Because The Walking Dead has such a massive audience, it’s not surprising that the over-emotional and outspoken subsection of that audience is also pretty large, which gives the equally outspoken Robert Kirkman a wide target when he wants to get mischievous with his jokes about the show. That’s just what happened on a recent episode of @midnight, where he slammed fans with a (presumably false) spoiler that sent certain parts of the Internet into a riled up frenzy. Check it out!
The joke here, for the three and a half people reading this that don’t know what’s going on, is in reference to the highly publicized Season 6 finale, which ended on a cliffhanger that disrupted some fans’ souls and became one of the most discussed TV episodes of the year so far. We’d all been waiting to see who the new villain Negan’s first victim would be, as foreshadowed by the iconic comic book moment, and it all ended before we could find out who it was. And Robert Kirkman is fully aware of how far-flung the debate over who died has gotten, so he decided to bring out his inner troll for an answer about terrible cliffhangers, suggesting that when Season 7 returns, Carl might get be the one who got his dome smooshed in.
It’s obvious to anyone thinking about it rationally that Kirkman was just goofing around there, since Carl is the least likely person besides Rick to meet Lucille. In the scene, just before shit got real, Negan threatened to cut out Carl’s eye and feed it to Rick. He certainly could have fed Rick the eye from a caved-in skull, but it’s not that likely.
This also isn’t the first time that Robert Kirkman has stood on the @midnight stage and rattled off a potentially fake spoiler. Last year, he was on the show and teased the epic Negan intro by blurting out the comic moment where Glenn was killed. It was almost controversial at the time, since Negan wasn’t on the tip of everyone’s tongues yet. Perhaps this will be an annual occurrence.
If there was an overlord of the creators in the Trivial Pursuit-category world of Arts & Entertainment that don’t take audience criticisms too seriously, Robert Kirkman’s head would wear that crown. The guy knows exactly what kind of blowback the show gets, and he also knows that there are millions of other fans that love what he’s doing, so he knows that the only way to really react to all of that is through humor. Assuming, of course, that you find the thought of Carl getting whacked by Negan humorous. (I do.)
The Walking Dead will return to AMC for Season 7 in October. To see everything we know about it so far, check out our Season 7 breakdown. In the meantime, check out everything else premiering in the next few months, check out our summer TV schedule. And @midnight can be found weeknights on Comedy Central.