They say that in comedy you should never punch down, and that’s absolutely true if all that’s below you is dragons.
Earlier this week, someone at comedy network Adult Swim apparently went into business for themselves, crafting a station bumper that took an almighty swipe at the Game of Thrones writing staff following the conclusion of the HBO series’ seventh season on Monday (AUS time).
That the bumper was tacked on to the end of this week’s episode of Rick & Morty made it appear as if it was the show itself doing the shade throwing.
The bumper, aired in silence in an ‘in memoriam‘ style, referenced the fact that some of the more crotchety pockets of GoT‘s fandom have complained that the quality of writing has dipped throughout season seven, as the show veers further and further away from territory covered in the book series.
This @adultswim bumper is savage pic.twitter.com/UiDlWuOzVU
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) August 28, 2017
Both Rick & Morty‘s official Twitter account and show co-creator Justin Roiland moved quickly to distance themselves and the show from the jab on social media. But, thanks to a self-imposed social media hiatus, other co-creator Dan Harmon remained largely quiet.
A few hours ago, Harmon broke said silence to address the situation in typical no-holds-barred, self-aggrandising fashion, at once both scorching the “lazy, craftless jab that some pointlessly jaded teenage intern in Atlanta just left like a fart in my show’s space,” while also realising the potential hypocrisy he might be embracing by denouncing a spiteful, petty jab at another show on TV given his own well-documented history.
Or, more succinctly, it’s pure Dan Harmon.
People keep asking me about that tragically tacky card Adult Swim aired after Rick and Morty that insulted the writing on Game of Thrones, so I keep thinking I should say something but I keep waiting for the time I’d need to write something worth saying because rule number one in talking shit is you better talk way better shit than the shit you’re talking about.
But then I remember the truly frustrating thing about that card is that it breaks that rule, being a lazy, craftless jab at the writing on my favourite show that some pointlessly jaded teenage intern in Atlanta just left like a fart in my show’s space. So why wait for the muse to strike before disavowing them?
But then I figure I’m a hypocrite to judge anyone’s tone deaf overstepping, especially in an Instagram about an affront to some TV writing code while entire cities fight for their lives.
So I’ll leave it at: Hey man, wasn’t me, I just work on Rick and Morty and love Thrones. Sorry if that anonymous unearned snark bummed you out. But I’m the one that has to spend the next TV Guide Showrunner’s Dinner checking his vodka for Essence of Nightshade.
There you have it. Don’t throw stones at glass houses full of dragons and horny goblins. Even if you can portal your way out of it.