2006 interview with
co-writer Michael Aiello!
Once again co-writer (and
this year director!) of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Bill & Ted
show took the time to answer some questions about this year's show! Not
Bill & Ted's Excellent Online Adventure:
It's another year, another Halloween show! Were you able to find enough
good inspiration in the events of the past year to put together another great
I think so! Every year there are a few pop culture moments that simply
must be highlighted. <<Cough - Tom Cruise - cough>> The
challenge is to present these moments in such a way that is different than what
has already been seen. I think we accomplished that this year.
show is returning to the Wild West Stage this year. Were there any special
challenges in writing the show to fit this venue again?
Mike: I am
thrilled to be back in the Wild West / Fear Factor arena. It is where the
show was born and where, in my opinion, it truly thrives. The Toon Arena
over at Islands of Adventure was great but the show in West is a much more
intimate experience. The only real difficulty was having to conform to an
existing set rather than have one built from scratch. This was a new
challenge for Kenny and I since we have been writing in Toon for 4 years.
B&TEOA: What's it
like working with Kenny Babel on the scripts? Do you each have particular
strengths you bring, like one of you works more on the plot and the other on the
jokes or is it really divided evenly?
Mike: Working with
Kenny is an absolute joy. Kenny is a fountain of ideas, they just keep
coming. He is a truly brilliant and gifted individual. When we write
the show, we pretty much throw bits and jokes at each other and we see what
sticks. We act out bits in our office make a lot of noise and laugh
constantly. In no way do we consider writing this show "work".
We normally start with looking at the previous
year's show. We ask ourselves, what worked, and what didn't work.
From there, we decide what would we like to do to Bill and Ted this year.
Since the show started 15 years ago, Bill and Ted have been thrown into all
kinds of situations, they've been killed and we've even turned one of them
evil. What will we do this year to change them up, how will we keep them
renewed so to speak. We then decide who our main villain will be and then
what is his reason for being there. From there we start deciding
characters and funny bits and situations for each character. Then we
meditate and sacrifice gummy bears to the god of creativity.
B&TEOA: When you
and Kenny aren't working on the Bill & Ted Halloween Show at this time of
the year what are your jobs at Universal Studios? Mike:
Kenny has been performing at universal in a number of shows since the day the
park opened and continues to do so to this day. I am a show director for
Universal Orlando. I write and direct shows for the parks all year round
and was thrilled to direct my first Bill and Ted this year.
B&TEOA: Can you
give us a sneak peek of some of the things fans are going to see this year?
Mike: You will
definitely see a different side of Bill and Ted this year.
B&TEOA: Is there
any subject which you've agreed can't be touched or parodied, either for
sensitivity or copyright reasons?
Mike: We are a theme
park business so there are always areas which present some challenge. It
is a PG-13 show so we can get pretty edgy but there is a line.
B&TEOA: What do you
think is the appeal of having Bill & Ted head the show each year?
Mike: To me, Bill and
Ted represent the audience. They are the everyman thrown into the
unbelievable situation. They are heroes and rock stars. The audience
latches on to them and relates to their brand of humor.
B&TEOA: The show is
such a fan favorite at Halloween Horror Nights. Will the show (hopefully)
continue for years to come?
Mike: This year
has been a great success so I hope so! I need the gig. I've got a
family to feed!