The main characters. From the left: Pops, Benson, Skips, Rigby, Mordecai, Muscle Man, and Hi-Five Ghost.
|Created by||J. G. Quintel|
|Creative director(s)||Mike Roth
|Voices of||J. G. Quintel
Roger Craig Smith
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||106 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||J. G. Quintel|
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cartoon Network Studios|
|Original channel||Cartoon Network|
|Picture format||16:9 1080i (HDTV)|
|Audio format||Stereo (2010)
5.1 Surround Sound (2010-present)
|Original run||September 6, 2010– present|
Regular Show is an American animated television series created by J. G. Quintel for Cartoon Network. The series revolves around the lives of two friends, a Blue Jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby, both employed as groundskeepers at a park. Their usual attempts to slack off often lead to surreal misadventures that are either over the top or supernatural. The show's tagline, "It's anything but", alludes to this. The series is produced by Cartoon Network Studios. Although the series does not air on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block and is rated TV-PG, it is considered more of an adult animated sitcom rather than a children's cartoon.
Many of the characters are loosely based on those developed for Quintel's student films at California Institute of the Arts: The Naive Man From Lolliland and 2 in the AM PM. Quintel pitched Regular Show for Cartoon Network's Cartoonstitute project, in which the network allowed young artists to create pilots with no notes to possibly be optioned as a show. After being green-lit, Quintel recruited several indie comic book artists to compose the staff of the show, as their style matched close to what he desired for the series.
The show premiered September 6, 2010, and has since broadcast over four seasons. The show has received general acclaim from critics, has performed successfully in the ratings and has been nominated for an Annie and has won an Emmy.
Two 23-year-old friends, a blue jay named Mordecai and a raccoon named Rigby, are employed as groundskeepers at a park and spend their days trying to slack off and entertain themselves by any means. This is much to the chagrin of their boss Benson and their coworker, a yeti named Skips, but to the delight of their manager, a man named Pops Maellard who has a lollipop for a head. Their other coworkers, Muscle Man (an overweight green man) and Hi-Five Ghost (a ghost with a hand extending from the top of his head), serve as rivals to Mordecai and Rigby. Mordecai and Rigby would later befriend a new coworker, a goat intern named Thomas, and slowly help him adjust to life working in the park. The show usually revolves around Mordecai and Rigby's attempts to avoid work and enjoy themselves. However, they often have to pay for their irresponsible actions, as they always get into more trouble than they thought. This typically results in Mordecai and Rigby going through bizarre and surrealistic misadventures, many of which nearly kill them or others around them.
Regular Show contains 16 important characters, including 7 main characters. Many characters were introduced over the series run, such as Margaret in season 1, Eileen in season 2, and Thomas in season 4, while others are loosely based off characters from the original shorts 2 in the AM PM (Mordecai and Benson) and The Naive Man from Lolliland (Pops).
Regular Show largely grew out of creator J. G. Quintel's own life and experiences in college. Quintel attended the California Institute of the Arts, and many of the characters on Regular Show are furthermore based on the characters developed for his student films: The Naïve Man from Lolliland (2005) and 2 in the AM PM (2006). Both originated as part of a game called "48-hour films," in which students put words into a hat, pull one word out at midnight and spend a weekend rushing to come up with a film. He attended college with Thurop Van Orman and Pendleton Ward, who would both go on to work at Cartoon Network Studios with Quintel, creating The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack and Adventure Time, respectively. Quintel concurrently worked on Camp Lazlo and Flapjack while completing his degree, and was later offered to pitch for Cartoon Network's Cartoonstitute, a planned project showcase of animated shorts created without the interference of network executives and focus testing, while serving as the creative director for Flapjack. Although "The Naive Man from Lolliland" could have been aired with some minor edits on TV, "2 in the AM PM" would likely have a hard time even on Adult Swim, due to repeated profanity.
