We mean that as a compliment, really. It’s true that we have a soft spot for Robot Chicken as a result of co-creator and sometime director Matthew Senreich once borrowing my phone on a noisy curb at Comic-Con. As a thank you, he offered me a not-yet-released DVD of Sealab 2021 he’d just been given. I couldn’t fathom “charging” someone for borrowing a cell phone and went through what I’m afraid turned into an eyelash-batting pageant of self-denial. What I could not have seen from my back row seats in the Adult Swim panel we’d just left, however, was that this was the same DVD Seth Green had just put down his shirt on stage. Susannah’s still mad at me over that one.
ANYWAY. Even if you haven’t been demure around Matthew Senreich or declined Seth Green’s chest sweat, you can love Robot Chicken‘s sick and wrong melange of pop culture adulation and piss-taking. The genius premise, telling borderline unacceptable jokes using much-loved toys of eras gone by, hasn’t gotten old, and their current Emmy nomination for the brilliant “Robot Chicken: Star Wars” proves it. Season four returns tonight with “Tubba-Bubba’s Now Hubba-Hubba,” including a look at what would happen if Dracula filled Jack Bauer’s shoes. It helps to be as much of a pop culture junkie as the creators are (the repeated Voltron theme music is topped only by a quite wonderful Matrix/Pac-Man mash-up), but you could consider the show a graduate-level introduction to genre joy from the last three decades. Among the revolving door of celebrity voice talent that will appear throughout the season are television creators Joss Whedon, Seth MacFarlane, and Ron Moore. New episodes starting tonight at 11:30pm Eastern and Pacific.