Mike McMahan, Danielle Uhalrik, & Josh Bycel,

ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with Solar Opposites Writer/Co-Creator Mike McMahan, producer Danielle Uhalrik, and executive producer Josh Bycel. A Sinister Halloween Scary Opposites Solar Special debuts today on Hulu.

“Sometimes alien life can be spooky,” reads the special’s logline. “The Solar Opposites do a Halloween Special!”

Spencer Legacy: Yumyulack going to black and white Hell is a very fun concept. What was the creative process for that and making how hell looks?

Mike McMahan: I’ll tell you what the creative process is: fuck hell! Hell isn’t scary! That’s something that got made up to make you go to church. You want to know what’s really scary? Going into space! There’s not even any air in space, you know? We wanted to send Yumyulack somewhere that everybody’s supposed to be scared of, but Yumyulack — his whole planet was destroyed by an asteroid. He doesn’t give a shit about hell. He doesn’t give a shit about demons and all that stuff. We also wanted it to look like and feel like the old Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books, like that black and white kind of creepy nature to it. I think we don’t talk about sci-fi versus Hell stuff enough.

Where’s the sci-fi holiday? We got Halloween as the spooky holiday. Where’s the sci-fi holiday, I ask you! And I think Yumyulack would agree.

Josh Bycel: I will say though, there were many, many, many rounds of notes of what Satan actually looked like. We went back and forth on that, to the size of the horns, so that was a little bit behind the scenes. Lots of notes about what the great Satan does.

Mike McMahan: A big upside-down cross covering his penis. Classic Satan stuff. I think he looks great.

What is it that makes Holiday specials so fun to make compared to regular episodes?

Danielle Uhalrik: We like writing a show that kind of makes fun of TV because we’re all such giant fans of TV, and holiday specials are always so — in the spirit of every single TV show you’ve ever seen — they always have their Christmas specials or whatever. So it’s fun for us. It’s our little kind of Treehouse of Horror too, that we get to mess around with holidays. For the writing room, in particular, they’re our favorite episodes to write because they’re untethered to the Season and we just get to do whatever. We get to really scare, especially in the Halloween episode, we get to really scare Corvo.

Between the Great Pumpkin and the Tales from the Crypt stuff, the team’s very clearly fond of Halloween and Halloween media. What other spooky films and shows would you like to see the Solar Opposites tackle?

Josh Bycel: Ooh. Oh my God. Well, first of all, yes, I mean that was really the backdrop for us, is the Great Pumpkin. Once we were able to get John Kassir, who played a similar character in a show from a long time ago, we knew we were going to have fun. May Darmon, who wrote the episode, wrote amazing little ditties.

I’m going to be honest with you, I hate Halloween. I don’t like Halloween.

Mike McMahan: He’s the Corvo of —

Josh Bycel: No! I was too scared when I was a kid, my mom would never let me have candy, so I never got to keep any of my candy. I had terrible costumes. We probably won’t do Halloween again, but for me, the movies that scared me the most were the Poltergeist [films]. If we could do a Poltergeist thing, those were the movies that scared me the most. Poltergeist 1 and 2.

Mike McMahan: Next Halloween episode, we should do Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

Josh Bycel: Yeah!

Mike McMahan: What’s spookier than being at sea — the battleground! Watch out! Wooooo!

Danielle Uhalrik: That’s why I don’t like cruises. That sounds terrifying to me.

Josh Bycel: Very terrifying.

Danielle Uhalrik: You’re trapped on a hotel in the middle of the ocean.

Josh Bycel: Speaking of cruises, the other movie that Mike and I would like to do, if we were to do it again, was Ghost Ship.

Danielle Uhalrik: We watch that movie every year!

Mike McMahan: Ghost Ship is too spooky, I’ve only seen the opening.

I only saw the cover at Blockbuster and it scared me.

Josh Bycel: Very scary.

Mike McMahan: Or Deep Rising — amazing movie. Treat Williams. Not enough people see it. There’s a monster in it that drinks you. Highly recommend. Also takes place at sea.

Josh Bycel: Yeah.

The Yumyulack quote about adults with Halloween felt very personal [laughs]. Did you write that, or where did that come from?

Mike McMahan: I probably did. The meanest shit in Solar Opposites is probably straight from me. I mean, that’s kind of making fun of myself. I love people who geek out over that kind of stuff. I’ve got a lot of spooky friends that are kind of Halloween all year round. I love hanging out with them and I love how much they love and have opinions on the Haunted Mansion … but I do think if you’re going to combine people that I like who are very into things that are uncool, horse girls and Halloween people — you have very specific interests. So yeah, I’d say that like Yumyulack is me on my grouchiest day, sometimes. I guess that’s the least pleasant way to put it. But listen, Halloween people love drinking pumpkin beer. They love eating candy and they love watching movies. So I have no problem with Halloween people.

Danielle Uhalrik: We also want to give a giant shout-out. I know we did it a little bit, but May Darmon did such a great job writing this episode.

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