In late April, Adult Swim announced that Aqua Teen Hunger Force, one of the shows that launched the late-night television network, was changing its name to Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1. According to series co-creator Dave Willis, this is "more than a name change."
"It's an agenda change," said Willis when we spoke with him and fellow co-creator Matt Maiellaro over the phone. "The show has been changed on an atomic level. Molecular. The show is completely different, except for the character names. We kept the character names to protect the identity of the previous show, which we are completely destroying."
After more than ten years and one hundred episodes, we couldn't help but wonder, why change now?
"We wanted to see America drop to it's knees and freak out trying to reprogram their TiVos," said Willis. "Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the reason why most people invested in a television. Now that we've turned them onto so many other networks and shows, through our gateway drug, we've decided to open a new passageway to entertainment."
Seriously, though, it was just time for a change.
"It was simply a personal choice," said Maiellaro. "We were bored with it, decided to change it, come up with a new fresh open and a whole new show, just try it out."
From what we saw in the video press release, the new series finds the anthropomorphic fast food friends as detectives (those who followed Aqua Teen from the beginning may recall that the characters supposedly solved crimes in early episodes) living in Seattle. We had a little bit of trouble believing that last bit. Wouldn't a move to Seattle mean that Carl Brutananadilewski would have have to change his football allegiance.
"No, he still backs the Giants," said Willis.
"It would be kind of weak if he were a Seahawks fan," he added. "There's not a whole lot of attitude to that."
But, why Seattle?
"It rains there a lot. We've never been there. We like Courtney Love," said Willis.
He added, "Also, Frasier took place in Seattle and that was a very successful show. We want to follow in those footsteps."
Somewhere amidst a round of background laughter, we could hear Maiellaro agree that "it was a very funny show."
"We felt like that was the secret to making a new show," said Willis.
"Sounds like a plan," I responded.
"Sounds like a terrible plan, doesn't it?" he asked.
Willis noted that Seattle would give them an opportunity for new jokes, like "Space Needle jokes."
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Maiellaro added "grunge rock jokes."
For the record, we did get to see a screener of one forthcoming episodes after we spoke with the show creators and have good reason to believe that the show's core characters are still in New Jersey. Maybe things will make more sense after Sunday night's premiere.
Want to see photos of Aqua Teen live? Check out Shannon Cottrell's photo gallery "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Live @ El Rey Theatre."
Follow @lizohanesian and @ShannonCottrell on Twitter.