Pantages hosts Cartoon Network’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
Cartoon Network's demented late-night cartoon "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" takes the domestic sitcom into the wildest reaches of postmodernism and random weirdness. "Aqua Teen" stars a talking meatball, a milkshake and a carton of fries whose friendly neighbor Carl has hairy shoulders and an oft-contaminated swimming pool. The show's goofy surrealism has made it the longest-running original series on Cartoon Network (it premiered in December 2000), with enough of a cult following to go on tour for the second time.
The live show promises to be a mélange of stand-up, audience participation and even chicken wings, orchestrated by the show's co-creator Dave Willis and voice actor Dana Snyder.
Q Who is your typical fan?
Willis: Sophisticates, really. At the live show, we have a lot of guys in top hats and tails. They usually have a monocle. They're smoking cigarettes out of those long holders. Topless supermodels.
Q How do chicken wings factor in?
Snyder: We're making [Dave Long Jr., who won the Carl look-alike contest for their live-action episode] eat a bucket full of chicken wings onstage. It's avant-garde theater, and we're at the forefront.
Q Is Carl the sexiest character in cartoon history?
Snyder: Right after Shaggy from "Scooby-Doo" and the teacher on "The Magic School Bus." Ms. Frizzle -- I call her Miss Sizzle.
Q Is Carl a diva on tour?
Snyder: He has a personal groomer for his shoulder hair.
Q You guys seem to have a knack for creating villains, like the Mooninites and the Plutonians. Are you guys writing the show to sublimate villainous instincts of your own?
Willis: If we didn't have this [show], we would be complete sociopaths. We dangled someone out of a hotel window about two hours ago to get more towels.
Q Is it restricting to write an 11-minute show? Is it hard to develop a plot fully?
Willis: You're assuming an 11-minute show has a plot. It changes the process in the respect that we don't need one. No commercial breaks, either. Once we get to 13 pages, we just blow something up and then collect that big money check.
Q If an English teacher wanted me to write an essay about the powerful themes present in "Aqua Teen," what would you suggest I write?
Snyder: The new America -- question mark -- does it work? The pee generation? Or, why media is destroying our children and our minds.
Q Dave, do your two kids like "Aqua Teen Hunger Force"?
Willis: I got some heavy "Aqua Teen" and "Squidbillies" [another Cartoon Network late-night show about a family] in their diet. Now they curse like I do, and they know how to talk back. I like that; it gives 'em a little backbone.
Q What's next for you guys?
Willis: This tour is a beast. We're still finishing "Aqua Teen" until May 2. Then new premieres of "Squidbillies" start in the middle of May.
Rebecca Lang is a University of Minnesota student on assignment at the Star Tribune.