Quintel went back to the characters from his films and put them together with newer characters to create a pilot. Quintel desired a visual pitch rather than verbal, believing the idea would make very little sense otherwise. He storyboarded the idea for the pilot, and Craig McCracken and Rob Renzetti liked his presentation. Eventually, Regular Show would become one of two series that were green-lit from the project, which was eventually scrapped and never premiered on television. The character of Mordecai embodies Quintel during his college years, specifically at CalArts: "That's that time when you're hanging out with your friends and getting into stupid situations, but you're also taking it seriously enough." The character of Rigby developed randomly when Quintel drew a raccoon hula-hooping on a Post-It. He liked the design and developed the character of Rigby to be a jerk character who is far more irresponsible than his companion.
While preparing for the beginning of the show, Quintel looked for young, indie comic artists to compose the show's storyboard artists, feeling that the style would match closer to that of Regular Show. Quintel looked through blogs and convention panels for the "total package," which he explained as having the ability to both write and draw, something that many independent comic book artists possess, as they often write and draw their comics solely by themselves. In addition, Quintel reached back to CalArts and attended many "open shows" - an eight-hour festival of student animation. Teams of storyboard artists, therefore, can include those who were contacted through their work in comics or those hired with a background in animation. The style and sensibility of the show was a bit difficult to work with in the beginning, as they struggled to create a natural, sitcom-like sound for the series.
Regular Show was inspired by shows like The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head, and Quintel credited the stylistic elements of Joe Murray's Rocko's Modern Life and Camp Lazlo as working their way into his style. Video games Quintel played as a child, such as Street Fighter, Shadowrun and ToeJam & Earl, inspired the series, as did a large degree of British television. Quintel's interest in British television was spawned by his roommate at CalArts, who was British and introduced him to many shows he had never heard of, such as The League of Gentlemen, The IT Crowd, and The Office. The Mighty Boosh was, in particular, very influential to Quintel, whose sensibilities began to switch after watching them and would later influence the humor in Regular Show. In addition, Mordecai and Rigby's "hmm hmm" dialogue was inspired by the same roommate: "[That] stuff was something that a roommate of mine from college would always do. He would kick my door open and be holding his Nintendo DS and say nothing more than "hmm, hmmm." [...] It's just a way of saying I'm way better than you without saying words." The show also drew inspiration from bad jobs Quintel had while growing up, such as his tenure at a movie theater.
Each episode of Regular Show typically takes about nine months to complete. Quintel and his team of about 35 develop each episode at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, California. The process begins in the writer's room, where they play games to generate ideas. The head writers (Quintel, Jack Thomas and John Infantino) find an idea that they are most partial to and proceed to write a premise, which is then given to a team of storyboard artists. The staff works hard to make sure stories are strong before moving forward to make any episode. The board artists come up with dialogue and draw the entire episode while Quintel and crew give notes throughout the process. The storyboard is turned in to the network who often give notes to tone down language and other aspects. The board is recorded and an animatic is created, and all of the show's artists put together the assets (backgrounds, character designs, props) to send to Saerom Animation in South Korea. The episode is timed on sheets and then sent overseas, while the crew gives more notes to the Saerom animators. Music and sound effects are created and the final episode is mixed and completed. The process allows for dozens of episodes to be worked on at different stages of production.
The voice acting of the series is relatively low-key, and the intention was to make the majority of the characters sound natural and conversational. Quintel desired to make the show listenable and given contrast to most other cartoons, which often take a zany route and are difficult for adults to listen to. Sam Marin, voice of Benson, Pops and Muscle Man, was in the same year as Quintel at CalArts and he would often contribute voices to his student films. Although more modern animation has switched to tablet/screen hybrids such as the Cintiq, Regular Show has been described as "far more low-fi," and is animated traditionally by hand using digital ink and paint. Although Cintiqs were optioned to be used for the program, Quintel felt more comfortable working on paper, feeling it to be more organic and more representative of each artists' individual style. Board artist Calvin Wong has described "the tools of the trade as being pencils, pens, white out and occasionally light boxes and electric erasers.”
