It’s fair to say Adult Swim’s quarter-hour comedy series Mr. Pickles is like no other animated show on television.
Created by executive producers Will Carsola and Dave Stewart, the show about a lovable family dog whose secret life as a murdering occult worshipper is known only to a few disbelieving folks, debuted its pilot in 2013, followed in 2014 by a 10-episode first season. (Check out this countdown of Mr. Pickles’ Grisly Deaths, Volume 1.)
Now it’s back for a second season, debuting April 17 at midnight on the cable network — and things are getting stranger, sicker and funnier than ever.
“Last season was mostly Mr. Pickles versus Grandpa, and season one ended with Grandpa being taken off to the loony bin,” says Carsola. “In season two, we start off with Grandpa in the loony bin and we have to see just how that affects Mr. Pickles. In general, I think in season two we’re exploring our town’s characters a little more, getting to know them.”
Stewart says the frantic pace of the first season will let up just a bit in the second to give viewers a chance to get to know some of the supporting characters, like Sheriff, and one episode will be completely given over to the in-show TV series Astronaut Dolphin Detective. “A lot of our bigger A stories this season will fall around Sheriff, who we get to know quite a bit more,” he say. “Sheriff is becoming a really fun character … He’s just kind of instant comedy, so we’re hanging out with Sheriff a little bit more.”
Which isn’t to say that there won’t be plenty to learn about Mr. Pickles himself as the season progresses. “We’re going to be giving a little bit more away as the seasons go as to Mr. Pickles and his backstory,” says Stewart.
“We’re going to slowly show little hints, so they won’t be in your face but they’ve been there along the way,” says Carsola. “You’d have to really pay close attention to every detail to pick up on that stuff. I think eventually down the line somebody could look back at season one and say all those hints are there, but I don’t think that anybody could really figure it out.”
Stewart says each episode is written around ideas that make them laugh and the challenge is finding the ideas that stick. “The only thing that we really stay away from in Mr. Pickles are religious jokes, because the show isn’t really about religion and religious jokes are easy,” says Stewart. “I guess you could say that Will and I like to make things timeless, so we never do current, topical things.”