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‘Rick and Morty’ Goes Live (and Meta) with Christopher Lloyd and Jaeden Martell

Christopher Lloyd as Rick (left) and Jaeden Martell (right) as Morty.
Christopher Lloyd as Rick (left) and Jaeden Martell (right) as Morty.

Eight years after their animated 2013 debut, Rick and Morty have finally emerged into the live action world — for 14 seconds, as can be seen by following this link.

None other than Christopher Lloyd appears as Rick, a riff on the show’s original 2006 Justin Roiland debut, The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti. What has evolved as a captivating yet crude exploration of family, free will, absurdist nihilism, and bleak existentialism, began as a vulgar protest. 

In a hilarious response to cease and desist letters for his House of Cosbys series, Roiland created a bawdy Back to the Future parody. Three other shorts were later created, the first to promote the comic Scud: The Disposable Assassin, the second to promote creative freedom for Dan Harmon and Rob Schraub’s Channel 101, and the last as a satiric Gatorade ad.

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Though the show has strayed far from its roots over the last eight years, subtle references remain scattered throughout. In Big Trouble In Little Sanchez, a Tiny Rick drawing of his adult self screaming for help resembles Doc Smith. And in season five’s opener, Mort Dinner Rick Andre, a scene from the short flashes on a crystal in the cold opening.

Titled “C-132,” the Tweeted teaser video is simple. Beginning with Rick and Morty theme music in a sparse garage, a green portal appears and brown pants and black loafers materialize. Panning up, the man who played Doc Brown (Lloyd) arrives as Rick in all his burping glory.

Jaeden Martell’s casting as the yellow-shirted, anxious Morty is equally on point. Martell’s most recognizable role to date, as a prepubescent boy battling an actual demon in It, parallels his fate as Morty.  

Eagle-eyed fans will notice that the “C-132″ reality designation included in Adult Swim’s tweet is a reference not to the “main” C-137 Rick and Morty, but rather to characters from the first two volumes of Oni Press’ Rick and Morty comic. The Rick and Morty of the C-132 are generally similar to their C-137 counterparts save for certain details like Morty C-132 not having a son and Rick C-132’s lack of faith in time travel.

Given Rick and Morty’s penchant for dimension-hopping stories, it’s not hard to envision Adult Swim playing around with the idea of a C-132 universe in a live-action special or series of shorts. Considering already long production times for the main show, however, chances are probably slim. 

We’ll keep an eye out, but for now, this will remain a fun, one-off teaser celebrating Adult Swim’s 20th anniversary and the Rick and Morty Sept. 5 season finale. 

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