The show makes heavy use of references to the 1980s, through music and montages, as much of the crew was born in and grew up during the decade. The show often licenses music from bands and artists to use during the show, which is very unusual for animated television shows. This process began when the show was first began, and early animatics included songs the crew liked to put music montages together to see whether it would flow well or not. Executives saw the animatics and offered to secure the rights for songs submitted. "Some of them were actually cool about us using their music," explained Quintel, who hoped the use of relevant songs would strike memories for adults and re-introduce it for younger children. Although several elements in the show are distinctly modern, such as commercial Internet, the reference to DVDs in "The Best VHS in the world", and a reference to flatscreen TVs in "Rage against the TV" the show often references older technology, like VHS cassette tapes and cartridge-based video game consoles.
Regular Show is rated TV-PG-V. Cartoon Network told Quintel early on that they wanted to "age it up from the TV-Y7 stuff we'd been doing in the past." This direction led the crew to push things as far as possible before realizing there were limits to that as well. During the production process, episodes regularly receive network notes for sequences that should be toned down. The staff often wants to make dialogue more conversational, but the use of certain language is often pulled back and toned down by the network's Standards and Practices department. In an extreme example, the network forced the staff to re-write the last three minutes of an episode. Quintel has often stated in interviews that the staff writes the show for themselves, which often leads to subtle innuendo.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||Season DVD release date||Season Blu-ray release date|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region A|
|1||12||September 6, 2010||November 22, 2010||July 16, 2013||July 16, 2013|
|2||28||November 29, 2010||August 1, 2011|
|3||39||September 19, 2011||September 3, 2012||TBA||TBA|
|4||40||October 1, 2012||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Season 1 began on September 6, 2010, with the episode "The Power" and ended on November 22, 2010, with "Mordecai and the Rigbys". The series' pilot aired on Cartoon Network Video, and an extended remake was aired on July 11, 2011. Season 2 began on November 29, 2010, with "Ello Gov'nor" and ended on August 1, 2011, with "Karaoke Video". The 39-episode third season and premiered on September 19, 2011, with the episode "Stick Hockey" and ended on September 3, 2012, with "Bad Kiss". The 40-episode fourth season premiered on October 1, 2012, with the 30-minute episode "Exit 9B".
Regular Show became an instant hit with its first and second seasons on Monday nights, ranking No. 1 in its time period among all key boy demos across all of television according to Nielsen Media Research.
Regular Show has received general acclaim from critics and audiences. Devin D. O'Leary of Alibi.com's "Idiot Box" column gave the show a favorable review, saying that its theme felt like a workplace sitcom and that the "parade of super-strange characters" added to the show's humor. He compared the show to Beavis and Butt-head. PopMatters critic Chris Conaton gave the show a six-out-of-ten rating, saying that it was "mildly amusing." His review praised Quintel's and Salyers' voice acting, but thought that the humor was derivative of Beavis and Butt-Head and The Ren & Stimpy Show. Common Sense Media reviewer Melissa Camacho said the show to be "pretty edgy for non-Adult Swim Cartoon Network fare" due to its fantasy violence, sexual content and language but also said that "viewers who are into creative animation will definitely appreciate the wit featured here," and gave it three stars out of five. Metacritic gave Regular Show a 9.0 rating, with the rank of "universal acclaim".
Awards and nominations
|2011||Annie Awards||Best Animated Television Production for Children||Regular Show||Nominated|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short-format Animated Program||"Mordecai and the Rigbys"||Nominated|
|BAFTA Children's Award (UK)||Kids Vote Powered By Yahoo! – Top 10s – Television||Regular Show||Nominated|
|International||Janet Dimon, J. G. Quintel, and Mike Roth||Nominated|
|2012||Annie Awards||Storyboarding in a Television Production||Benton Connor||Nominated|
|Emmy Awards||Outstanding Short-format Animated Program||"Eggscellent"||Won|
Home video releases
|Region||Set title||Season(s)||Aspect ratio||Episode count||Time length||Release date|
|1||Slack Pack||1, 2||16:9||12||137 minutes||April 3, 2012|
|1||The Best DVD in the World *At this Moment in Time||2, 3||16:9||16||176 minutes||November 6, 2012|
|1||Party Pack||1, 2, 3||16:9||16||176 minutes||March 5, 2013|
|A||The Complete First and Second Seasons||1, 2||16:9||40||440 minutes||July 16, 2013|
Jazwares has produced an assortment of 2-, 6-, 7-, and 10-inch licensed action figures and plush toys for the series. "Collectable Figures" have also been released along with other themed merchandise, such as "80's Bobbleheads", "Pullback Custom Cruisers" and "Wrestling Buddies".
