Milo Murphy’s law Creators Talk to us About Their Witty and Funny Show
I have to admit that when my two older kids made the move over to Disney and Disney XD from Disney Junior, I was a little sad. It felt like hey were growing up so fast in front of my eyes. With their move to the channels with shows that suited their age group came a switch in shows. During the #BeOurGuestEvent we had the opportunity to screen an episode of the show, then chat with creators Dan Povenmire & Jeff “Swampy” Marsh.
If you’re familiar with the epigram Murphy’s Law, then you know it means ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.’ The show premiered last fall on Disney XD. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I must admit that I was surprised at how much I really liked it. If you’re a fan of Phineas and Ferb, you’ll love this new show. We learned a few great things about the show and I’m excited about sharing them with you.
Weird Al Yankovic is one of the voice actors 0n the show so we asked them how it was working with the star on the show.
DP : He’s a horror to work with. No. He’s a wonderful, wonderful guy.
JM : Somebody said the weirdest thing about him is just how normal he is.
DP : True. He’s super, super normal. He’s not as wacky as I think people expect him to be, except on stage, or, you know doing one of his videos. But he’s about the nicest guy that we know. And that’s part of why we ended up with him, is we were looking for somebody to have this very positive voice without sounding put on.
We auditioned hundreds of people for Milo. And we auditioned kids. Seasoned voice actors. But when they try to do that super-positivity thing, it’d always come off sort of Pollyanna and false. And we were just like, we just need to find somebody who just actually has that voice, ’cause the character is sort of modeled after a friend of ours who just sounds that way when he talks. And, he just always sounds really positive.
And we needed to find somebody who has that positivity just naturally. And Weird Al came in and did a voice on Gravity Falls. And Alex, who runs Gravity Falls, posted it, and I was like — oh. Weird Al. Weird Al would be like — I’ve met him. I’ve seen him interviewed. He’s like, this super, super positive guy. What does he sound like? I had to like, look up an interview with him to remind myself what his voice sounded like. And we had him come in, and it was just — just immediately worked.
Dan and Swampy shared that they love going online the day after the show airs and see what fans think about the episode. We asked what they look for when they are online.
DP : Well, a lot of times you’re looking to see what starts getting quoted, you know. It’s like, there’s always the Monday morning gag. That’s what we’re always looking for. The Monday morning gag. The gag that kids will come to school and talk about.
JM : It’s nice to know that things that you were hoping that would connect, do connect, and also I think I look for it to find the surprising things I didn’t expect.
JM : And that’s kind of the joy. You think, oh, there’s this whole other thing that happened that I really didn’t anticipate.
DP : You guys laughed at something that we weren’t expecting you to laugh at, and I can’t remember what it was, but I was like, “Oh, I guess that is funny.” You know. I hadn’t thought of it that way at all, but it was like, that’s always fun, when you get a laugh for something that you’re like, “Oh, that’s a surprise. Yeah.”
Jeff talked to us about how his grandkids inspire him in witing the series and how they appear in the show. I really liked hearing that he includes them in the show.
JM : They show up as little characters in there, too. [LAUGHS] Every time you’re with ’em, there’s fun little behaviors and things you don’t think about until you see your grandkids, people that young, doing stuff that you think it’s funny.
DP : I have two girls, and one’s named Isabella, who I named Isabella in Phineas and Ferb after. And so when I was drawing out these characters, I put a “Melissa” in there, and I — and I had it on my desk, and I went to sleep, and my oldest daughter, Isabella, had woken up before me and she left a Post-It on that said, “Daddy, this is not fair. You can’t put Melissa into this show and not have an Isabella.”
And I had to call her. And say, “You realize that there’s a big hit show with a character that’s named after you?” Yes. But Isabella doesn’t look like me. And that looks like Melissa. And I go, “Oh, I can’t win. I cannot win.” It’s like, “Well, because you weren’t quite born yet. We knew we were having an Isabella, and we — and we — you know, so I just like, made it look like your cousin.”
Dan and Swampy also voiced Dakota and Cavendish and we asked whether it was planned or if it was just a happy accident. As a fan of Phienas and Ferb it made me happy to hear the familiar voices in ths show.
DP : Yeah, I think — Dakota and Cavendish — that whole concept of that came out of the writers room. That wasn’t part of our original concepts.
JM : Our writers, mocking us.
DP : I think the writers were like, “We need somebody to cut away to,” because they were used to doing Phineas and Ferb, and then cutting away to Perry and Doofenshmirtz. And they pitched this idea of these time travelers, and then the whole like, what they do and everything came out of that meeting. But when I drew it, I sort of was drawing it with thought of me being that guy, and you being Cavendish.
That’s just been a fun thing to do. And we get to be in the record room together, which we never did. He was Monogram, and I was Doofenshmirtz, and there were only like, three episodes where they even had a conversation, because they were usually separated by distance.
So with a show was so much bad luck we had to ask who has all the bad luck between the pair. What really inspired this funny and witty show.
DP : People have asked me a couple times, how did you deal with all of the adversity that happened to you in your career, for instance, and I always look back on that, I always scratch my head and think, was there — did I have adversity? And I look back, and there’s a lot of things that went wrong throughout that, and I think Swampy and I are both very positive in our outlook of life.
So when things go wrong, we just go around it. And people often think that you’re going down this path, and if you turn this way it’s success, and this way it’s failure. And that’s not at all what it is. It’s failure, failure, failure, failure, success, you know. You just have to keep going down whatever path you’re on, and if there’s failure here, you turn that way. If there’s failure here, you know you turn that way, and you just keep going.
And I think that’s part of what we were trying to do with Milo is that, things are going to go wrong for everybody, if there’s anything that we want the kids to know from this, it’s that if things go wrong in your life, don’t let it ruin your day, much less your life. Find the positive spin on it.
JM : My little brother and I have always grown up with people saying, “I can’t believe you guys turned out the way you did.” My mom is now living in Montana with husband number seven, so there was some chaos growing up. But we always thought, well, it’s your choice, what you do with that. Either it buries you, or it makes you an interesting person, with a lot of experience that no one else had. And I always thought, you know, when we started creating Milo, I always thought that was the coolest thing about a character like that, is that whatever life’s throwing at you go, “Well. I’m going to know how to deal with that. It’s going to make a little tougher. A little stronger. A little more interesting. A little more fun.” Whatever it is, that’s a great thing to know, because life’s going to throw stuff at everybody. And you have to figure out —
DP : Nobody really leads a charmed life. They just exist within the life that they have in a positive way.
One thing we asked and knew I had to share was advise from Swampy to young kids with the dream to become an annimator when they grow up.
JM : Throw away their erasers. The whole thing that I always see people doing, or kids, that are drawing, or trying to create perfect drawings or beautiful drawings, and somebody much wiser than me once said, “I think there’s 10,000 bad drawings, and everybody, your job is to get them out as quickly as possible, and you only do that by doing more drawings.”
Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong will. That doesn’t bode well for 13-year-old Milo Murphy, a descendant of the man for whom the law was named, and who feels like he’s living it. Milo is always expecting the unexpected. He’s prepared for anything that comes his way, though, as he is armed with knowledge, a backpack full of supplies and a strong sense of optimism to help him get through any problem. Milo has best friends Melissa and Zack by his side to help think outside the box to overcome the obstacles that life puts in their way. Multiple Grammy winner “Weird Al” Yankovic provides the voice of Milo, in addition to performing the show’s theme song and other tunes featured on the animated series.
Milo Murphy’s Law airs on Disney XD, new episodes premiered on Monday, March 6th and continue to air throughout the month of March. Check your local listings for air times and dates.