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Rock Paper Scissors Creators Talk New Nickelodeon Series

Rock Paper Scissors Creators and Executive Producers Kyle Stegina and Josh Lehrman discuss new Nickelodeon series in this interview.

Rock, Paper, and Scissors are best friends and roommates who lovingly compete over everything in hilarious but mostly wildly absurd ways in the new Nickelodeon animated series, Rock Paper Scissors. Ron Funches (Rock), Thomas Lennon (Paper), Carlos Alazraqui (Scissors) are the perfect casting choices as they bring these characters to life in a way that you have to see to believe. 

We caught up with Rock Paper Scissors creators and Executive Producers Kyle Stegina and Josh Lehrman to discuss where the inspiration for this series came from, as well as how they found the design of the characters. They also detail bringing on the incredible cast and the importance of making content the whole family can watch together.

Executive Producers Kyle Stegina and Josh Lehrman Talk Rock Paper Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors Review

Tessa Smith: Where did the idea for Rock Paper Scissors come from?

Josh Lehrman: Most of the time in writing, it is a grind to try to figure out what we’re going to work on for Kyle and me. We’re trying to figure out, is there anything we want to talk about that’s going on in the world? Is there anything fanatically that’s going on in our lives? And this was just something that came to me in the shower, and it came quickly. It was such a good idea that I turned off the shower to write it down, which I never do. And then I pitched it to Kyle later. And he was like, Yeah, I see that. Which is the immediate response you want when you’re pitching something. 

Kyle Stegina: I knew we wanted the bar of entry to be super low. Can you pitch it in one breath? And that’s what’s been the beauty of this show. It’s easily understandable. And then when you build out the world, that’s where it can get detailed. That’s where it can get complex. You fill it with great characters and the characters really are at the heart of the show. So I’m glad that we tackled a very simple premise for this one.

Tessa Smith: I love the design of the characters, but Scissors in particular. How did you come up with the designs?

Josh Lehrman: We worked with this guy named Paul Watling, who’s wonderful, on our pilot presentation. And he drew a few versions of the characters. I think he designed all of them. At one point there was a version of Scissors where the blades were sort of up. And we all just went. That’s weird. I don’t know why, we just we thought it was bizarre. And then we were trying to figure out how he would talk. I don’t know how that’s gonna work. So anyway, Paul drew this other version, which is the current version you see, and we all just went, Yeah, sure. Looks good.

Kyle Stegina: The Scissors development took millions of dollars, it felt like he was the hardest one. Even the animators, like when they started talking, we’re just like, okay, all right, we got it, we got it. And it, to their credit, every character is just so fun to look at. They’re just so charming. And like the animation style, the semi realistic backgrounds with these silly, 2d characters on top of them, it’s a very charming look for reasons I can’t even tell you about because I’m not an artist, but it’s just pleasing to look at. Also, it’s both beautiful and a little bit, a little janky at the same time, which I think really speaks to the tone of the show. It fits the show very well.

Rock Paper Scissors Review

Tessa Smith: This cast is incredible. Not just the main cast, but also the guest voices. Can you talk about bringing them on?

Kyle Stegina: The wonderful answer is that it was easier than we thought it would be. We were so honored that they wanted to be a part of the show. Josh and I were driving home from a casting meeting, and we’re like, who would play Rock? Ron Funches would be good, right? And we got Ron Funches. And then Tom Lennon, he has this wonderful intellectual sounding voice which is great for Paper, who acts very elitist and pretentious sometimes. And we got him. Then Carlos Alazraqui came on a little bit later, because we wanted to find the right person who could bring vulnerability to Scissors, because Scissors is that lovable jerk, right? But you need to see that it’s coming from a very insecure place to this dude. So Carlos just brought, I mean, he is a master of voices but he just brought such a human nature and vulnerability to Scissors that it makes you like him.

Josh Lehrman: And to your point to I mean, we can’t reveal a lot of the people who are stunt casting, who are fantastic, but we definitely will get people sometimes and Kyle and I go, How did we get this person? It’s a surprisingly high caliber of actors consistently coming in for the show. 

Kyle Stegina: You’ll see later in the season. It’s worth mentioning that Pencil with Melissa Villaseñor gosh, who you might know from SNL. She has such a sweet, unique, memorable voice that brings an identity to Pencil. And for Lou, the angry miserable, trashcan landlord. We got Eddie Pepitone, who’s a hero of ours, who is just a rant machine. We wrote the character for Eddie, but we never told him. We didn’t want to tell him because we didn’t want to offend him being like, hey, yeah, we had we wrote this angry, sad sack trashcan with only you in mind. Would you like to play him?

Tessa Smith: I started watching these screeners, and then my 11 year old walked by and sat and joined me. Then my 12 year old. Then my husband. Can you talk about the importance of creating something like this that the whole family can enjoy together?

Josh Lehrman: I’m so glad you said that. Because it’s so important to us. We’ve worked in kids TV before and I feel like it’s really important to us to never talk down to the audience. And frankly, we want to make a show that we find entertaining, because we have to watch these episodes like 400 times before they’re done. So we’re just trying to make ourselves laugh every time. But yeah, we do try to write these in a way where it is for everyone. We’ve shown these to our friends who are also mid to late 30s. They have a blast. I showed it to my wife’s cousin, who’s nine years old, he had a blast. It’s been nice. Over the holidays with my I was with my wife’s family and people were like, should we watch Killers the Flower Moon? And then someone’s like, we wanted more Rock Paper Scissors. And I was like, Alright, good.

Kyle Stegina: We’re not calling them out. We’re just saying they’re very different.

Rock Paper Scissors Review

Tessa Smith: When you were writing these episodes, was there something in particular that you were most excited to see come to life?

Josh Lehrman: I think I might have the same answer as Kyle just because it’s such a weird episode. I can’t give away the details, but the beginning of it is online. So we’ll just say it’s the clip that says Scissors helps with the groceries, or something like that. It’s such a weird one for us and goes in such a surprisingly emotional direction that I think that was the one. I was happy with how that one came out.

Kyle Stegina: Yeah, it’s an episode where basically, Rock and Paper come home and they are struggling with the groceries and they go Scissors. Can you help us? And Scissors goes, huh… And the entire episode takes place in Scissors head dealing with that question. It’s such a wonderful episode because you get his psyche. It’s all about how his thought processes and really dives into him as a character. It’s my favorite episode.

Rock Paper Scissors premieres Monday, Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Rock Paper Scissors poster

About Rock Paper Scissors

Inspired by the age-old tradition of settling things with your best friends, the game comes to life through the shenanigans of pals Rock, Paper and Scissors in Nickelodeon’s new animated series Rock Paper Scissors, premiering Monday, Feb. 12 at 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

The titular characters, Rock, Paper and Scissors, are a trio of best friends and roommates who lovingly compete over everything in hilarious but mostly wildly absurd ways.

Throughout season one, the trio will go to extremes playing hide-and-seek around the world, running from the birthday police, defending the world from an alien invasion, going head-to-head with the Rat Bros and more.