Have you ever wanted to watch a show where a rock band plays a quintet of over-the-top superheroes? Of course you have! That's The Hub's The Aquabats! Super Show, which returns for a new season today, and BFTV sat down with co-creator and star Christian Jacobs (better known as MC Bat Commander) to get the dish on one of the highlights: an upcoming episode is directed by My Chemical Romance rocker Gerard Way.
How did Christian sign Gerard up to step behind the camera for the installment, which is called "Anti-Bats!" and airs on June 29? "We hit it off working together on Yo Gabba Gabba’s Super Christmas Special last year and kept in touch after that," Christian explained. "I wanted to figure out a way to work together again, and thought maybe Gerard would be into The Aquabats! Super Show! because it is so retro-tastic and silly. He was into it and it all worked out."
He described Gerard's directorial style as "Just really collaborative and fun! It was like making a silly movie with your pals in the backyard. It really feels like we’re 11-year-olds shooting a movie on VHS. Jason Devilliers, our director, and I are like big kids and Gerard fit in with us like a brother from another mother.
"Gerard is very objective and smart," he continued. "He knows how to work subtleties into over-the-top campy melodrama. He’s really great at details and very aware of story. [It was] super fun working with him."
Directing The Aquabats! Super Show! isn't like helming any other show. It's what happens when you put action, comedy, camp and music into a blender and then let the contents out on TV. Should any My Chemical Romance fans tune into the program to watch Gerard's episode, Christian told us they're in for "Power Rangers meets Devo meets The Banana Splits meets Batman meets Johnny Sokko meets Ark 2 meets Flight of the Conchords? Ha! You’ll just have to watch it!"
Christian also let us in on what "Anti-Bats" is all about, and what fans can look forward to when it airs next month. "It follows two competing bands seeking revenge on The Aquabats, who unite with evil Silver Skull and become the Anti-bats," he said. "Ricky [Fitness, played by Richard Falomir] abandons The Aquabats for newfound love, and must choose between his new girlfriend and saving his friends as the mighty Anti-bats close in."
"To me, it’s the little goofy things in the episode that make me really laugh. Those subtle little human moments mixed into an episode that is so over the top," he continued. "There’s a death metal band that gets turned into super-villains by a mystical man with a sliver skull helmet doing a very purposefully bad Bane impression. There’s homages to Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Clash of the Titans, Heartbeeps, Batman, Superman 2, The Monkees, Repo Man...so basically, it’s just an average episode of the show!"
And the musician-television producer-voice actor, who cites Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh as an inspiration and loves everything from the 60's western adventure series The Wild Wild West to Sesame Street, added that "Anti-Bats" was just as fun to make as it will be for you to watch. "One of my favorite memories was after a very stressful contentious day shooting in the freezing cold mud all day long, on the west side of Utah Lake, driving back to downtown Salt Lake City in search for a place to eat," he told us. "It was already like 9 PM and we’d been up since 4 AM.
"Gerard, Mikey [Way] and I were so tired -and then we saw a Del Taco! We were all exhausted and I had my magic marker moustache on, et cetera. and we went in and had a very fine meal at a very fine classic Mexican-American eatery. People were staring at us like we had just stepped out of a flying saucer. It was so rad!"
"Anti-Bats!" airs on June 29. The new season of The Aquabats! Super Show! starts today at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT on The Hub. You can also keep up with the group on Twitter (@TheAquabats). A promo for the new season is below.