It’s no secret that the pandemic has royally screwed up things in Hollywood, as we’ve seen delays and filming halts galore. For Adult Swim’s animated series Rick and Morty though, things are actually looking pretty bright. That’s even though the crazy sci-fi series famously has a very wonky release schedule. The fifth season is on the way, and voice actress Sarah Chalke reveals the wild way she recorded her part of Beth amidst the pandemic.
Having been with Rick and Morty since 2013 and also being a regular in Paradise PD, Sarah Chalke is no stranger to voice acting. Voice acting for an animated series is a little different mid-pandemic, though, as Chalke reveals she’s had to get a little creative with her recording set-up at home. On an episode of the podcast 10 Questions with Kyle Brandt, the former Scrubs actress says she used her son’s bunk bed, a bunch of duvets, and a little help from Harry Potter to achieve recording greatness for Rick and Morty. In Chalke’s own words:
It’s been so cool doing animation is such a different way to work and kind of awesome we’ve gotten to continue it through the pandemic... So, it’s going great. It started out at the beginning of the pandemic we just had to do a couple pickups. So not full episodes, just like this line here, this line there. So, we each had a tiny microphone and we had to create the most acoustically favorable environment. I took the lower bunk bed in my son’s bunk bed, took every duvet in my house and like hung them around. Every pillow and stuff and then stacked up Harry Potter books and precariously balanced this microphone on top…
It sounds like Sarah Chalke really took a page out of her character’s father’s book to pull that one off, although Rick would probably employ a more disastrously scientific technique. I feel like the Rick and Morty creators may have just been testing the actress, though, to see if she did indeed pick up anything from Beth, seeing as the character could probably perform a horse operation in the worst of scenarios.
If you thought, “Hey, maybe they should help the woman out” when picturing Chalke recording on a microphone covering Harry Potter’s face, you’d be right, because there’s apparently a way easier solution. It turns out that the “pickups” Sarah Chalke was recording in her duvet fort were just a tease and later had to figure out a better solution to record full episodes at home while the pandemic was still going strong. In the same interview, she talks about actually getting pretty into researching how to get the best at-home setup, but after talking to the show’s sound guys a much more sensible solution came about. Here it is in her own words:
Once we realized we’d be in this for a while and we’d be doing full episodes for Rick and Morty I did a deep dive on the internet for how to build your own sound booth and learned more about green glue and face traps and clips and all this stuff. And I talked to a few sound guys that were like, ‘You’re going to get 95% of the way there and you’re never going to get that last 5% to make it perfect’...they make real vocal booths and put them on the crate and like ship them to you and you put it together like LEGO… so I’ve been recording Beth from in there.
I mean, the effort was solid on her part though. Good hustle, Sarah Chalke, you’d make Rick more proud than Morty ever has. There’s no telling exactly when we’ll get to hear what that effort sounds like, as there is no confirmed release date to Season 5 of the hilarious series yet. However, perhaps we won’t have to wait too long as the writers are already on Season 7, which is huge when you think about the rate in which we’ve received new Rick and Morty episodes in the past. Until then, wubba lubba dub dub!