We Love TV!
This is just an unofficial fan page, we have no connection
to any shows or networks.
Please click here to vote for our site!
Interview with Ben Jones and John C.
Reilly of "Stone Quackers" on FX 2/24/15
I was supposed to be at this call, but I was very sick
and couldn't make it. It's disappointing because John C.
Reilly is such a great actor. I watched a few episodes of
the show, and it's a pretty cute, funny show. Their "Twin
Peaks" and "Blue Velvet" spoof was awesome. Reilly plays the
bumbling Officer Barry.
FX NETWORK: Stone Quackers
February 24, 2015/12:00 p.m. PST
Kristy Silvernail, FX Networks / Senior Manager, Media
John C. Reilly, Executive Producer / ďOfficer BarryĒ, Stone
Ben Jones, Creator, Stone Quackers
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by.
Welcome to the Stone Quackers conference call. At this time,
all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will
be having a question and answer session. (Operator
instructions.) And, as a reminder the conference is being
I would now like to turn the conference over to our host,
Miss Kristy Silvernail. Please, go ahead.
Kristy: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Stone Quackers
conference call with Executive Producer, John C. Reilly, who
also voices the role of ďOfficer Barry,Ē and Creator, Ben
Jones. Iíd like to thank everyone for joining us today.
Weíre really excited to have you here, and remind you that
this call is for print purposes only, no audio may be used.
Stone Quackers airs as part of Animation Domination, FXXís
late night animation programming block, which airs Thursdays
at midnight. With that said, letís go ahead and take our
Moderator: Thank you. And, our first question comes from the
line of Diana Price with Inquisitor.com. Please, go ahead.
Your line is open.
Diana: Alright. Thanks for joining us to today and doing the
John: My pleasure.
Ben: My pleasure, too.
Diana: I never, ever thought Iíd see a version of Blue Velvet
in cartoon form, soóor even use those two words together in
the same sentence. So, how did you guys get the idea to,
kind of, do a show based on that?
Ben: Well, the Family Guy, they led off one of their seasons
with their parody of Star Wars, which is definitely,
culturally and creatively important to them, and I asked the
Quackers, ďWhat was a movie that inspires usóthat we might
want to celebrate?Ē And, that was certainly one of them.
Itís an important movie for me, yes, creatively and
Diana: Do you think you might do any more David Lynch covers
or maybe you could even get him to guest star and voice a
Ben: I would hope so. Yes, or I donít even think heís a real
person. To me, heís definitely more of a deity or a God.
Maybe John has a better, more realisticó
John: No, heís also a guru of mine. I practice transcendental
meditation and heís a big proponent of that, so heís a big
inspiration in a lot of ways. Heís literally a guru to me,
even though Iíve never met him.
Ben: Yes, absolutely.
Diana: Alright. Thanks, guys.
Moderator: Thank you. Next, weíll go to the line of Rob Owen
with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Please, go ahead.
Rob: Hi. I was wondering, for Johnówhat was it about this
project and working with Ben, in particular, that made you
want to get involved?
John: I was actually first exposed to Ben through his
artwork. I saw a show that my friend, Mike Diamond, curated
at MOCA, and his piece was my favorite piece of the whole
show. And, then it turns out we had a mutual friend, Eric
Wareheim, and Eric just had nothing but great things to say
about Ben. And, then I went in and met with everyone, and he
was a delightful chat, and Whit [Thomas] and Clay [Tatum]
were also very charming, funny guys, and we quickly just
started telling stories about our childhood and juvenile
delinquency. It just seemed like a really inspiring, fun
thing to do.
But, to tell you the truth, like, actually the first thing I
saw of Benówhat was the thing called? Chromeóthat first
short you did that was the prequel to Problem Solverz?
Ben: We had Neon Knome. That was a good one.
John: Neon Knomeóthatís it. So, I saw Neon Knome, and myself,
and a lot of my friends were obsessed with that for a long
time. I just thought it was this mysterious thing created by
some weirdo somewhere, and then that was true, but it also
turned out that Ben had done a lot of other things
andóanyway, so I was already a big fan.
