HBO Max's Close Enough Creator On Those Awesome Regular Show Callbacks

close enough family josh emily and candice

As awesome as HBO Max is for all the classic shows available in its massive library (not to mention the movies), audiences should also be very aware of all the original series available on the streaming service, both now and in the future. For those who enjoy the ribald pleasures of adult-oriented animated series, it doesn't get better than Close Enough, which hails from Regular Show creator J.G. Quintel. Close Enough centers on married couple Josh (Quintel) and Emily (Gabrielle Walsh), who attempt to remain cool in their 30s while parenting their adorable and not-so-precocious daughter Candace (Jessica DiCicco).

The animated series, which was initially set as a TBS original before that Louis C.K. mess happened, is a logical follow-up to Regular Show's buddy-comedy approach and features quite a few references to the beloved Cartoon Network show. CinemaBlend spoke with J.G. Quintel about all things Close Enough, and we definitely discussed the callbacks to his former series, from the obvious to the somewhat hidden.

While introducing this new world to audiences, the first episode of Close Enough features a couple of details that should have immediately caught Regular Show viewers' eyes and ears. (To be fair, these were in the trailers, too.) The first would be that J.G. Quintel himself voices Josh, who shares many of the same "yeah-yuh" vocal stylings as Mordecai, with Gabrielle Walsh's Emily also adopting that same cadence at times. Speaking of, Emily rocks basically the same ponytail hairdo that Regular Show's Eileen does. Now let's get into some other specific references.

close enough kitchen wallpaper regular show

The Kitchen Wallpaper

Here's what J.G. Quintel had to say about the kitchen wallpaper Josh and Emily's apartment, which they share with divorced couple Bridgett (Kimiko Glenn) and Alex (Jason Mantzoukas).

There's a bunch in there. We definitely peppered them in. I mean, if you look at the wallpaper of the kitchen – that apartment that they live in was one of the first places in L.A. that I lived after college, and it had wallpaper like that. But we changed the designs to be abstracted versions of Regular Show characters, so if you look up close, you can find them all in there.

If you look up at the above picture, it shouldn't be too hard to make out each of the Regular Show characters, and even the house, once you have an idea of what to look for. It's quite easy to pick out Pops' big round head and little top hat, as well as Muscle Man's mullet, Skips' fur, Benson's similarly round head, Hi-Five ghost's smile, and of course the central duo of Mordecai and Rigby.

close enough josh and dog boy

Rigby Voice Actor Bill Salyers

Speaking of the raccoon slacker, Close Enough did indeed feature a reteaming of J.G. Quintel and Rigby's voice actor Bill Salyers, though obviously not as their former characters. Instead, Salyers popped up in Close Enough's finale "Canine Guy" as another talking animal. Here's how Quintel explained it.

Dog Boy was voiced by Bill Salyers, who played Rigby. So there's a very subtle Regular Show reference within that moment, only because I feel like he's short like Rigby compared to Josh, who's taller. [Laughs.] It's a very oblique reference.

Oblique though it may be, it only feels right for Close Enough to have brought J.G. Quintel and Bill Salyers together again after having spent eight seasons and a movie together on Regular Show. For what it's worth, Jason Mantzoukas also appeared in a trio of Regular Show episodes, voicing the memorable side characters Sad Sax Guy and Scabby Grossman.

regular show house on close enough

Mordecai And Rigby's House

That's right, Mordecai and Rigby's signature Regular Show house didn't only show up as part of the kitchen's wallpaper, but it actually made a full-blown appearance very early on in Season 1. In J.G. Quintel's words:

In 'Perfect House,' when it's just like scanning by shots of real estate, there's like a very clear shot for like a second of the Regular Show house that's for sale.

Don't expect to find that house in an actual park like you would on Regular Show, though. This house is set on "park-like grounds." Totally different, and I'm betting you'd hear the same from those intense-looking realtors that I can't help but think are themselves references to Sonic Youth founders Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore.

close enough demonic skateboard deck

The Backwards Message

The best segue in this story: Just like the reissued cassette for Sonic Youth's debut album featured the entire album backwards on its B-side, Close Enough also featured its own moment with backwards audio. Here's J.G. Quintel on the detail that likely flew right past more casual viewers who may or may not have found themselves shopping on Amazon after hearing it.

There's like a really funny one that someone did find. I wasn't gonna say anything about it until someone found it, but I saw someone find it. In the 'Skate Dad' episode when Candice is picking her board, and she's pointing and she goes 'That one,' and it cuts in on that evil-looking board and it sounds all crazy. If you play that backwards, it says 'Buy Regular Show DVDs.'

That advice most certainly falls under the category of "heavenly" and not "demonic," amirite? Maybe now that Close Enough is out and putting Regular Show back on everyone's radar – as if it had ever left – maybe we can look forward to a Complete Series Blu-ray box set here in the U.S. in the future. Or at the very least, some chocolate ca-a-a-a-ake.

What other Regular Show references did you catch in the first season of Close Enough? Be sure to let us know in the comments, and don't forget to include timestamps so other fans can find them with the quickness.

All eight episodes of Close Enough Season 1 are available to stream on HBO Max, as are all eight seasons of Regular Show, along with the movie. After you finish streaming them all over and over again, be sure to stay current with our Summer 2020 TV premiere guide and our Fall 2020 TV schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.