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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Moonbeam City Creator Interview: Scott Gairdner Will Not Have A Mall Tour

l-r: Pizzaz Miller, Rad Cunningham, Dazzle Novak, Chrysalis Tate
(Elizabeth Banks, Will Forte, Rob Lowe, Kate Mara)
The neon-soaked metropolis Moonbeam City just began airing on Comedy Central starting Sept 16. It'll be on weekly, 10:30pm local time after South Park for a 10-episode first season until the inevitable two week break to fudge ratings later on, because those episodes are all done. The new animated series stars Dazzle Novak (voiced by Rob Lowe), the sexy every main character you've seen in every 80's movie. His sexy boss, chief Pizzaz Miller (Elizabeth Banks) is blind with rage with every mess-up he makes. His complete jerk of a rival Rad Cunningham (Will Forte) tries to destroy him per episode. Chrysalis Tate (Kate Mara) is the only police officer who can think and befriends Dazzle as a rookie. The 1980s artist Patrick Nagel inspired world looks amazing to look at, there's nothing like it on TV.

We loved the pilot here at TTDILA and will be watching the rest of the season, we hope you join us for our trip back in time where 80s' revival is very much alive.

I talked with the series Creator and Executive Producer, Scott Gairdner about he's love of the 80's, San Fernando Valley malls and the how much he likes Rob Lowe.

TTDILA: [I complimented Scott on the look of the show, he thanked Titmouse animation.]
Scott:I don't feel egotistical complimenting the look of it because I didn't physically create the look of it...They've really created just a candy-coated world that's so fun to stare at for a while.

Why Titmouse?
I'm a huge fan of Metalocalypse, an Adult Swim show that Titmouse did and we got a lot of the crew and Tommy Blacha, who was the creator of the show.
l-r: Dazzle Novak, Chrysalis Tate
(Rob Lowe, Kate Mara)
"Quest for Aquatica"

Can you tell me a little bit about your background?
I got into comedy, very absurd comedy. I had a YouTube Channel for a lifetime and posted some stuff  I made with my friends and after a while Funny or Die caught on to me and the were looking for a new generation of writers and directors... I was a staff writer director there for two years and made a ton of videos there. And then Conan was looking for Internet writers/director because I think the rest of his writers were stand-up. I was on staff for a year and a half. Really loved those places. Moonbeam City came a calling and I went.

How long has MoonBeam City been in development? Feels like two Comic-Cons ago I've heard of it.
We've done promotional events at the last two Comic-Cons. I started developing it with watching a bunch of dumb movies and scribbling stupid character names down, probably mid-2011. We made the pilot over six months. I will live in Moonbeam City as long as anyone will let me. I wish we we're in Moonbeam City. We made the pilot in 2013. We've been working on the subsequent nine episodes. I'm really proud of the pilot and can't  wait for the jump up in quality after the first episode to be seen by the audience.

Watching the first episode, how did you come up with all the long worded mall names? You were killing me with how dumb they were named. They were priceless.
You know I'm from the San Fernando Valley. I spend a long time bumming around The Promenade and Topanga Plaza. I actually do spend a ton of time wandering the outskirts of LA trying to find malls preserved in amber that are 80's style. So basically it was, 'Let's take all those words that are in every mall name and throw them into a blender.' There's always Galleria and Spot and Place and Cove and Point. The ultimate mall in the pilot, 'The Del Moon Ridge Oak North Town Circle Square, that's the one, I love when Rob Lowe pronounced 'The Del Moon Ridge Oak North Town Circle Square' it was a huge moment.

The Village is opening up this week. I'm going to the press preview.
Have you gone to the Promenade? There's this Westfield-nization of them. It's a bummer. The Westfield style is incredibly dull and it actually factors into my...homogenization of public places that bums me out. I like how you use to go into malls, hotels or nail salons and thry gave a very choice-y and vibrant look everywhere. That's what we're sort of getting back with Moonbeam City.

You're choice of Rob Lowe, was this your main choice as lead? Do you have copies of Lyon's Den?
No, I've heard him bring up Lyon's Den in his audio book. He told the story about being next  to a dildo factory?
That was an episode of Lyon's Den.
Lyon's Den fans, get ready for Rob Lowe and a Andy Richter reunion. Coming to you on Moonbeam City. My favorite obscure reference in another episode... there's a character named Judge Cyrus Garza, which is a reference to a briefly on the air show called Garza with Jimmy Smits. We have the deepest reference to no one.

l-r: Pizzaz Miller, Dazzle Novak
(Elizabeth Banks, Robe Lowe)
I love Elizabeth Banks as Pizzaz.
She's fantastic. I remember telling her during the pilot that everything Pizzaz says is a sexual threat.

She's in the mall, where are the blinds?
[In a last minute cut] Oh wait, we've go to do one more blinds joke, it'll be great if it's coming from nowhere. It's like a character y'know getting too hot and turning red. That's sort of her version of that. There's an episode where you meet her conniving sisters who are all heiresses to a vast laser fortune. There's no oil in Moonbeam City, everything is powered by raw crude laser. You meet her four sisters that all have their own blind shades, one is a clover I believe. [They will be played by some of the Kids in the Hall crew]

Why Robe Lowe?
We just thought he was the perfect mix of comedy skills and dramatic chops and 80's icon. I feel we get to see Rob Lowe that most people don't get to see. In the public he's so debonair wearing fine suits. We see him in shorts and dorky t-shirts. When he hosted Saturday Night Live in 1990 he did the sketch called the "Arsenio Beckman Show" that was one of the most demented things that Saturday Night Live has ever done. It's an utterly bizarre sketch and I remember seeing it years ago and going, "Robe Lowe is cool, isn't he?"
You a fan of Back To The Future?
I know there's an episode of Moonbeam City that will airing on the day they go back to, in Back to the Future 2, our forward to, actually. Back to the Future 2 is probably my favorite movie.
l-r: Pizzaz Miller, Rad Cunningham
(Elizabeth Banks, Will Forte)

I hope you're in charge or can help design the DVD or Blu-Ray cover, if one comes out.
We're in the early stages of talking about possibly doing a vinyl release. I can't decide what color the record should be. Is it pink or is it...
See through pink. Yes.
I think, you don't over think it, yeah. To have the ability to put the Moonbeam City album on my record player would be really fantastic.

Oh, the music in the first episode is so great and dumb.
A dragon whose actually a whale, those lyrics of the song. How is a dragon actually a whale? Like, who cares? What a stupid ... I had so much fun writing these lyrics.

[I mention going to the Village again and we talk about how bad some of LA's mall are]
It's so much slower than walking [taking the trolley]. I don't know. My wife's pet peeve when we go to those places is why do people clap at the fountains. At the end of the fountain show everybody claps, but what are you clapping for? The water can't hear you. [We laugh] I'm an appreciator of the fountain arts, but your applause, but don't clap for water.
Thanks to Michelle Rosenblatt from Comedy Central for the interview. All
Photo Credit: Comedy Central