So, when this came my way, I thought, wow, I must be a cool
person to be asked by such a cool person to do such a cool
Rob: Okay. Thank you very much.
Moderator: Thank you. Next, weíll go to the line of Annasita
Donagoda with Mike the Fanboy. Please, go ahead. Your line
Annasita: Hi. Thank you so much for your time, guys. So, my
questionó what makes Stone Quackers stand out from the rest
of the animations out there, like currently on TV?
Ben: Thatís a good question. Yes, I mean, well thereís lots
of great things about how we make this. First off, we make
it with a very small team, itís like three or four people
drawing it for the designs, and then ten people animating
it, and that makes it a very different creative experience,
making it. And, I think the end product, you can kind of
tell itís a little bit more like, maybe experimental isnít a
good word, but itís more an artistic project than a kind of
commodity or a product of like a big studio, and so I think
that kind of makes it a little bit more crafted and a little
bit more unique, more like a Wes Anderson film and less like
aóI donít know, Charlieís Angels 2, or something, which are
both great films but aó
Yes. Thatís one of the things as to why itís different than
John: I donít have a huge awareness of the other animation on
TV other than, say The Simpsons or something, but what I can
say, what I think it has going for it is, I can tell from
the creative process that improvisation is embraced, and
used which gives it a real kind of spark of excitement and
originality, and itís really, itís also very personal, these
For the most part, or at least the characters come from the
real lives of Whit and Clay. And also I think having Benís
perspective as an artist is different, and I donít know,
itís different than just trying to please people with a
cartoon. Itís moreóthere seems to be more depth to the
expression, and certainly visually itís pretty unique.
Ben: Yes. Iíve just tried to create a world for the
characters to kind of explore and inhabit. Yes, and thatís
been, I think thatís a much different process than some
other shows, and I think itís really fun for us to kind of
work in that zone.
Annasita: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Moderator: Thank you. And, next weíll go to the line of
Mallory Delchamp with Pop-Break.com. Please go ahead.
Mallory: Hey guys. How are we doing?
Mallory: Good. I just want to thank you so much.
John: So, whatís your next question?
John: Thatís one, you only get two. So, this is your
Mallory: Okay. This is for John. In Stone Quackers, you play
ďOfficer Barry.Ē Can you describe your character, and can
you tell us what your favorite episode has been so far?
John: Well, who asked that question?
Mallory: Iím Mallory.
John: Oh, I thought you said, like you read it from a fan or
something. Well, you could read the description in the press
release for the description of my character, but yes, heís a
police officer in the community that Whit and Clay live in.
I havenít really seen any of the full episodes, yet, but my
favorite one to make was probably, I donít know. I mean, my
favorite interactions on the shows have beenóoh, I know, my
favoriteó I think the favorite one I did was the last one
which may have not have aired yet, which is where the boys
try to teach me to be a tougher guy.
John: They teach me not to be someone who gets their beak
busted, which is a euphemism for getting his balls busted.
In Stone Quackers, itís getting your beak busted by your
cohorts. So, that was pretty fun, and I also liked reallyóI
really liked working with Heather Lawless, who plays
ďDottieĒ in the show. Sheís really, really funny, and we do
a lot of ridiculous romantic interactions in the show. I
hope that answers your question.
Mallory: Perfect. Thank you.
John: Everything else you can find in the press release, Iím
Mallory: Thank you.
Moderator: Okay. Thank you. Next, weíll go to the line of
Gonzo Green with BubbleBlabber.com. Please, go ahead.
Gonzo: Hey, guys. How you doing?
John: Good, thanks.
Gonzo: So, John, forówhatís different about recording a
series like Stone Quackers compared to recording something
like, Wreck-It Ralph, a film?
John: Theyíre pretty similar, in my experience. In terms
ofówhat I like about doing voice-over, in general, is that
youíre never fighting the sun. When youíre doing films,
youíre always fighting either the clock or the sun or youíre
always desperate when this kind of scramble to get what
youíre trying to get in as quickly as you can. But with
animation, the voice recording is always moving faster than
the animators can move, so you have the luxury of exploring
and improvising and goofing around.
