February 24, 2017 Leave a comment
We have an amazing interview for you fine folks today! By some type of possible miracle, we have manage to convince the incredible Chris ‘Casper” Kelly to share a few words with us about his amazing career that is truly just beginning to flourish. Fans of Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell will know him by name. Others who may not spend much time in the wee hours of the night watching Adult Swim and eating garbage food may not. But, I can almost guarantee they have seen his brilliant short that was a massive success entitled Too Many Cooks. And if you have not seen that one, folks, climb out from under that proverbial rock and get with the fucking now!
All that being said, We are honored that Casper Kelly was willing to be featured on the site, and we are ecstatic to keep following his career that can only lead to even more success in the future. He is the mastermind behind Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell, which will be returning to Adult Swim in April. And if you are so out of the loop at this point, please watch the video following the amazing words only if you want to have your mind completely blown and your life changed forever. Or just to laugh, like a whole lot. Please enjoy some words with the amazing Casper Kelly!
How did you find yourself in your current business?
A mixture of obsession, flexibility, and luck. I had done cartoon strips, short films, and short stories in high school and college. When I graduated my first movie job was working as a PA for a horror film called Basket Case 3 (which I would later find out also employed Aqua Teen’s Matt Malliero and our SFX make up artist Shane Morton). My parents would wait up and see me come home at 2am from a long day of production with a big smile on my face. I was hooked from there.
Did you know you wanted to write and create television at a young age?
Yes. I remember seeing The Year without a Santa Claus with Heat Miser and that just haunted me. I wanted to make a cartoon with it but I couldn’t so I did a comic book. But I was too young to know how to write words so I just put scratches where I thought the words should be.
How did you manage to become such a staple in the Adult Swim community? And what was Cartoon Network like in those early days?
I started in the Cartoon Network promo department where I did things like a Scooby Doo Blair Witch parody and a promo, for example, where Fred Flinstone, Thundarr, and Chicken from Cow and Chicken, are all hunting for a parking space after lunch. Working there was totally freewheeling and fun and wonderful. Michael Ouweleen (Birdman) hired me and would have us take improv classes or take us to New Orleans for inspiration. He was also kind enough to let me write for his show when that started. One Christmas the executives put on a performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas. I believe Mike Lazzo was Woodstock but I can’t remember sure.
As far as being an Adult Swim “staple” I’m flattered. I’ll just say I was a superfan before I worked there so I offered to write on any of those shows that would have me. I love it so much. If I worked somewhere else I would still watch all those shows. And it’s crazy that all these years later it is still good, still surprises me. I’ve been nursing a desire to write an oral history of Adult Swim for some time.
Where did the idea for Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell stem from? Essentially, what is the origin story of this fine program?
It started with an idea for a short film I had that I ended up making with Dave Willis who added to it and made it better. It was about a cult that promises an afterlife with a thousand virgins and a river of milk and cotton candy and all that. These guys join the cult and go to that afterlife but the joke is after a million years of it they hate it – they hate the virgins, the cotton candy, etc. and they end up trying to make a rocket ship out of virgin bones to escape.
Well, a side story of that short was one of the friends didn’t quite follow the rules exactly so he was across the cotton candy river in hell getting stabbed over and over for a million years. Dave Willis played the demon stabbing him over and over. And Dave and I started joking while editing that it is just as horrible for the demon as the guy getting whipped. And we thought that might be a good idea for a show. And it was!
Your hilarious short Too Many Cooks is still one of the finest airings to ever appear on the televised screen. And it was quite a hit in the internets. Where you at all surprised by its success? Was the the reaction to it anywhere near what you expected it to be? Why or why not?
Thank you! I was very shocked and truly expected it to drop without a trace. Even during the editing of it (which took a lot longer than I expected) I kept wondering why I was spending so much time on it instead of a “real” project like a TV pilot. But it’s funny that Your Pretty Face started from a one off short film so I’ve had a lot of good things happen from these short films I did purely for fun rather than some calculated career plan.
What do the early stages of developing a show entail for you? What gives you the feeling that an original idea you are having is something that can be both hilarious and successful?
It’s a fairly simple answer that I’ve learned from Dave Willis. It’s just a feeling, a good feeling. And if the idea makes people laugh when you just describe the basics. Dave works intuitively rather than intellectualizing things too much. You just start joking around with a writing partner about an idea and if the ideas keep coming and you’re laughing it’s a good sign.
What are some things our readers/your fans brought to us via Twitter or something similar can look forward to in the coming future from you? Anything to plug?
I’ve been doing radio plays for a podcast called The Truth which people have liked – the first one is called The Dark End of the Mall. We have the second half of season three of Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell airing in April of 2017. I’m writing a movie. I’m doing another 4 a.m. short. I’m doing a bunch of things. I probably need to get smarter about prioritizing.
When the pending apocalypse finally does begin to set in, and so many are annihilated, including yourself, how would you like the unfortunate survivors to remember you? What do you feel are your most memorable contributions to the world of art and entertainment?
I hope I’m remembered as a corpse that provided a good meal for someone that was desparately hungry and my meat helped them live another day in order to make it to the military outpost where they’ll be safe.
What was the last thing that made you smile?
The Greasy Strangler! That really rang my bell.