The game has an app called Nightmare-athon available on the iOS app store. A new app has been released called "Ride 'Em Rigby". On April 8, 2013, J. G. Quintel announced on his Twitter page that an official Regular Show video game is in development.
- "Regular Show's J.G. Quintel Is Just a Regular Guy". Wired. April 3, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- The Naive Man From Lolliland & 2 In The AM PM (2006). Film done by JG Quintel during his time at the California Institute of the Arts.
- O'Leary, Shannon (May 16, 2012). "Interview: Regular Show Creator JG Quintel on Indie Comics and Cartoons". The Beat. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- "The Power". Regular Show. Season 1. Episode 1. September 6, 2010. Cartoon Network. "Dude, we're 23 years old, we shouldn't be busting holes in walls."
- Cruz, Eileen (April 21, 2010). "Toonzone at the Cartoon Network 2010 Upfront". Toonzone.net. Retrieved April 21, 2010.
- Bynum, Aaron H. (April 3, 2008). 'The Cartoonstitute' Announcement "CN Upfront 2008: 'The Cartoonstitute' Announcement". Animation Insider. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
- Ramin Zahed (April 17, 2012). "The Sublime Madness of J.G. Quintel". Animation Magazine. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- "Cartoon Network Announces Comedy Animation Greenlights". News.turner.com. August 13, 2009. Archived from the original on August 18, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
- Charles Webb (April 3, 2012). "Interview: The Regular Show Creator J.G. Quintel". MTV News. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- Bentley, Rick (October 30, 2011). "Hanford High's JG Quintel Has Cartoon Career". The Fresno Bee. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- "Cartoon Network Brings the Funny to WonderCon 2012". Action Figure Insider. actionfigureinsider.com. March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- "A Day in the Life of J.G. Quintel". Animation Magazine. August 2010. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- "Regular Show: Season 1 & Season 2 (2013)". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on June 1, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- "Regular Show: Season 1 & Season 2 [Blu-ray] (2013)". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on June 1, 2013. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- Ramin Zahed (September 16, 2011). "New Season of Regular Show Arrives Monday". Animation Magazine. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
- O'Leary, Devin D. (September 2, 2010). "Park Strangers". Alibi.com. Retrieved September 6, 2010.
- Conaton, Chris (September 7, 2010). "'Regular Show': Mildly Amusing". PopMatters. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Camacho, Melissa. "Regular Show TV Review". Common Sense Media. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
- "Nominations Announced for the 38th Annual Annie Awards". PR Newswire. December 6, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
- "2011 BAFTA Kids Vote Powered By Yahoo! - Television". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- "2011 Children's International". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved November 28, 2011.
- McCutcheon, David (December 5, 2011). "Regular Show's Slack Pack Party". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
- Regular Show DVD news: Announcement for The Best DVD in the World *At this Moment in Time | TVShowsOnDVD.com
- "2 Inch Figures". Jazwares. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- "6 Inch Figures". Jazwares. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- "7 Inch Plush". Jazwares. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- "10 Inch Talking Plush". Jazwares. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- "Collectable Figures". Jazwares. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- "80's Bobbleheads". Jazwares. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- "Pullback Custom Cruisers". Jazwares. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- "Wrestling Buddies". Jazwares. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- "Regular Show — Nightmare-athon for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store". Apple Inc. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- Cartoon Network's official page for Regular Show
- Regular Show Wiki
- Regular Show at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Regular Show at the Internet Movie Database
- Regular Show at TV.com