I guess one difference between Wreck-It Ralph and this was
these are episodes, so the story arc is, you knowó
John: It takes place within one session as opposed to
Wreck-It Ralph, which was months of getting that arc
complete. But honestly, I felt really lucky, and I was very
careful before I agreed to do this, that it would feel
similar to my experience on Wreck-It Ralph because I got
really spoiled on that, by that director. He gave me a lot
of freedom, and it was just fun to be together, and I
quickly realized meeting Ben and these guys that this would
also be a fun hang. Thatís pretty much my criteria at this
point for everything in my career. It has to be a fun hang
or itís really not worth it.
Gonzo: And, an unrelated follow-up because I donít know when
else Iíll get the opportunity to ask you this. Are we ever
going to get Step Brothers 2?
John: Next question.
Gonzo: Oh, no.
John: Iíll do a press junket about that, pal.
Gonzo: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. (Operator instructions.) Weíll go to
the line of Angela Dawson with Front Row Features. Please go
Angela: Hi, John and Ben.
Angela: I wanted to ask you about your role as executive
producer on this. What does that mean you have to do?
John: It means I get more money.
John: I make money off the actual creative people involved in
the show. Itís like all executive producers; itís really
just an empty title by which I can direct money towards my
Ben: No. We did this one episode with the Doobie Brothers,
and it was a song from the Doobie Brothers, and we
choreographed this whole animation dance routine to it, and
then someone made a horrible decision to save money, and
swap a sound alike in for that moment and I madeóI donít
know how or why I would show that to John and he just raised
a red flag, thankfully, and I think that it was a great role
for him to play, which is just calling bull**** on this,
sometimes bad decisions. Itís been super helpful to have
this kind of guru for our community to be in the creative
process just saying like, ďF*** that, go for it.Ē Thatís my
dream executive producer.
John: So, I have to give an actual answer. I thought I could
just give a smart*** answer. I donít know what he thinks is
so funny. Ah, yes, you know Iím kidding. At this point,
like, Iím finding this terrible thing happening where Iím
the oldest person in the room when I go out to a movie set
or any creative endeavor, so I guess with age and experience
comes good advice, sometimes, andó
John: So, yes. Just slowly embracing that part where you can
help people do what theyíre trying to do just by sticking
your name on it.
Angela: With the target of this being kind of older kids or
adults, basically, watching this at midnight, do you feel
like you have a little more freedom in terms of what you
say? Obviously, you can kind of go to places and say things
that you wouldnít have been able to say, like in Wreck-It
Ralph. I mean, this does seem more like the target that
would have been a fan of Talladega Nights or Step Brothers,
or one of those.
John: Well, I donít think because itís on at midnight means
anything these days. You make something, the whole worldís
going to see it, and I canít tell you how many times a nine
or ten-year old has come up to me and said, ďI love Step
Brothers, and that part when you say like, ďF*** this shit.Ē
Itís kind of startling like you can try to guide your
material towards a certain age group or audience, but in
fact, itís just out there, and I think the kind of anarchic
fun spirit of this show really appeals to a lot of different
people, but I never try to feel constrained.
The only constraint, I donít really try to edit myself in
terms of like content. What edits you is the character, like
ďRalphĒ wouldnít swear, whatever. He wouldnít do stuff that
was like R-rated because heís not like an R-rated character.
You know what I mean? He was sort of an innocentóso I didnít
feel constrained, like oh, I canít say this, I canít say
that. I was just honoring who he was.
Angela: Okay. Well, thanks a lot.
John: My pleasure.
Moderator: Thank you. Next, weíll go to the line of Preston
Barta with Fresh Fiction. Please go ahead. Your line is
Preston: Hello, guys. How are you today?
Preston: Good. John, I was curious if you had any say in what
your character would look like or did you leave it all to
Ben and the animators to do that?
John: No. I didnít really. I mean, they all look like ducks,
so I mean, so I didnít try to change that. I think we did
have like a brief conversation Ben, about likeó
John: I was like really, youíre going to put curly hair on
the duck? Okay, I honestly donít remember. I just have so
much respect for Ben as an artist that I just was like,
whatever. Iím going to be delighted by whatever it is, so I
put myself in his hands regarding that.
