It's hard to believe that just four months ago we were writing about MC Bat Commander getting in front of the camera with the rest of his bandmates for the first episode of The Aquabats! Super Show! Today, fans of the The Aquabats will get one last chance this season to watch OC's favorite superhero ska band in action when the season finale premieres at 8 a.m. on kids TV network the Hub. We recently caught up with MC Bat Commander (aka Christian Jacobs) to talk about what it's been like as both creator and star of a show full of dastardly villains, tight costumes, epic one-liners and exclamation points.
OC Weekly: Describe to us how The Aquabats! Super Show! season finale of the goes down. We hear Weird Al makes a cameo.
Christian Jacobs: The Aquabats are pretty down on their luck at the beginning of the episode. And the Bat Commander does something that basically causes them to go broke and they figure out if they could be more like Super Magic Power Man, "Weird Al" Yankovic's character--he's like superman, the ultimate super hero--then maybe they wouldn't be so down on their luck and people would come to their shows and they'd be more popular...they're like "let's go save the world and we could possibly be famous." So there's a crisis that happens and The Aquabats go and try to save the day, but before they get the chance of course, Super Magic Power Man shows up and he can fly and all this stuff and he's a real super hero and The Aquabats are just chumps. So at one point the Bat Commander says "Alright, I guess our work is done, I guess we have to go get real jobs." But then, without spoiling it too hard, something happens that changes the course of history and The Aquabats have to save the day after all. There's some other surprises in there too. It doesn't end like you think it would end, in a neat box.
Now that the first season is over, are there any plans to work on another one?
There's been a little bit of talk about it, but at this point we do not know if we're getting a second season. In talking about it with the network, I think they've been pretty stoked on the show. We haven't got the official word yet, but we have our fingers crossed.
What have been some major learning experiences for you as the creator of the show?
There's a lot of things I could say, like "stick to your guns" or "don't stop believing" or whatever and that's all true for sure, but there's a lot of technical things I've learned. Being in front of the camera and trying to be a creative person behind the camera, that was something that was really new to me. Working with [director] Jason deVilliers and being on the same page is important so I know what's happening and I can completely trust the crew that they're gonna get it right. That's been the biggest learning experience. With Yo Gabba Gabba! and other skateboard videos I used to shoot, I was always just behind the camera. So being in front of the camera at the beginning was pretty nerve racking at first.
By the last episode, did that change at all?
Yeah, I think so. If you watch the first episode and you watch the last episode, you can see the comfort level of all the guys in the band, everyone was so much more comfortable with acting and conveying emotions. I include myself in that as well. In the early episodes I had a lot on my mind and you could definitely see it when you watched the show.
Are there any episodes that stand out to you as the best of the bunch?
There's definitely a few that stand out. I think the "Cowboy Android" episode plot was almost as epic as the season finale. I really liked the "Pilgrim Boy" episode as well, Samm Levine guest starred and "Weird Al" was in that one as well as "the President." It's so random and weird that it just makes me laugh.
How did "Weird Al" become a reoccurring cast member on the show?
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I met Weird Al on the set of Yo Gabba Gabba!, because he was on an episode of that show. A couple weeks later after meeting him on the set, I was standing in line to see the Pixies at the Hollywood Palladium and I turn around and [Yankovic] was right behind me with his wife and I'm like "Wow 'Weird Al' likes the Pixies." So I said hi and we started talking and hit it off. And when we were doing Super Show! I thought it would be great if somehow [Yankovic] could be involved. We had a couple opportunities to cast him and he was on board. And having him willing to do it was great, obviously he's an icon, not only for my generation, but my son is 10 years old and he loves "Weird Al." He's got these parodies of new hits that I don't even know, whether it's Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus. So I think it's rad that it kind of comes full circle like that. In the world of The Aquabats, who better to be the President or the mightiest super hero of all time than "Weird Al"?
If there's one way that you'd want the show to be remembered for this first season, how would you sum it up as far as its impact?
I hope we did a good job keeping it fresh and different for every episode. If you've never seen The Aquabats play live, if you watch the TV show it has that kind of unexpected element, and at the same time it's super fun and doesn't take itself too seriously, but takes the audience seriously enough to keep the unexpected stuff coming. The fact that we made it through a whole season and we're at the last episode is pretty awesome. If we don't get a second season, I think the rest of the band is just stoked to have done it.