Three seasons in, it’s easy to forget that Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty started as a Back to the Future parody, starring Justin Roiland as both Doc and Mharti, who eventually became, well, you know. Where the final product has been lauded for its cleverness, creativity, and ingenuity, this 4-minute short – though it does share some similarities with the series it eventually inspired including little subtleties like the way characters’ lips sag when they aren’t talking – is the complete antithesis of that, wherein the punchline to every single joke is just Mharti licking Doc’s balls.
According to a write-up in Vice:
Creator Justin Roiland stated the original short was “a way to poke fun at the idea of getting cease and desist letters.” Back in October 2006, he wanted to call the short, Back to the Future: The New Official Universal Studios Cartoon Featuring the New Doc Brown and Marty McFly in order to “troll” Universal Pictures. Time, space travel, and general weirdness have been strong themes for Roiland, who first started making pilots for Channel 101, MTV2, Acceptable TV, and Cartoon Network. Even in his early work, you can see the beginnings of what would become Rick and Morty, from the character designs, voices, to even the opening theme song. Anyway, enjoy The Real Adventures of Doc and Mharti, but keep your tongue off the balls of old dudes.
It’s interesting to point out that Rick and Morty has always refused to do a time travel episode, stating the lack of agreeable science on the subject. So, with that in mind, Roiland’s contribution to Rick and Morty is more to do with characters and using his voice as a weapon of pure comedy, which allowed Dan Harmon to come in, tighten up the loose screws, and do something interesting with the universe Roiland had been creating. In a way, Harmon and Roiland are much like Rick and Morty, themselves, and the difference between this short and the final show really brings that to light.
YouTube has the edited version (below), or if you really want to see the whole thing, which gets a little pornographic, you can check it out at Vimeo.
Be sure to watch Rick and Morty on Adult Swim every Sunday at 11:30 PM! There’s only a couple of episodes left this season!