Sony Crackle’s SuperMansion voice cast members Bryan Cranston, Breckin Meyer, and Gary Anthony Williams joined series creators Zeb Wells and Matthew Senreich for a wide-ranging press conference at the 2018 New York Comic Con. It was evident from the hysterical press conference that the talent behind the Emmy-nominated SuperMansion obviously enjoy each other’s company. It was also obvious that no topic was off limits, including Bryan Cranston’s private parts.
SuperMansion returned with new season three episodes on October 4, 2018. Among the upcoming episodes will be the just-announced holiday special, “A Prayer for Mr. T: The SuperMansion Thanksgiving Special” airing on November 15th.
SuperMansion Season 3 Press Conference:
What’s the most fun aspect of hearing the voices bring the characters to life?
Zeb Wells: “It is hearing the actors come in and actually bring the script to life. But then it’s also fun once the actors have done that, then the animators get to take those records and then bring that to life, so that might be the most fun.”
Bryan Cranston: (Joking) “I think the most fun is to be able to take a mediocre script and turn it into something that represents gold. It’s always a challenge because you know what you’re going to read on the page is dreck.”
Breckin Meyer: “It’s funny. Bryan and I talk a lot about how bad the script is and then the challenge for us as actors is to rise above the material.”
Bryan Cranston: “I mean, way above. To be fair, it’s not that hard to rise above the material.”
Breckin Meyer: “It doesn’t take much. But this is why we are who we are.”
Gary Anthony Williams: “I want to disagree with everything they said. I have a legal issue so that I can only work on this show. So, to me, legally speaking, to me this is the best thing I’ve ever done, legally speaking.”
There are so many creative minds on this. Do they go off script?
Zeb Wells: “Because there’s so many characters doing so many things, you’ve got to stick to what the story thread is for the episode. But you always want to allow the actor to riff if they want to. And then I really think once an actor’s come in and done the character a couple of times, their performance starts influencing the writing which is fun. Then the writing becomes more organic and you can hear the characters’ voices in your head as you’re writing.”
As the executive producer, have you ever had to flex your power at all?
Bryan Cranston: “Yeah, I do. I think it’s important that people who work for you fear you as opposed to respect you. So, I try to instill that kind of fear-based energy throughout the course of every recording. There’s usually at the beginning of every season I’ll fire someone and nobody knows who that’s going to be. I think it creates comradery and a good spirit within the organization because everybody’s scared sh*tless. But, quite frankly, they’re really relieved when it’s not them. I think there’s an esprit de corps that’s created doing that.”
Was the rap in the Comic Con Carnage written or was it improvised? Were you trying to beat the “Super Bowl Shuffle?”
Breckin Meyer: “Nobody can beat the ‘Super Bowl Shuffle.’”
Zeb Wells: “We were absolutely trying to be like the ‘Super Bowl Shuffle.’ That’s a big influence there. Funny story having nothing to do with the show, but my mother-in-law is a big Chicago fan and she tried to tell me that they invented rap with the ‘Super Bowl Shuffle.’ She fought me tooth and nail. She thought that was the invention of rap.”
Bryan Cranston: “Lovely woman. She’s not very bright, but a lovely, lovely person.”
Breckin Meyer: “When she’s awake she’s very, very nice.”
Zeb Wells: “That was not improvised. That was written. And we had a lot of fun writing it and I’m sure you guys had a lot of fun rapping it.”
Bryan Cranston: “Yes, we did have a blast rapping. Most people don’t know that I have a rap background.”
And your rap name is?
Bryan Cranston: “It was Wrapper. I would wrap presents and things like that. The tape and the whole thing.”
Was the Comic Con episode inspired by real experiences?
Zeb Wells: “Yes, they were. Well, you’ve probably heard of the legendary SuperMansion panel from C2E2. Basically, everyone there who was at the panel was waiting for the Timeless panel that was directly afterwards.”
Breckin Meyers: “We’re like in the back, Robert Kennedy behind the scenes of the hotel thing walking through the bowels of it. We’re like, ‘How many people are out there?’ They’re like, ’25.’ I’m like, ‘Dig it! 2,500. Right on!’ They’re like, ‘No, no. 25.’ How many were for Timeless? 24. It was a good time. But then from pain came funny.”
Season three seems more epic in scope. Was that a conscious decision?
Matthew Senreich: “I think one of the greatest things that Crackle did for us is they picked up a lot of episodes right out of the gate and we knew what we had to work with. So, with more episodes came the ability to break them up into sections, little portions that will kind of lead to these epic endings for all of them.”
Has there ever been any plot line or script where you just couldn’t wind up doing it?
Zeb Wells: “Yeah, sometimes you edit yourself. I think there was a character in a script named Snake Mandick.”
Bryan Cranston: “That’s an unfortunate name.”
Breckin Meyer: “Based on that Merchant Ivory movie.”
Zeb Wells: “And that was one when I read it I was like, ‘Maybe we don’t need to make this puppet.’ And maybe no one needs to ever hear about this.”
Bryan Cranston: “Good thing you didn’t tell anybody!”
Zeb Wells: “Every once in a while Crackle will push back. The last time they pushed back it was because we made a Blues Traveler joke that was very mean about Blues Traveler. They said, ‘Do we really need to be this mean to Blues Traveler?’ And I thought, ‘No, we don’t. We don’t.’”
Breckin Meyer: “John Popper started Crackle – that’s the thing. The lead singer of Blues Traveler left Blues Traveler to start Crackle.”
Is there anything the voice actors have recorded that makes you change the story?
Zeb Wells: “We record first but there have been times where Bryan will start riffing or Gary will start riffing and we’ll think of something we’ll have to have…”
Matthew Senreich: “But not Breckin.”
Bryan Cranston: “He’s right here.”
Zeb Wells: “I realized it would start to turn into a role call at that point.”
Breckin Meyer: (Sarcastically) “No, I mean we’re so lucky to have Gary and Bryan on the show. They really are legends.”
When you’re working on how you’ll voice a character, where do draw inspiration from?
Bryan Cranston: “To do a voice that’s the clone of Titanium Rex, I squeeze my scrotum so tightly that all that can come out was a higher pitched voice. But you recognize that it was the same kind of voice because when I do Titanium Rex, I don’t squeeze so tightly. There’s a firmness to it, but I wouldn’t say it’s a squeeze.”
Breckin Meyer: “That’s actually how I came up with my character’s voice is I watched a video of Bryan grabbing his junk. I was like, ‘Hmmm, you know what I want to sound like right now.”
Gary Anthony Williams: “For me because I came in later in this process, so I just asked them what does he look like and then go from there. I would run two or three voices by them maybe. They’d go, ‘No. Do more like Bryan. Squeeze your stuff.’ I get all in my undercarriage and that’s it.”
Breckin Meyer: “My thing with Zeb was because we worked together on Robot, Robot Chicken not Mr. Robot, with Zeb he created Courtney and I think early on he was just like, ‘He’s a super-douche.’ And so I was like, ‘How about this?’ And he said, ‘No, no, no. He’s a super-douche. Just be your voice.’ But I held Bryan’s scrotum while doing it. It’s just one of the things he puts in the contract that you have to do.”
Is there a guest voice you really want to get on the show?
Breckin Meyer: “Michael Keaton.”
Bryan Cranston: “I was hoping that we could get the real Barack Obama on the show when that was written. I thought, ‘Maybe!’”
Zeb Wells: “I want to get Michael Pena on the show. I’ve always thought that he’s just hilarious.”