Rick and Morty: Dan Harmon Talks Kanye West, Power of Poop & More

With Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's Rick and Morty returning to Adult Swim for its fifth season on June 20, we're jumping into our homemade TARDIS to head back to May 2019- a time that feels like a hundred years ago by now. That's when Harmon and Roiland offered rapper, artist, not-yet-presidential candidate, and "kindred spirit" Kanye West an "open invitation" to be on the popular animated series- even offering him an entire episode (more details here). Now we get to head back to the present, nearly two years-to-the-day when those comments were faced made- and guess what? Harmon has an update- and even after all this time, it sounds like it could still be a possibility.

rick and morty
Image: Screencap

Speaking with MSNBC host and anchor Ari Melber for the news network's The Beat with Ari Melber, Harmon was asked what the prospects were for a possible collaboration. "Time will tell. I think that when Kanye signs on as he did to do an episode, it's not just gonna be like Kanye doing a guest voice or Kanye doing a song. It's like we agreed it needed to be really interwoven with the 'Rick and Morty' franchise having its own integrity and Kanye having his own," the series co-creator explained. And with that much musical involvement comes the legal matters surrounding new music and rights issues. "Without spoiling any details of what that story would be, suffice it to say that the end result was gonna be a lot of original music. I think that at that point, that's when seven different corporations- and I don't fault them this because this is their job- they have to say, 'Wait a minute. Slow down, psychos! Like what are you doing,'" Harmon explained.  Here's a look at the full interview, where Melber and Harmon also discuss the creative process, the more hateful part of the show's fandom, the power of poop and deeper thinking, and more (with the Kanye conversation starting at the 15:05 mark):

So here's a look at the second official trailer for Rick and Morty Season 5, with more clues to what lies ahead when the dimensional-hopping duo head back to Adult Swim this Summer:

Now here's a look back at the full-length version of the previously-released trailer, followed by a teaser for the first main trailer that contained some additional scenes:

What We Know About Rick & Morty Seasons 5 & 6…& 7?!?

During a panel discussion last year, Harmon, Chalke, Chris Parnell, and Spencer Grammer offered fans insights via Twitch into what we can expect from the fifth season- and yes, that included a preview of what's to come. In the preview, Rick is near death so it's up to Morty to save the day- and get back in time for a date with Jessica? Things don't quite go as plan, as the dimension-hoping duo end up facing Rick's previously unknown nemesis, Mr. Nimbus:

Then in October 2020, The Paley Center for Media's 8th annual PaleyFest NY hosted a look behind the scenes of the two-time Emmy Award-winning Adult Swim series Rick and Morty. Chris Parnell, Chalke, Spencer Grammer, and Harmon joined panel moderator Mike Schneider (Senior Editor, Variety) to talk "Space Beth" and how things looked for the fifth and sixth (?!?) seasons.

Still not sure who the real Beth is, the Beth we saw throughout the fourth season or the season finale-returning "Space Beth"? Don't feel so bad: even Chalke doesn't know for sure- and she voices both characters. While still not offering a definitive answer, Harmon offered some background on his purpose for having such a personal twist thrown into the mix- and further teased that viewers might be getting more "Space Beth" in the near future. "You know as much as Rick knows. I don't want to keep secrets with the audience. She's Schrodinger's Beth right now," Harmon explained. "The fact she may or may not be a clone is actually the important thing. It's the profound revelation about Rick's commitment to non-commitment and how abusive that can be as a parent. That is the important thing here. We're adding aunts to the family. We're having fun looking at more options with space Beth."

Rick and Morty
Images: Screencaps

Harmon was asked what he could offer up about the fifth season– and it was definitely good news. After a brief pause to consider what he could and couldn't discuss (we were this close to getting a cryptic tease), Harmon admitted that he gets confused between the 5th and 6th seasons because of how far along they are with both seasons. He revealed that after the panel, he would be reviewing animatics for late-season 5 episodes while also in the middle of writing late-season 6 episodes (also joking about how he's working on two different season finales at the same time).

More specifically, Harmon teased an episode during the fifth season where Morty gets into a relationship with a female character who is not Jessica. Written by Rob Schrab, Harmon says the episode is "a great little story" and even looked ahead to next year's Emmys: "My Emmy's going to that one." Though jokingly not looking to curse the show's two-year run at the top of the Emmy animation mountain, Harmon wanted to clarify that he actually means his "heart Emmy" (so disregard the stuff that came before it, Emmy voters).

Rick and Morty
Images: Screencaps

In mid-November 2020 during Adult Swim Fest's "'Rick and Morty' Global Celebration," Harmon, executive producer Scott Marder, as well as Parnell, Chalke, and Grammer, the session was meant to focus on the recently-wrapped fourth season but also looked ahead to the series' future. Harmon emphasized again that viewers should expect some "pretty groovy things coming." But Marder found a way to throw just the right amount of gasoline on the fanbase's dumpster fires of speculation by teasing that the fifth season will have "epic canon" and that viewers will "get knocked over with the canon." As for who they would like to have as guest stars, Ian McKellan and Jeff Goldblum top the list (with Harmon proposing an alien with McKellan's head and Goldblum's body). As for a musical episode, Harmon says it's "probably going to happen at some point" and there have been "conversations" in the past. Oh, and it looks like work on the seventh season is already underway (yes, you read that right).

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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