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Bushworld Adventures/Adult Swim

Mayor defends Australian city depicted in ‘Rick and Morty’ parody

‘In some ways, I guess any publicity is good publicity.’


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Apr 4, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 7:36 pm CDT

Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty April Fools’ Day parody upped the weird factor as it transplanted the time-traveling duo in the middle of Australia. But now an Australian mayor is defending her city after it was depicted in a less-than-flattering light in the short.

Throughout the parody, which was written and directed by Australian creator Michael Cusack, “Reek” kept telling “Mordi” that he wanted to go to Bendigo to get a green cube; they even killed to try and get there. But once they arrived in Bendigo—portrayed as a barren wasteland—they not only didn’t find a green cube, Reek said he never wanted to go there in the first place.

“I see trees, scrubs, nothing really,” Mordi replied.

Bendigo, an inland city located in Victoria (Australia’s southeastern state), does exist and is much more populated than it’s shown in the short; it’s the third most-populated city in the state. But for many fans outside of Australia, it’s likely the first time they’ve heard of Bendigo, so after seeing the short, they started to do some digging.

The namedrop also caught the attention of Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke, who defended the city after hearing about how it was depicted in the short.

“Obviously there are different tastes for everyone,” O’Rourke told the Guardian. “But I believe the Google searches have soared ever since it was released, and people would know by those searches that Bendigo is nothing like what’s in the parody.”

But even while Cusack may not have portrayed Bendigo in a positive light, O’Rourke saw the bright side of having been mentioned at all.

“In some ways, I guess any publicity is good publicity,” O’Rourke added. “Bendigo is a very vibrant and beautiful place and nothing like what has been displayed.”

Cusack, on the other hand, has never been to Bendigo himself and had a much simpler reason for making the city the focus of his short, even if it wasn’t completely accurate.

“For some reason, Bendigo sounded funny to me. I don’t know what it is, but it’s something behind that name that it seemed right to use, so I went with it,” Cusack told Australian broadcaster ABC.

H/T AV Club

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*First Published: Apr 4, 2018, 3:45 pm CDT