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SYFY WIRE Solar Opposites

Don't skip Solar Opposites, Earthling: Each episode opening has a Simpsons-inspired gag

By Josh Weiss
Solar Opposites

With Season 1 of Solar Opposites now streaming on Hulu, we're hear to deliver a short PSA about the new sci-fi series from Rick and Morty veterans, Justin Roiland and Mike McMahan. Our message is this: make sure to stay for the entirety of the opening credits of each episode.

The explanation of Shlorp exploding always remains the same, but Korvo's (Roiland) complaints about Earth do not. He's got eight different mini-rants that cover topics such as the fate of the dinosaurs and humanity's disbelief in the fact that Jesus was an alien. These bite-sized bits of stand-up comedy are part of a grand tradition in the world of quality animation.

Solar Opposites

"We love how in the beginning of The Simpsons, there’s Bart and the chalkboard and the couch gag; and in Bob’s Burgers, it’s the stuff on the walls; in Futurama, the screen at the end," Mike McMahan told SYFY WIRE during a recent interview. "We wanted something like that just because we’re big fans of all that stuff. I ended up writing like 30 or 40 things for Justin to riff on and every one of them made us laugh ... It just ended up feeling really great. Everybody’s got a different favorite."

However, the Earth grievance gag wasn't always going to be a one-Shlorpian show.

"The original plan was to have guest voice actors, who we work with and like, doing the opening ... and let them riff at the end of it," McMahan explained. "We did it once and it was asking somebody to build a character and know the show, and then asking an audience to bear with that. It just wasn’t flowing."

Solar Opposites

Luckily, Roiland accepted the burden with gusto, leaning heavily into his talent for improvisation.

"We had a few just prompts for improv and I just f***ed around for like 20 minutes and just recorded a bunch of sh**," he said. "A lot of that stuff is just made up. I’d say probably 50-50, if I can remember correctly. We had pitches and ideas scripted and then I was just f***ing around as well. Or screwing around, sorry. Language."