The Aquabats have never been gone, but the costumed ska-rock troupe is working to bring back a much-loved piece of its history.
The California quintet is launching a month-long Kickstarter campaign on July 31 to bring back its Daytime Emmy Award-winning The Aquabats! Super Show! The drive includes a new video — the star-studded “I Am the Aquabats!,” premiering exclusively below with appearances by Jack Black, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Tony Hawk, Imagine Dragons, Rip Taylor, Jon Heder, Lou Diamond Phillips and more — as well as incentives for contributions from $10 to $10 million. Anyone bidding the latter will receive a three-year term as the first prime minister of a private island to be named Aquabania. Black has signed on to executive produce the series’ return.
The Aquabats! Super Show! –– a campy superhero program mixing live-action, animation, parody ads and songs — went off the air in 2014 after the demise of the Hub network. MC Bat Commander (aka Christian Jacobs) tells Billboard that ever since “people have been asking, ‘Where is it? Why can’t we get more? Why can’t you post all the episodes? Will you do more?’ So we’ve been on a quest to get everything in line and our ducks in order and get it back to the people.”
After several years of legal machinations the Aquabats have retained rights to the 22 Super Show! episodes, which Jacobs says were scattered between various production companies the group worked with. The Aquabats have started posting second-season episodes on its YouTube channel, while plans are being hatched for a streaming deal as well as a complete box set. And, presuming the Kickstarter campaign is successful, Jacobs and company are ready to roll on new episodes as well as another Aquabats album.
“All lights are green and we’re ready to move forward and see what we can do,” says Jacobs, who’s also the co-creator of Nickelodeon’s Yo Gabba Gabba! “During the last season of the show we had a ton of episode ideas that didn’t get made. We’ve got a lot of things that we’ve developed and created that never saw the light of day. We’ll see how the campaign goes; We’ve never done it before, so we don’t know what’ll happen.” Jacobs adds that in addition to executive producing the new episodes, Black will “hopefully make his way onto several episodes. It’ll be fun to figure out how to have him in there with his crazy schedule. We’ve been friends a long time. We did Yo Gabba Gabba! together. Basically everyone in the (‘I Am the Aquabats!’) video has committed to coming on and doing something fun.”
The Kickstarter campaign runs through 11 p.m. ET on Sept. 1, and during the month the Aquabats plan to host in-person and virtual viewing parties of the old episodes along with other promotional events leading up to a concert/telethon at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre that will be livestreamed online. Besides the island prime ministry, campaign perks include a private Aquabats album recorded especially for the backer, original props designed by Paul Frank and guest appearances in the new episodes.
The campaign will also fund a new Aquabats album, the group’s first studio set since 2011. The group will also be on the road this fall, including an appearance at Riot Fest in Chicago.