Format: Stop motion animation/Comedy
Created by: Seth Green, Matthew Senreich
Voices of: Seth Green, Breckin Meyer, Chad Morgan, Tom Root, Dan Milano, Seth
Country of origin: United States
No. of seasons: 4
No. of episodes: 70
Running time: approx 11 minutes, approx. 23 minutes (Star Wars specials)
Original channel: Adult Swim
Picture format: 480i
Original run: February 20, 2005 – present
Robot Chicken is an Emmy Award-winning American stop motion animated television
series created and executive produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. They
are also on the writing team, and have directed some episodes. Green provides
many voices for the show.
Robot Chicken is an animated comedy that uses characters from popular shows to
portray comedy situations. It uses stop motion to animated toys, action figures,
dolls, and also uses claymation. The show's name was inspired by a dish on the
menu at a West Hollywood Chinese restaurant, Kung Pao Bistro, where Green and
Senreich had dined, although the series originally was intended to be titled
"Junk in the Trunk".
The show is produced by Stoopid Monkey, ShadowMachine Films, Williams Street,
and Sony Pictures Digital, and currently airs in the US as a part of Cartoon
Network's Adult Swim block, in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of Bravo's
Adult Swim block, in Canada on Teletoon's Detour block, in Australia on The
Comedy Channel's Adult Swim block, in Russia on 2x2's Adult Swim block and in
Latin America on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. It premiered on Sunday,
February 20, 2005.
The series was renewed for a 20-episode third season, which ran from August 12,
2007 to September 28, 2008. After an eight month hiatus, during the third
season, the show returned on August 31, 2008 to air the remaining five episodes,
Three episodes beginning with "Tubba-Bubba's Now Hubba-Hubba", which
also aired as an April Fool's Day prank. The series has been renewed for a
fourth season which premiered on December 7, 2008.
Robot Chicken is currently the highest rated original show on Adult Swim and the
second highest on the network (after Family Guy).
"It is not a tumor, it's not a tumor at all."
The show focuses on mocking pop culture, referencing toys, films, television,
and popular fads. One particular motif often involves the idea of fantastical
characters being placed in a more realistic world or situation (such as Stretch
Armstrong requiring a corn syrup transplant after losing his abilities due to
aging, Optimus Prime performing a prostate cancer PSA, and Godzilla having
problems in the bedroom). The program even had a 30 minute episode dedicated to
Star Wars which premiered June 17, 2007 in the US featuring the voices of Star
Wars notables George Lucas, Mark Hamill (from a previous episode), Billy Dee
Williams, and Ahmed Best. (The Star Wars episode was nominated for a 2008 Emmy
Award: Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour).)
Another recurring segment is "Hilarious Bloopers", a parody of the Bob
Saget era of America's Funniest Home Videos featuring the host constantly moving
around in various exaggerated, disjointed motions. Unlike that show, this skit
ends with the host using various household methods of suicide.
The show's theme song was composed and performed by Les Claypool of Primus, and
he sings the song's only lyrics, "It's alive!", in typical
Frankenstein fashion. The ending theme of the show is not actually Muzak but
from a cut from a Capitol Hi-'Q' production music album entitled "The Gonk"
(famously used in George A. Romero's 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead) clucked
by a chorus of chickens, which are actually the crew members.
The opening sequence, which is the only part of the show that includes a robot
chicken (with the exceptions of "The Black Cherry," the Christmas
Special, "Suck It", "Adoptions an option" and "Book of
Corrine"), opens with a mad scientist finding a road-killed chicken. He
takes it back to his laboratory and refashions it into a cyborg resembling
Locutus of Borg, although Matt Senreich denies that this allusion was
deliberate. The mad scientist then straps it into a chair, uses specula to hold
its eyes open, and forces it to watch a bank of television monitors (an allusion
to A Clockwork Orange); this scene segues into the body of the show. In the
episode "1987", Michael Ian Black claims that this sequence tells the
viewer that they are the Robot Chicken being forced to watch the skits. Midway
through, the words Robot Chicken appear and the mad scientist can be heard
screaming "It's alive!"
In the "Star Wars Special", the opening is changed to mimic Anakin
Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader as depicted in Star Wars Episode
III: Revenge of the Sith, with the mad scientist in the role of Darth Sidious
and the chicken as Vader.
