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‘Aqua Teen,’ ‘Squidbillies’ Success No Surprise to Creator

18 Jun, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

"Aqua Teen Hunger Force"

Dave Willis isn’t surprised at how successful “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” has become.

“I always thought people would love it,” he said with pride. “You either love it, or you’re stupid.”

Sometimes, though, when talking to other adults who may not understand the humor behind a talking shake, fries and wad of meat, Willis confesses, “I just keep it vague, and tell them I work at Turner.”

Still, he said he’s got plenty left in the tank to keep the series going on Adult Swim.

The recently released seventh volume of “Aqua Teen” (DVD $29.98) not only includes nearly a dozen episodes, but also the featurette “Live Action Behind the Scenes: The Making of 12 Minutes of Television That Changed Television for 12 Minutes,” the wonderfully disturbing “Rubberman Behind the Scenes: Your Mom and Uncle Sing About Condoms” (think a “slightly used” condom creature … that sings), a “Dumb Down Your Smart Phone” feature (“full of stupid voicemail messages you can use,” Willis said) and “Terror Phone II: The Legend of Rakenstein.”

Perhaps the most beloved featurette in the set is “Live Action Carl: The Dave Long Story — Shave Your Head, Grow a Mustache, and Gain 80 lbs. for a Shot at Fame,” in which 24-year-old Dave Long made himself look like the disgusting, balding neighbor of the series’ fast food trio, just to win a contest. “You’ll have to see it,” Willis said. “He made himself look like he’s 44.”

It could have been easy for Willis to ride off on the success of “Aqua Teen,” but as a self-described “proud Southerner,” Willis launched another hit show, “Squidbillies,” an animated comedy about inbred squids living in the hills of Georgia.

“I would say that at least half of the show is inspired by the mentality of some people down there,” he said. “Rednecks make life more interesting. If they’ve never heard of it, most people can’t help but smile when they hear ‘redneck squids living in the north Georgia mountains.’”

The Squidbillies Vol. 3 DVD ($19.97), due July 6, will include 10 episodes from the fourth season and such bonuses as an “Art & Music” art sequence, a “This Ain’t a Hat, It’s a Ragtop for a Sex Convertible” featurette, “Funny Pete Stuff” promos and a video about the show shot at Dragon Con 2009.

“‘Squidbillies’ will change your life,” Willis proudly proclaims. “Or you’re stupid.”

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