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Nothing Is Sacred in the Upcoming Robot Chicken Christmas Special

We asked the animators what makes 'Robot Chicken' be 'Robot Chicken,' and how they live with themselves after tarnishing Christmas' good name.
Images courtesy Adult Swim

Some people's holiday traditions include Yule logs, tinsel, candles, trees, et cetera. Over at Adult Swim, their celebrations are more centered around clay, fake blood, and ruining childhoods. This Sunday at midnight, the Robot Chicken Christmas Special: X-Mas United, will destroy your appetite for turkey, your belief in the innocence of youth, and desire to get toys made by an army of union-less magical creatures.


Who are the sadists behind the multiple Emmy-winning show? Who takes the hilarious-yet-harmless words written by the Robot Chicken writing staff and turns them into weapons of mass revultion? Among others, that would be Dillon Markey, Melissa Shepherd, and Bradley Schaffer.

They may seem normal, but don't let that fool you. "We come into work at 9:00, we start a shot, and then animate the whole day," Markey tells The Creators Project. It's an average-seeming routine, but it masks a world of darkness. In trying to explain just what makes Robot Chicken Robot Chicken, he posits, "When you see the Smurfs in a situation that's just dark and twisted, you can pretty much guarantee that's going to be real funny."

That's messed up! The Smurfs are a treasured symbol of everything that's right in the world for someone probably, and these twisted souls just play with their lives like it's some kind of game. Going further, Markey explains, "What Robot Chicken is, is sketch comedy with action figures. It's a modern day Looney Tunes, just with nerd content." The fact that they model themselves after the overly violent, nigh cruel, Looney Tunes show that influenced the generation that caused global climate change and led our country into three wars in the Middle East should be enlightening.

To make matters worse (you didn't think they could get worse did you?) these animators once used real toys, meant for children, in their depraved artistic practice. Without batting an eyelash, Shepherd reveals, "I think Robot Chicken prides itself on being just animated toys. The first season largely was modified toys, but in the later years they've become puppets that we've modeled after the toys." While it's comforting that the trio no longer harms innocent playthings, the fact that she spoke of the franchise's violent past without a trace of remorse is disturbing in and of itself.


Twenty minutes into chatting with these guys, I wasn't sure if they were the people I wanted representing Christmas. I noticed that they had put Santa Claus himself into some pretty heinious situations in the past, which I'm sure it was a mistake—who would do that to merry ol' St. Nick? However, that doesn't seem to be the case. "I think Christmas is just such a ridiculous tradition; it’s easy to find things to make fun of!" Cackles Schaffer. How shocking!

Desperate for some semblance of good news, I ask about this Sunday's Robot Chicken Christmas Special: X-Mas United, but I am disappointed yet again. Shepherd warns me, "Not safe for work!" Flabbergasted, I ask Markey, Shepherd, and Schaffer, does Robot Chicken hold anything sacred?

"I animated the Rescue Rangers doing things that have permanently ruined Chip and Dale for me for life," reveals Shepherd. My eyes twitch.

"I’m not sure if it’s possible to offend me," responds Markey. "This show can get pretty dark from time to time. I don’t think it’s safe to put that kind of challenge to these guys." My heart falls.

"Nope! The more innocent the Christmas character, the better!" exclaims Schaeffer, glee and evil in his eyes. I yelp and run from the scene, fear in my step and terror in my mind.

Watch the Robot Chicken Christmas Special: X-Mas United on Sunday, December 13 at midnight, only on Adult Swim.


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