Warning! The following contains spoilers from the Rick and Morty Season 7 episode "Air Force Wong." Read at your own risk!
Rick and Morty Season 7 is in progress, and fans will surely be pumped after this slow start in regard to the big stories that are to come. However, Episode 3 surely made some smile after it brought back one of the show's best gags. While it might've seemed like interdimensional cable bit might be ousted after Justin Roiland was fired by Adult Swim, a scene from the show's latest installment has me optimistic we'll see it more often.
Interdimensional cable had a chance to shine once again during "Air Force Wong," which showed Morty and his grandfather, Rick, watching the family TV. On the tube was Mr. Stabby, a talk show on which the eponymous host had a relatively popular program often derailed when he took questions from the audience. Rick asked why people continued to attend the show if the risk of being accidentally stabbed to death was so high, and Morty chalked it up to society's obsession with fame. Mr Stabby was later shown in a post-credits scene and confirmed in an interview that over 58,000 people have died watching his show. Check out the character below:
Longtime Rick and Morty fans are likely familiar with "Interdimensional Cable." These were the show's one-off episodes, in which the family gathered to watch cable from around the multiverse and riffed on how wild it was. Typically, these were mainly short nonsensical bits that sounded heavily improvised by the voice actors. (And said skill was also a strength of since-ousted series co-creator Justin Roiland.)
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The show featured a couple of Interdimensional Cable-centered episodes during Seasons 1 and 2, and the gag was sporadically referenced or mentioned in subsequent seasons. After Justin Roiland was booted from the show, however, one had to wonder if the random goofiness the show's been known for would fade along with his absence.
The Mr. Stabby sketch feels like a subtle suggestion by Rick and Morty's creative team that the Interdimensional Cable bits will continue, though it remains to be seen whether or not we'll ever get another full episode that highlights them. Perhaps the first two seasons set up unrealistic expectations that this would be an annual tradition, similar to The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror" specials. While that didn't come to be, it's great that the TV-centric joke seemingly hasn't been totally forsaken.
And on some level, I get why the series hasn't tried to do a lot of Interdimensional episodes. CinemaBlend lists the original, "Rixty Minutes," as the best Rick and Morty episode made so far, which is high praise given how great that first season is. That's certainly a high standard and following that up with annual installments just like it could be a tall order.
All in all, the recent season premiere helped me realize one thing about Justin Roiland's recasting, and it's that this series can and will continue to thrive without him. The use of a quality cable gag -- that he hypothetically had no hand in making -- helps to solidfy that notion. I'm hopeful that this is far from the last time we see this beloved gag employed during an episode. Though if it is, I can always use my Max subscription to rewatch past installments, I suppose.
Rick and Morty airs on Adult Swim on Sundays at 11:00 p.m. ET as part of the 2023 TV schedule. Tune in for more ridiculousness as Season 7 marches on!