Adventure Time‘s Series Creator Stepped Down Last Season Without Telling Anyone, and Here’s Why
Awwww. Big hugs.
Yesterday Rolling Stone Magazine released a profile of Pendleton Ward, the series creator and former showrunner of Adventure Time. Yup, that’s right, former; according to the article, he stepped down in Season 5 because he could no longer handle the stress of running such a successful show. But it’s okay, we promise!
Ward explains his decision:
“To spend that extra energy and time you don’t have, to make something that’s worth making, to make it awesome, wears you out,” he says. […] “It’s a beast of a show. And the more popular it gets, the more the ancillary things – like the merchandise and games and everything – keep getting bigger.”
And so, Ward confesses, one day during Season Five, unbeknownst to his fans, “I quit because it was driving me nuts.”
He says this not with sadness or frustration, but with relief. “For me, having quality of life outweighed the need to control this project and make it great all the time.”
Here, want to feel sadder? Because they also asked Ice King voice actor Tom Kenny about Ward, and he compares the situation to that of Simon becoming the Ice King. How dare you, sir.
“I would guess that the way the Ice King feels like he’s going mad and things are spinning out of his control, that must be what it’s like to run a show like this,” says Kenny, who is also the voice of SpongeBob. “I’m sure Pen has felt like he’s losing his grip on reality because he’s the arbiter of everything. Sometimes it’s burdensome and you yearn for simpler times.”
But don’t worry, friends: Ward isn’t stepping down from the show entirely. He’ll remain on as one of the show’s storyboard artists and writers, and has plans for a possible Adventure Time movie or video game—though he’ll probably never chose to create another TV show again so he won’t have to handle the stress anymore. “Whatever the next thing is, I just want my brain to be happy doing it,” he said.
Read the rest of the fascinating profile over here at Rolling Stone.
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