Robot Chicken is an American stop motion animated television series created and executive produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-Head Writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. Green provides many voices for the show and Senreich, Goldstein and Root were former writers for the popular action figure hobbyist magazine ToyFare.
The program is a sketch comedy that parodies a number of pop culture conventions using stop motion animation of toys, action figures, dolls, and claymation (usually for special effects) and various other objects, such as tongue depressors and The Game of Life pegs. The show's name was inspired by a dish on the menu at a West Hollywood Chinese restaurant, Kung Pao Bistro, where Green and Senreich had dined, although the series originally was intended to be titled "Junk in the Trunk".
The show is produced by Stoopid Monkey, ShadowMachine Films, Williams Street, and Sony Pictures Digital, and currently airs in the US as a part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block, in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of Bravo's Adult Swim block, in Canada on Teletoon's Detour block, in Australia on The Comedy Channel's Adult Swim block, in Russia on 2x2's Adult Swim block, in Germany on TNT Serie's Adult Swim block and in Latin America on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. It premiered on Sunday, February 20, 2005.
The series was renewed for a 20-episode third season, which ran from August 12, 2007 to September 28, 2008. After an eight month hiatus, during the third season, the show returned on August 31, 2008 to air the remaining five episodes, Three episodes beginning with "Tubba-Bubba's Now Hubba-Hubba", which also aired as an April Fool's Day prank. The series has been renewed for a fourth season which premiered on December 7, 2008.
In 2007 Robot Chicken was the highest rated original show on Adult Swim and the second highest on the network (after Family Guy).
The show focuses on mocking pop culture, referencing toys, films, television, and popular fads. One particular motif often involves the idea of fantastical characters being placed in a more realistic world or situation (such as Stretch Armstrong requiring a corn syrup transplant after losing his abilities due to aging, Optimus Prime performing a prostate cancer PSA, and Godzilla having problems in the bedroom). The program even had a 30 minute episode dedicated to Star Wars which premiered June 17, 2007 in the US featuring the voices of Star Wars notables George Lucas, Mark Hamill (from a previous episode), Billy Dee Williams, and Ahmed Best. (The Star Wars episode was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award: Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)). Another recurring segment is "Hilarious Bloopers", a parody of the Bob Saget era of America's Funniest Home Videos featuring the host constantly moving around in various exaggerated, disjointed motions. Unlike that show, this skit ends with the host using various household methods of suicide.
The show's theme song was composed and performed by Les Claypool of Primus, and he sings the song's only lyrics, "It's alive!", in typical Frankenstein fashion. The ending theme of the show is not actually Muzak but from a cut from a Capitol Hi-'Q' production music album entitled "The Gonk" (famously used in George A. Romero's 1978 horror film Dawn of the Dead) clucked by a chorus of chickens, which are actually the crew members.