Our big takeaway from that Rick And Morty parody that Adult Swim streamed on April Fool’s Day was that we didn’t have to take away anything from the episode, because it had no real bearing on the series, which is in production limbo. TripTank’s Michael Cusack wrote and produced the special on his own, without any involvement from Justin Roiland or Dan Harmon, and set it in his native Australia. The story involves “Reek and Mordi” seeking out a Green Cube in the town of Bendigo, which is full of the kind of bizarre characters you’d expect to find in a regular episode of Rick And Morty, just with heavy Australian accents. Bendigo is also a real city in Australia, but according to its mayor, it’s nothing like what you saw in that parody episode of a cartoon series.
Mayor Margaret O’Rourke has defended her city to The Guardian, telling the publication that, despite not having watched the Adult Swim original, she was “quite staggered” by the depiction of Bendigo. “Obviously there are different tastes for everyone,” O’Rourke says. “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.” The city official describes Bendigo as “a very vibrant and beautiful place and nothing like what has been displayed,” and certainly not the kind of place full of “trees, scrubs… nothing, really,” which is all Mordi and Reek really find once they get there by way of an anthropomorphic car named Uncle Barry. All the weird stuff comes before they even get to Bendigo.
Anyway, it was nothing personal, as Cusack’s never actually been to Bendigo—he just thought the name “sounded funny.” The writer-director told an Australian ABC affiliate that there was just “something behind that name, that it seemed right to use, so I went with it.” Google searches on the town of 115,000 people have surged in the time since the episode debuted on AdultSwim.com, so even O’Rourke has to admit “in some ways I guess any publicity is good publicity.”