Besides Seth Green voicing himself and many of the characters for the show,
major recurring actors/writers are:
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Celebrity guest stars
Among those celebrities that contributed to this show are:
Michael Ian Black
Rachael Leigh Cook
Soleil Moon Frye
Melissa Joan Hart
John C. McGinley
Ronald D. Moore
Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Debra Jo Rupp
James Van Der Beek
Billy Dee Williams
"Weird Al" Yankovic
Many of these are people that Seth Green has worked with in the past on other
projects or that he knows personally. Williams Street executives Mike Lazzo and
Keith Crofford have also lent their voices to the show on occasions revolving
around season premieres.
Non-celebrity voice acting
Besides the celebrities above, many famous voice actors work on this series,
Roger L. Jackson
Main article: List of Robot Chicken episodes
Season Episodes Originally Aired DVD Release Date
Season 1 20 2005 March 28, 2006 
Season 2 20 2006 September 4, 2007 
Season 3 20 2007 – 2008 October 7, 2008 
Season 4 20 2008 – 2009 July 22, 2009
The show won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation in 2006
and 2007 and was a nominee for the 2007 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding
Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) for the episode "Lust
The show was again nominated for Outstanding Animated Program in 2008 for the
Star Wars special.
Title Release date Episodes
"Season One" March 28, 2006 1–20
This two disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 1 in production order.
While it contains many sketches that were edited from the TV airings, several of
the original Sony Screenblast webtoons, and the words "Jesus" and
"Christ" as an oath unbleeped (though "fuck" and
"shit" are still censored out), the episodes are not all uncut. One
particular segment that featured the Teen Titans meeting Beavis and Butt-head
was omitted from the DVD due to legal problems. The Voltron/"You Got
Served" sketch shown on the DVD has a replacement song due to legal issues
over having the song that was used on the TV. At a performance of Family Guy
Live in Chicago, during the Q&A session that ends each performance, Seth
Green was asked how they came up with the name Robot Chicken. He explained that
the title of each episode was a name Adult Swim rejected for the name of the
show. A Region 2 version of the set was released in the UK on September 29
"Season Two: Uncensored" September 4, 2007 21–40
This two disc boxset includes all 20 episodes from Season 2 in production order
and uncensored, with the words fuck and shit unbleeped (except for one instance
in the episode "Easter Basket" in the Lego sketch). It is currently
available for download on iTunes (though the episode "Veggies for
Sloth" is absent because of copyright issues involving the "Archie's
Final Destination" segment.) Seth Green stated at Comic-Con 2006 that
the second DVD set will contain the "Beavis and Butt-head meet the Teen
Titans" sketch, which had been removed from the first DVD set due to
copyright issues. However, the sketch is absent from the DVD. Bonus features
include the Christmas Special. A secret Nerf gun fight can be found on the disc
1 extras menu, and pushing "up" over the extras and set-up items on
the menu reveals more special features.
"Season Three: Uncensored" October 7, 2008  41–60
This two disc boxset will include all 20 episodes from Season 3 in production
order. This DVD is Uncensored except for the cat and the hat sketch in episode 7
on Disk 1. It also censored on purpose in episode 5 in the law and order KFC
sketch. This DVD has special features such as Deleted Scenes and Animatics. It
also includes commentary for all of the episodes and has "Chicken
Nuggets" commentary for episode 1 and 3-5. Also there is a gag real and
" Star Wars Special " July 22, 2008 n.a.
This single DVD features the special in its TV-edited version (i.e. with bleeps
in place of profane words) and several extras about the crew and their work on
the special, including a photo gallery, alternate audio, and an easter egg
demonstrating the crew's difficulty in composing a proper musical score for the
sketch "Empire on Ice".
In popular culture
In Family Guy episode "Blue Harvest," at the end of the story Chris
Griffin (voiced by Robot Chicken creator Seth Green) accused Peter (voiced by
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane) of stealing the Star Wars special idea from
the Robot Chicken Star Wars special. This sparks a discussion in which Peter
himself denigrates and insults Robot Chicken, claiming that it is not a real,
legitimate, show. This prompts Chris to call him "a real jerk!" and
walk out of the room.