“Rick and Morty” airs its Season 3 finale on Sunday, and co-creator Dan Harmon‘s favorite part of the year was Pickle Rick, provided it was your favorite part of the year.
Harmon told TheWrap that he wasn’t exactly surprised that fans of the Adult Swim series he created with Justin Roiland were so tickled pink by “Pickle Rick,” Season 3’s third episode that involved Rick Sanchez transforming himself into the snack item.
“That one got kind of hyped because we mentioned it at Comic-Con a year before it premiered,” Harmon said. “Tattoos of Pickle Rick were being Instagrammed before the episode aired, so certainly those people knew they were going to like it. If I say I’m not surprised [by its popularity], then I sound like a tool.”
As to whether Harmon liked that episode more than any other from the third season, he told TheWrap that his enjoyment of his creations is always contingent on how the audience reacts.
“I make no bones about that I’m a little bit of a sociopath creatively, in that if the audience doesn’t like something, then I don’t like it,” the “Community” creator said. “I follow my bliss and try to go with my own definitions. I don’t operate in the writers room in terms of what I think is going to make people happy. I make myself happy because I know if I don’t do that, I’ll fail.”
He was quick to add, “However, the entire time I’m doing that, following my own bliss, I’m thinking, ‘Geez, is anyone going to like this?’ And if they don’t, then I blew it because it’s TV, not a personal massage device that there’s going to be one consumer for — weird metaphor. Pickle Rick’s my favorite because it’s everyone else’s favorite.”
Another heralded episode, “The Ricklantis Mixup” — which featured the villainous iteration of one of the title characters’ successful political campaign within the Citadel — stands out among the others for Harmon. He refers to it as a “weird tonal experiment” and may consider its success to be a greater achievement than “Pickle Rick.”
“I’ve seen articles that have said the fans have decided, ‘OK, now [‘Ricklantis’] is the best episode of all three seasons’ — part of my brain goes, ‘What, so was Pickle Rick chopped liver? F– you?’” Harmon joked. “I would be way more proud if that’s the best episode we ever did because it’s almost a full-blown drama. That brings me back to my ‘Community’ days of genre defying.”
He concluded: “I don’t know — whatever, man. Whatever people like, I’m like, ‘That’s my favorite, too!’”
“Rick and Morty” airs its Season 3 finale Sunday at 11/10c on Adult Swim.