John: Did you try to make him look like me, Ben?
Preston: Ben, could youó
Ben: I remember inventing this language as a whole, like what
the eyes, and the nose, and the mouth, and the hair would
function globally in the universe, but when it comes down to
characters, much like improv or a joke, that stuff just kind
of happens, and you can tweak it in the moment. But I donít
think thereís that much of a precise discussion in terms of
any of the design, itís more these overall rules. Thatís a
little nerdy, but the truth.
Preston: Well, thank you guys so much.
John: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. Next, weíll go to the follow-up from
Gonzo Green with BubbleBlabber.com. Please go ahead.
Gonzo: Hey again, guys.
John: You, again.
Gonzo: So, Benó
John: You did ask a follow-up, it was Step Brothers. You
burned your [indiscernible].
Ben: Yes. What the [indiscernible]?
Gonzo: This is myóI got back in line. This is totally fair.
Gonzo: So, Ben, being on FX with Stone Quackers, is there
anything different? In the past, youíve worked withóyouíve
had shows on FOX or Cartoon Network. Is there anything
different with dealing with FXX, with getting notes, or with
content that you can or cannot air, or any sort of influence
Ben: Yes. I mean, I think the main difference, so to speak,
or the main important amazing insane thing is that weíre on
after The Simpsons, and thatís like telling a young David
Letterman that heís going to be on after Johnny Carson. We
have this amazing opportunity, and I just canít even imagine
that weíre expanding on what theyíve done as a cultural
force, and not only just as a visual thing, so thatís what
this affords us. In terms of the specifics, like, yes,
again, I donítóI canít remember day-to-day on anything. I
canít even remember if we asked John if it was okay to make
him have a big beak, and chest hair, but yes, this is just
aboutóyou turn on, kids are watching The Simpsons, and then
all of a sudden they see a bunch of ducks. Thatís what FXX
is all about, and itís an amazing opportunity.
Gonzo: Is there anything that you wanted to do with this show
that you didnít get to do with any of the other shows you
worked on in the past?
Ben: Regrets. No, I thinkóthatís a great question. Good
Gonzo: Thank you.
Ben: This isóno, I donítóyes, itís hard for meóthereís a
great documentary by Errol Morris about the, I think itís
called The Fog of War. It just talks about making decisions
in the heat of the moment, and Iím definitely in The Fog of
War right now. So itís hard for me to quantify whatís going
on or in the past, but I think what weíre doing now feels
totally different. Like John said about improvising and
stuff, and itís something I justóI come from a very visual
background so Whit and Clay and John are just doing this,
itís kind of a workshop on how to be, how to create these
amazing stories, and characters, so thatís whatís different
about this show, and itís just so much better for it.
Gonzo: Great. Thank you very much.
Ben: And Heather, too.
Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Next, weíll go to the
line of Mallory Delchamp with Pop-Break.com. Please go
Mallory: Hello, again.
Mallory: Alright. This one is also for John. So, you have
tackled film and now animated television. What do you enjoy
most about the animation and voice-over process in
comparison to a film and making a movie?
John: Well, I just answered this. Were you listening to the
other person? I just gave a long detailed answer, but Iíll
repeat it. Yes. Actually, I have to brag for a second. I was
a guest star as myself on The Simpsons, one time.
Ben: Itís true.
John: And I got a residual check the other day from The
Simpsons for $0.01, which is a whole other conversation. But
yes, whatís different about this is the freedom of not
having to fight the clock, and not having to be worried
about the sun going down, and shooting movie scenes have
really pressurized situation because youíre trying to
quickly get lightening in a bottle, and then you have to
And, in animation you have this luxury of always having time
because the animators need time to draw, and so you can
horse around in the studio, you donít have to memorize all
the dialogue, you can just kind of freestyle, make mistakes,
go back, do it again, so it ends up being this really kind
of collegial fun thing, or it has been for me for the most
part. It has been all the time on this one.
Ben: No. I donít think we everó
John: Iíve done a couple of jobs where it didnít quite feel
like that, but this one, yes.
