for several Williams Street in-house productions such as Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Brak Show and Squidbillies. He also serves as the executive producer for Williams Street out-of-house productions such as Sealab 2021, Robot Chicken, Tom Goes to the Mayor, The Oblongs, Minoriteam and Moral Orel. Crofford is also the executive in charge of production for Cartoon Network’s The Venture Bros.
In 1996, Crofford voiced MOE 2000, an unfeeling computer director, in an episode, "$20.01", of Space Ghost Coast to Coast on Cartoon Network. He also voiced himself in Robot Chicken two times from 2006 to 2007 on [adult swim].
Crofford attended Florida State University from 1974-1978.List of Robot Chicken episodes
This is a list of episodes for the stop-motion television series Robot Chicken. The first episode aired on February 20, 2005 at 11:30 PM EST on Adult Swim, and the ninth season concluded on July 22, 2018. There have been a number of half-hour specials.Matthew Senreich
Matthew Ian Senreich (; born June 17, 1974) is an American screenwriter, television producer and director best known for his work with animated television series Robot Chicken, which he co-created with business partner Seth Green.Robot Chicken (season 1)
The first season of the stop-motion television series Robot Chicken originally aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. Season one officially began on February 20, 2005 on Adult Swim, with "Junk in the Trunk", and ended with "The Black Cherry" on July 18, 2005, with a total of twenty episodes.
Many of the episode names in this season ("Junk in the Trunk", "Nightmare Generator", etc.) were rejected titles previously considered for the show before settling with the current title.
The first season was released on the Season One DVD on March 28, 2006 in Region 1, September 29, 2008 in Region 2 and April 4, 2007 in Region 4.Robot Chicken (season 2)
The second season of the stop-motion television series Robot Chicken originally aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. Season Two officially began on April 2, 2006 on Adult Swim, with "Suck It", and ended with "Book of Corrine" on November 19, 2006, with a total of twenty episodes.
The second season was released on the Season Two: Uncensored DVD on September 4, 2007 in Region 1, September 28, 2009 in Region 2 and November 11, 2007 in Region 4.Robot Chicken (season 5)
The fifth season of the stop-motion television series Robot Chicken originally aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. Season five officially began on December 12, 2010, on Adult Swim, with "Robot Chicken's DP Christmas Special", and contained a total of twenty episodes.Robot Chicken DC Comics Special
Robot Chicken DC Comics Special is an episode of the television comedy series Robot Chicken and it was aired as a one-off special during Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on September 9, 2012.
A DC Universe special, in collaboration with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. Voice actors are Seth Green as Batman, Robin and Aquaman, Paul Reubens as the Riddler, Neil Patrick Harris as Two-Face, Alfred Molina as Lex Luthor, Nathan Fillion as the Green Lantern, Megan Fox as Lois Lane, Breckin Meyer as Superman, and Kevin Shinick as the narrator. Cast also includes Abraham Benrubi, Alex Borstein, Clare Grant, Tara Strong, Matthew Senreich, Aaron Paul, Steven Tyler, Tom Root and Zeb Wells. It was followed by the Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise, which premiered April 6, 2014.Screen Novelties
Screen Novelties is a collective of film directors, specializing in stop motion animation. It was formed in 2003 by Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh, and Chris Finnegan.Their work fuses classic cartoon sensibilities with mixed-media elements such as puppetry and miniature model photography. They were among the first stop motion artists to adopt an entirely digital capture system and workflow, beginning in 1999 with the pilot films that would eventually become Robot Chicken. Screen Novelties was integral in the launch of both Robot Chicken and Moral Orel for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block.Notable past work includes:
Creating a stop motion animation version of the Flintstones for a dream sequence in The Flintstones: On the Rocks.
Working with Ray Harryhausen, helping him complete his film The Tortoise & the Hare.
Contributing whimsical puppet and special effects sequences for Cartoon Network shows Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack.
Performing the restoration of the original Rudolph & Santa Puppets from the 1964 classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Their offbeat short films enjoy a small cult following, especially "Mysterious Mose" which was made in their garage in 1997-98, using a hand-wound bolex camera and an old 78rpm record as the soundtrack. The film mixes rod puppetry, stop motion animation, and silhouette animation.Seth Green
Seth Benjamin Green (born Seth Benjamin Gesshel-Green; February 8, 1974) is an American actor, voice artist, producer, writer and director. He
is best known as the co-creator, executive producer and most frequent voice on Adult Swim's Robot Chicken and has also directed the Robot Chicken Star Wars and DC Comics specials. He has appeared in the films Radio Days, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Airborne, the Austin Powers series, Can't Hardly Wait, The Italian Job, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Without A Paddle, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Batman Movie. He is also known for his roles as Daniel "Oz" Osbourne on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chris Griffin on Fox's Family Guy and Jeff "Joker" Moreau in the Mass Effect video games.ShadowMachine
ShadowMachine is an American animation studio and production company for film, television, commercials and music videos.Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, formerly known as Stoopid Monkey, is an American production company and animation studio, formed by Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, John Harvatine IV, and Eric Towner. It was established in 2011 following the partnership of Stoopid Monkey and Buddy Systems Studios. It is one of the producers of the Adult Swim animated television series Robot Chicken and Hot Streets as well as SuperMansion on the Sony streaming service Sony Crackle and Buddy Thunderstruck on Netflix.
The company was founded in 2005 as Stoopid Monkey and relauched under its current name in 2011.Zeb Wells
Zeb Wells is an American comic book writer known for his work at Marvel Comics, and a television writer/director known for his work on the animated TV series Robot Chicken.
|Star Wars specials|
|DC Comics specials|
See also: Adult Swim pilots and specials
Awards for Robot Chicken