Thursday was day one of this year’s New York Comic-Con at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan and for the third straight year, NYCC welcomed the stars and creative forces behind IFC’s Stan Against Evil. Creator Dana Gould describes the show as the X-Files meets his dad. The show stars John C. McGinley as Stan, a curmudgeonly former sheriff who is forced to save the world from evil is a small New Hampshire town aided by the new sheriff Evie (Janet Varney) and an array of wild characters. Season 3 debuts on IFC on Halloween night, and we had a chance to talk to Gould at New York Comic-Con about the IFC television series and preview the third season.
Geeks of Doom: So what is in store for fans of the show as we enter Season 3, now that all hell has broken loose?
Dana Gould: Well, a portal opened up and hell backed into the world like dirty water into a bathtub. One thing I learned on The Simpsons was to tell big stories little and little stories big. It was a great lesson. So I sat down to write and I said okay, they’re trapped in Hell, how do I tell that story in a small way? What’s the Twilight Zone episode here? What I came up with was that Stan and Evie are in their private Hell, so for Stan no one listens to him and for Evie, she’s accused of murder. Both end up living through their private hells. Once I get that going I can get into the story arc of this season, which is that Stan thinks he has a way to end the curse of Willard’s Mill for good in one fell swoop. It involves him aligning himself with a demon. And it’s a terrible idea. And like all “brilliant” ideas, it blows up in his face. It was based on the fact that the only way we won WWII was by working with Stalin… but then you’re allies with Stalin! What if Stan went to someone for help to defeat Constable Eccles but they want something? So that was the arc of the season. That allowed me to do what I initially envisioned, the story as a vehicle to parody horror movies I love. We have an X-Files episode, we have a kaiju story and fight. We have an evil puppet episode and a salute to Meet the Feebles. We have a Japanese ghost hospital movie episode. We basically just take movies we love and go from there. After I wrote the first two episodes I’ll go to the writers and say, I really like this Japanese horror film Infection, and we’ll all watch it and discuss what’s the Stan Against Evil version of this? And we bang it out and we try to work it into the mythology. I really wanted to do a Godzilla episode, but how do you do that… then you figure how and it’s just so much fun.
He went on to discuss his writing process and the naughty joke that couldn’t be told on The Simpsons… or written out here. When asked about future ideas for Stan Against Evil, he said he’s filled with new ideas every time he sees a new horror film.
“We’ve never done a Paranormal Activity episode. And somehow, some way we need a Planet of the Apes, or Planet of the Something, and there must be a chase through a cornfield!”
He promised to tie up the mythology of seasons 1 – 2 in the upcoming season and cited one of his favorite shows, The X-Files, for having great fun episodes intermixed with an overly convoluted mythology. “If Stan Against Evil was a book, season 3 is the end of part 1.”
Stan Against Evil seasons 1 – 2 are available on Hulu now and season 3 debuts on IFC on Halloween night at 10pm and will run for 8 episodes. NYCC continues throughout midtown Manhattan everywhere from MSG to the Javits Center until the end of Sunday.