We’ve known Seth Green had a serious side to him since he took the EW Pop Culture Personality Test last fall and told us that the last time he yelled at the TV was when Joe Biden and Sarah Palin debated health care. This Friday, he’s among the stars (including Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, and the Jonas Brothers) bringing humor to ABC’s Un-Broke: What You Need to Know About Money special (May 29, 9 p.m. ET). Hosted by Good Morning America’s financial contributor Mellody Hobson, Un-Broke aims to educate children and adults about credit cards, mortgages, the stock market indexes, investing, 401(k) plans, and recovering from a personal credit crisis. Green phoned us to chat about his Cribs-inspired sketch, embedded below, and, because everyone is forced to multi-task in this economy, also his new Adult Swim series Titan Maximum, and the upcoming/very special Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II DVD release.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you get involved in Un-Broke, and where did the idea for your bit, on potential homeowners buying what they can afford, come from?
SETH GREEN: I know Mellody Hobson, and she asked me if I wanted to be a part of it. It was all their idea. They were lookin’ for a way to talk to kids about how to preserve the security of their financial future in a way that didn’t seem dry. In this day and age, our attention spans are so short because we’re just being bombarded with infinite amounts of media everyday. You can see it reflected in the fact that if an actor doesn’t have a movie out at that moment, people are like, “What the hell is that actor doing?” Green Day’s album and Eminem’s album came out, and I didn’t even know. I can guarantee both of their distribution companies were advertising the hell out of it. There’s too much information. There’s a lot of basic how-to truths to living that are getting lost because no one’s taking the time to explain them to kids, and kids, quite frankly, don’t have the interest or attention span to learn stuff that isn’t fun. I think Mellody’s whole plan was to try to make this necessary education a little more fun and relatable so that kids who have no idea how to make sure they’re not broke by the time they’re 17 have something that they can listen to without getting exhausted.
Has the economy affected the Robot Chicken offices?
Well, we used to have $30 to make this show, and now we’ve got $29.60. We’ve had to tighten our belts a little bit. Not as many Mike and Ikes in the candy dish. [Laughs]
In happier news, Adult Swim announced earlier this month that your next stop-motion series, Titan Maximum, will premiere in September. Tell us about it.
I’m so excited about Titan Maximum! We loved all the Super Robot Fighting Force shows that we grew up with, and we wanted to make one that was a little more knowing. There are all these fantastic things that you take for granted in entertainment. What would that really be like: The galaxy has entrusted its safety and security to a bunch of teenagers piloting giant robots? It’s a terrible idea. That’s really the premise of the show. They all form the robot Titan Maximum the same way that five different pilots have independent Lion bots that form the giant robot Voltron. A team that’s spent their whole careers working together is turned on by one of its own members. He’s tired of being second best and really wants to be a superawesome bad guy.
And that’s the character you’re voicing?
Yeah. I play the bad guy, Gibbs. He’s kind of a Jeremy Irons-y kind of guy.
Thanks to Twitter, I know you’ve been having guests in the office to do Robot Chicken DVD commentaries. Is that for season 4?
Yes. Ohmygosh, people are Twittering on our behalf. [Laughs]
I follow Nathan Fillion. You can thank him for mentioning cyborgturkey when he was there.
Nathan Twittered about us, too? Ohmygosh, this Twitter. This is what I’m talking about: This is when I knew I’m aging. I’m like [in old man voice], “You kids with your computers and your Twittering.”
So you clearly don’t write the cyborgturkey Tweets.
No, I don’t. And you should say this: Any person claiming to be me on MySpace or Facebook or Twitter is a liar and potentially a sneaky bad person. But cyborgturkey is people from the show Twittering on behalf of the show.
So in addition to Nathan, who else do you have doing commentaries?
We got Joel McHale, David Faustino, Tila Tequila…. Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II is gonna come out before that. We’re putting that out [on July 21].
What’s the best bonus feature on that DVD going to be?
There are 15 minutes of never-before-seen footage that we’re producing exclusively for the DVD that are showing in context to create a 35-minute seamless program. And then there’s like 90 minutes of extras. I cannot even impress upon you how big the promotion’s gonna be. I can’t get into that because all the legal’s not worked out yet, but I love our fans and we’re gonna do something absolutely crazy for them.
Yes, ma’am. I don’t want to hint too hard, but if you buy the DVD it will give you something that will give you something much greater in the future. Sort of like a Kenner 1979 Proof of Purchase to mail away for a rocket-firing Boba Fett. Inside this DVD is something special…that I can’t legally talk about yet. [Laughs] It’s so cool. I’m so excited. You don’t know. ‘Cause I come up with crazy s— all the time and rarely does somebody say, “All right, let’s do that” And this is exactly one of those situations.
Any guesses, PopWatchers?
More Seth Green:
Seth Green takes the EW Pop Culture Personality Test
PopWatch Duel: Seth Green vs. his Robot Chicken cocreator Matthew Senreich on whose geekiest possessions are geekier
Seth Green Q&A on Weird Al, his worst audition, and working with Robin Williams