Interview: NTSF:SD:SUV’s Martin Starr, June Diane Raphael and Executive Producer John Stern (video)

The three talk about working on the show, Party Down and more!

Comic-Con: NTSF:SD:SUV stars Martin Starr and June Diane Raphael along with Executive Producer John Stern were at Comic-Con to chat about the new season of the Adult Swim show.


Created by Paul Scheer, the show, also known as the National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle::, is about a clandestine team of government agents working together to protect San Diego from numerous terrorist threats coming in daily from such evil countries as Mexico, Canada and Guam. The team are a group of highly trained operatives and has only one job: saving your ass so you can drive your Prius and see your movies in 3-D without worrying about living in a country run by no-good terrorists.

In the interview, the three talk about working on the show and for Adult Swim, Party Down and more!

For the full interview, watch the video below or check it out on YouTube

NTSF:SD:SUV airs at 12:15am on Thursdays on Adult Swim

Did you know the show would get picked up for a second season?

John Stern: Not right away, but pretty soon after. Adult Swim has a great policy of… kind of like HBO does. That you need to build an audience. And unlike, say one of the big networks where they look at the ratings every week and if by week 2 you’ve dropped off, you’re out of there. This is a situation where first of all, you shot the whole season first so they’ve got it. There’s no reason to call it off. They air it and let the audience build. And our audience did over the course of the season and then reruns, the audience got larger and larger and in place, the more people that watched it, the more that continued to watch it. So Adult Swim always had kind of a long term strategy of going into a second season and that was never really held over our heads. It gave a great comfort and confidence level to do things without seeing an ax dangling all the time.

Since the show is only 11 minutes, does it take up… is it just a blip on your schedule in terms of other projects that you’re doing? Can you just knock these out really quickly?

Martin Starr: It’s like summer camp.

June Diane Raphael: Yeah, I think it definitely feels like summer camp for people to get network pilots. No, it’s definitely the perfect amount of time where you just show up and have an amazing time with your friends for a very fun schedule. Which is why I think we get amazing guest starts every year too. Because they can come in and just work for a day and they’re in and out and it’s a very quick schedule.

I think this season has been a lot easier to get really amazing guest stars because we have something to show them and it’s not just explaining this idea of what it is. But most of them, we’ve all worked with before and can pull in for the day.

John Stern: But also we found a few times this year people actually approached us and said, “Well we’d love to find a way to be on NTSF.” Which you can’t get the first season. And sometimes we just did a shot in the dark. “Oh, wouldn’t it be great if so and so would do this.” And they would say yes. Again, you can’t get that the first season when no one knows they’re getting themselves into.

The show is a parody of other procedurals, do you spend your free time watching the shows that are coming on trying to get ideas about how you parody the show?

John Stern: We really do exchange required… we are always looking at the new shows and making each other watch them. But there are so many procedurals to parody. We can’t even… it’s just a sample.

June Diane Raphael: Well, and the other thing is that the shows themselves, the real shows, are already sane. So to parody them it’s like… gotta be crazier. Because they’re already pretty nuts, the premises.

John Stern: Although we’re a parody, we’re our own kind of formula and story too. That’s another thing that happens. It starts to move from strict parody to its own thing. And I imagine by next season, it’ll feel even less like a parody and more like what these characters are doing and who they are.

Do you have an end in sight?

John Stern: Well, we can only… as soon as June leaves the show, we’ll probably…

June Diane Raphael: It’ll probably end then. I don’t think it could sustain itself without me unfortunately. Yeah. I think everybody will pretty much stop acting too and writing and creating. Like, why?

John Stern: We could do the show with just basically June and Paul. Everyone else is expendable.

Martin Starr: Yeah.

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