Rick and Morty, a sci-fi cartoon about a sociopathic grandpa (Rick) and his wimpy teenage grandson (Morty), pokes fun at every single aspect of the human condition while entertaining viewers with bizarre and intricate space adventures, character dynamics, and farcical jokes.
The “comic hero” in the case of this series could be exemplified by the two titular characters, Rick and Morty. Rick is entirely self-absorbed and resistant to any kind of emotion, yet his jokes about everybody else’s inferiority are delightfully funny. Morty is an insecure lackey to his grandfather, yet his naivety and optimism about the universe contrast with Rick’s pessimism to the point where to not have Morty is to have just a depressed, alcoholic grandfather.
The concerns of these two characters are nowhere near similar to the concerns of normal people. Whether Rick is being hunted for a war crime he committed or the duo is running from snakes who play jazz, their situations are anything but relatable. However, the comedic moments don’t come from silly aliens or outlandish time travel plots, they come from the stuff of “ordinary people”: the interpersonal interactions. Rick and Morty mostly remain regular, flawed individuals throughout the show. With the backdrop of fantastical space travel, their normality bites through what could be a show based solely on creative sci-fi concepts and is, instead, showing what would happen if one of the most problematic and intelligent people in the world could do anything related to the science fiction genre and was accompanied by his slightly stupid grandson.
The comedy in Rick and Morty is derived from character interactions, but that is also where the meaning of the show is derived. When we see the way that Rick disregards sincerity and attempts from his family to reach out to him, we can laugh at his resistance while also understanding that this behavior is toxic. Audiences can agree that Morty’s obsession with his high school crush is adolescent and hilarious, yet they also realize that changing oneself for another person is ultimately unhealthy. The actions of the characters of Rick and Morty make us laugh at the stupidity of human behavior, but also inspire us to act differently. By watching Rick and Morty fumble and fail in their social lives, we as audiences can understand how we do not want to behave in our own.