EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Phineas and Ferb creators Dan and Swampy on new show Milo Murphy’s Law
It’s not uncommon to feel like you’re the unluckiest person in the world, but what if you actually were?
That’s the premise behind the absolutely hilarious new Disney series Milo Murphy’s Law, which is created by Phineas and Ferb creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff ‘Swampy’ Marsh.
The series follows a young boy called Milo Murphy, who is fittingly a descendant of Murphy’s Law namesake Edward Murphy, as he approaches having the worst luck in the world with endearing optimism.
Even trips as mundane as the school run become an adventure when you’re Milo Murphy. Catastrophes such as out-of-control vehicles, nuclear spills and alien abductions quickly become a regular occurrence. And let’s not even talk about attending a football game…
We chatted to Dan and Swampy about what inspired Milo Murphy’s Law, choosing parody legend Weird Al Yankovic to voice him, and throwbacks to cult favourite Phineas and Ferb.
“We wanted a show that would be funnier than absolutely hilarious,” says Dan, “We were working together on Phineas and Ferb and finishing that show and looking at what we should do after that. I was drawing some stuff for another pitch, and I had this secondary character that I had drawn that was sort of a caricature of a friend of ours. He’s super positive. I had this voice in my head of this super positive kid.
“Every time I looked at the drawing, I always thought ‘I think this kid should have his own show. I feel like this is the lead of an entirely different show.’
“So I went in to Swampy and I said ‘you know this character I put into this’ and he said ‘I always felt this character should have his own show.’ ‘Yes! We should do it together. What should it be?’ And he was like ‘What have you got?’ and I said “I just think of him as super positive’ and he said ‘What if he’s positive in the face of everything going wrong?'”
It turned out to be a golden idea – but how did they find the perfect voice actor to portray the world’s most positive kid?
“We were looking for somebody that sounded naturally positive,” Dan tells us. “We auditioned a whole bunch of really great actors but when they would try to put on that positivity it would sound just a little bit put on. […] It sounded like it was compensating for something. We needed to find somebody who just sounds positive.”
“You meet Al, that’s him!” laughs Swampy, “He’s the most positive guy you’re ever gonna meet.”
Dan and Swampy have worked on some of the biggest names in animation, including The Simpsons and Family Guy – but they’re best known for creating Phineas and Ferb, a comedy series about two stepbrothers who get up to trouble during their summer vacation. The show ran from 2007 to 2015 on Disney Channel, collecting records, praise and fans throughout its run.
Dan and Swampy are hoping those same fans will stick around for Milo Murphy’s Law, with Swampy saying: “If you like Phineas and Ferb, you’ll like this because it’s still our sense of humour.
Dan adds: “We think of it as existing in the same universe, the way the Marvel universe is all connected. […] There’s lots of little Easter Eggs in the background for kids who are watching, which they all find and they immediately start talking about on Twitter.”
“My favourite one is we put a periodic table on and at the bottom we created a fictitious element called Pizzazium Infinionite and we put it on a chart,” says Swampy, “A day later, someone leapt on and said ‘I FOUND THE PIZZAZIUM!'”