AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE And 12 OZ. MOUSE Exclusive: Creator Matt Maiellaro Compares His Adult Swim Shows

AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE And 12 OZ. MOUSE Exclusive: Creator Matt Maiellaro Compares His Adult Swim Shows

Matt Maiellaro is known for creating Aqua Teen Hunger Force and more Adult Swim series. We recently spoke with the writer to promote the return of 12 oz. Mouse, and picked his brain about the shows...

By LiteraryJoe - Aug 06, 2020 07:08 AM EST
Filed Under: Adult Swim

Cartoon Network began their foray into adult programming before Adult Swim existed. Their first attempt at content aimed at an older audience came in 1994 with Space Ghost.

Of the many people who worked to bring Space Ghost to television, Matt Maiellaro was one of the writers getting his career going with the Network. Ultimately, the experience Maiellaro gained on the show went on to inform his work on series such as Sealab, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and 12 oz. Mouse.

The latter recently made a triumphant return to Adult Swim with a third season, which just finished airing last week. To support the show, we spoke with Maiellaro, along with new cast member and musician Mary Spender, about many things, including the trajectory Matt has marked for himself at Cartoon Network.

We learned some interesting stuff, so check it out! If you're interested in hearing the audio component of this interview, you can do so via the podcast link below!


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Literary Joe: You've charted this amazing trajectory over multiple Adult Swim programs like Sealab, Space Ghost, and obviously Aqua Teen. How do you feel those things inspired your work on 12 oz. Mouse?

Matt Maiellaro: Well, I feel like what I loved about 12 oz. was I was able to take a departure from the goofy silliness that most of those other shows are. I like doing the goofy silly, and it's really fun, but I had this drive to make something that's a little weirder and more like a psychological thriller kind of thing. And it has its moments of levity obviously, and it's fun.

So I guess it was just a nice way to do something different, but for the family, which is Adult Swim. I've been with them since before there was an Adult Swim. When I started on Space Ghost, I was sitting in the hallway at Cartoon Network, and my desk was the community printer table. And I had a laptop trying to write a talk show with a cartoon character. 

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Literary Joe: I've heard you've joked in the past about the amount of money that goes into the production for 12 oz. Mouse. Do you feel like that's changed over the years?

Matt Maiellaro: No, it really hasn't changed. I think that's one of the reasons they let me do another season is because it's not very much money and it's really cost-effective. You can do about a season of Mouse compared to three episodes of Aqua Teen.

We have a small crew, but we have a very dedicated crew. They're fans of the show, and they all bring something to the table to make it better. I draw most of it, except for some of the new people like Aria and Wilkes, we actually got real artists to do those and really animate them as well. So that's another cool thing about the season we have some real fluid nice animation mixed in with the old school stuff. 

*This interview has been edited for clarity.*


If you missed the return of 12 oz. Mouse on Adult Swim, you can catch up here!

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MyCoolYoung
MyCoolYoung - 8/6/2020, 9:24 AM
I use to watch aqua teen hunger force all the time by mistake lol it pretty much came on after whatever show I was watching and I’d watch it but it was always hilarious. Space ghost was always pretty weird to me.

Never heard of 12oz but I can give it a shot
LiteraryJoe
LiteraryJoe - 8/6/2020, 9:40 AM
@MyCoolYoung - It's pretty zany! I hope you like it. Thanks for reading, brother!
MyCoolYoung
MyCoolYoung - 8/6/2020, 10:01 AM
@LiteraryJoe - no problem. Keep the interviews coming!
LiteraryJoe
LiteraryJoe - 8/6/2020, 10:27 AM
@MyCoolYoung - The support means a lot, I have dozens more headed your way over the next week!
MrCamw1
MrCamw1 - 8/6/2020, 11:38 AM
I still watch the show on Xfinity all the time.
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