Ben: And, having John in the booth, I donít think weíve ever
kept anything in the script. I mean, he and whoever else is
in the scene find it in the process and yes, we have the
script to kind of outline whatís going on, but in essence
theyíre writing it in real time, which I assume is harder to
do in live action. I donít know. Maybe not.
Mallory: Alright. Thank you.
John: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. Next, weíll go to the line of Diana
Price with Inquisitor.com. Please go ahead.
Diana: Well, I was wondering, you were talking about you do a
lot of improvisation, so obviously youíre interacting in the
studio, which I know some shows the actresses have a script,
they go in, do their part, theyíre done. If you didnít have
that chance to improvise and interact, would you still be
interested in doing any animated series? This is for both of
John: No. I wouldnít be. Iíve had experiences like that, and
I have to say that it really stinks, you end up feeling
like, I donít know. It sort of feels like a manual labor job
or something, youíre just going in, plugging in, doing this
thing everyone told you to do, and then punching your card
and getting out, not seeing any of the other actors, and I
donít know. For better or worse, thatís not my skill set. My
skill set is like trying to come up with something
tailor-made for the moment, so I try to avoid those
situations that are going to end up like feeling like what
you just described. Ben?
Ben: I agree. Absolutely. Never.
Diana: Alright. Alright. Thanks, guys. And, one last quick
question, whatís your favorite cartoon or animated series of
Ben: The Simpsons.
John: Tennessee Tuxedo.
Diana: Okay. Thanks, guys.
Moderator: Okay. Weíll go to the line of Deborah Kessler with
The Interrobang. Please go ahead. Your line is open.
Deborah: Hi guys. You were mentioning that you do a lot of
improvising. How does that impactóis that common in animated
series? And, how does that affect the animators?
John: I donít know how common it is because this is the only
one Iíve ever done, but it doesnít seem to upset the
animators on this too much. Ben? Right?
Ben: Not at all because, again, we have everything in house,
and itís a small team so other processes takeó other studios
will take eight months to turnaround something. We can
turnaround something in five minutes, so if thereís a
change, weíve developed a work flow that plays to that.
Deborah: And, how far afield have you gone from the scripts
in the course of the series, so far?
Ben: Yes, 360 degrees to which we were back at the exact same
lines written on theónot. Not funny; 100%, absolutely.
John: Thereís a similar process to actually when Iíve worked
with Will Ferrell in the past where weóyou try to come up
with a really funny script then you do whatís written a few
times until like you feel like you did it really well, and
it was funny. Then you start goofing around, and you throw
it out, and then you cobble together something that best
fits, I guess, at the end of the day.
Deborah: Alright. Thanks so much, guys.
Moderator: Next, weíll go to the line of Kristyn Clarke with
Pop Culture Madness. Please go ahead. Your line is open.
Kristyn: Hi guys. Thank you so much for speaking with us
Kristyn: But, Iím curious. This question is for both of you.
What are, in your opinion, some of the key ingredients that
makes for good comedic TV?
John: Well, I think the number one thing is lack of
supervision from people who are not creative people in their
life. Thatís all the stuff that Iíve done with Tim and Eric
is like that, the stuff with Ben, like it just doesnít seem
like anyoneís really in charge except the creative people,
and thatís how it should be, I think. Thatís the best way to
get good results. I know whenever thereís someone in the
room that feels like your boss, that you have to obey, that
tends to kill the comedic spirit, in my experience.
Ben: I agree and I just want to go on record and say the
first minute after youíve watched everything that FXX and
FOX has ever produced you can watch Bag Boy and the first
minute of Bag Boy is some of the funniest, the funniest
scene Iíve ever seen on television. So, thatís the Holy
Bible for funny television.
Kristyn: Thatís our [indiscernible]. Right? Thank you so
Moderator: Thank you. Next, weíll go to the line of Kristen
Lye with Movie Pilot. Please go ahead. Your line is open.
Kristen: Hi guys. I was just wondering, if you guys could get
anyone to guest star on the show, who would it be? And, my
follow-up would be, what kind of character would you like to
build around them?
John: I would choose Don Knotts, and he would be like my
superior at the police station.
Ben: Thatís good. Yes. Iíll try to get that; Iíll try to
second that. We talked about Jerry Lewis. I donítóhe hasnít
gotten back to us, yet.
Kristen: Alright. Thanks, guys.
John: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. Next, weíll go to the line of Annasita
Donagoda with Mike the Fanboy. Please go ahead. Your line is
Annasita: Hi again. So, my question, why ducks? Any special
Ben: Yes. I think itís just kind of aó itís cartooning. Why
do cartoons even exist? Itís an interesting thing, I think.
Itís a way to kind of make something thatís even more human
than you can draw realistically, like sometimes you can
capture someoneís personality as a funny little drawing, and
certainly one where you turn humans into characters, they
become even more human, and I think itís a way for us to
just explore these characters as real funny people. Itís
just something Iíve always drawn.
Annasita: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you. (Operator instructions.) We will go to
the line of Angela Dawson with Front Row Features. Please go
Angela: Hi, again.
Angela: I wanted to ask you, since we live in a social media
world, what kind of feedback do you get from the fans on
this show? And, has any of the feedback influenced any of
John: I just want to say for the record that I donít live in
a social media world, actually. Well, how about you, Ben?
Ben: I donít know. Yes. BubbleBlabber, theyówe read every
review they give us. The first kind of big artistic thing I
did was PaperRad.org, and it was a website, so I donít
really differentiate anything, sounds like Iím a cyber punk
or something, but a specific answer would be yes, I think
the question itself is kind of aónot to criticize the
question but an old way of thinking where you do say these
things are disconnected, or thereís this new thing of social
media. To me, thereís no difference between walking down the
street and seeing a homeless person crap in an alley, and
reading something on Twitter. Itís all just the same
reality, so you have to navigate it intelligently. That made
sense, didnít it?
Angela: I have this picture in my head now.
Angela: But anyhow, my only other question, I guess for John
would be, I know somebody asked you about Step Brothers
earlier, but I do have to ask you about Wreck-It Ralph 2.
Itís been floating out there.
John: Donít waste your follow-up on this. Do you know how
much press Iíll have to do if that movieís made?
Angela: A lot.
John: Iíll talk to you about it then.
Angela: Okay. Thanks. Alright. Well, thank you guys.
John: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you.
Ben: I think I did a bad job with that question.
John: It was a striking image you created.
Moderator: Okay. And, next weíll go to the line of Diana
Price with Inquisitor.com. Please go ahead.
Diana: Well, you guys have talked a lot about improvisation,
so thereís probably a lot of stuff that doesnít make it to
the final cut thatís really entertaining. Any chance we
might get to see some outtakes, like I know the Boogie
Nights DVD, oh my God, the outtakes are hilarious of you,
John. Could we maybe see something like that with the show?
Ben: Yes. I will tweet them out to all for our fans which I
love and our fans on social media arenít homeless people
defecating in alleys, to tag the last answer that I gave.
John: Didnít they do that? What movie, what animatedóthey did
that like in Toy Story or somethingó?
Ben: Yes. Toy Story does a good job.
John: They took outtakes and made it like the cartoons were
goofing off camera, whatever.
Diana: That would be awesome.
Ben: Absolutely. We do plan to make little shorts and
literally tweet them out and put them on Instagram and Vine,
and I think thatís a great format and platform for really
fast, short, funny content.
Diana: Alright. Great. Thanks so much, guys.
Kristy: Alright. Well, I donít see any more questions in
queue, so we can end on that note for today. Thank you so
much to everyone for joining us and especially John and Ben.
We greatly appreciate your time. As a reminder, Stone
Quackers airs as part of FXXís Animation Domination, which
airs Thursday nights at midnight.
Ben: Thanks, John.
John: Thanks. See you later.
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our
conference for today. Thanks again for your participation
and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference Services. You
may now disconnect.
Back to the Main Articles
Back to the Main Primetime TV Page
We need more episode guide recap writers, article
writers, MS FrontPage and Web Expression users, graphics designers, and more, so
please email us
if you can help out! More volunteers always
Page updated 3/11/15