Before The Walking Dead Season 8 premiere aired on Sunday night, it was confirmed that we'd get another glimpse at the now-infamous Old Man Rick from the Comic-Con trailer, although the full mystery won't be solved until the mid-season finale. Fans certainly did get much more footage featuring this aging Rick, as scenes features his peaceful home life with Michonne (Danai Gurira), Carl (Chandler Riggs) and an older Judith, that raised more questions than answers. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple, though, explained one mystery in a new interview, revealing why the Weird Al Yankovic song "Another One Rides the Bus" was chosen to play as Rick wakes up from his slumber. The singer himself responds to the song being used, saying he didn't know it would be beforehand.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple, who was asked why that particular song was chosen. The showrunner is known for being quite particular with the songs he chooses to be used in the series, revealing that he wanted it to be a unique song that Judith was "into," which was actually inspired by his own life. Here's what the showrunner had to say below.
"Storywise, it had to be a song that I wanted Judith to be into, but I didn't want her to be into something necessarily typical. I wanted to have it be distinctive. I will say there is a toddler in my life sort of obsessed with that song so that might have played into it a little bit. I try to check myself in those moments where I'm doing that for friends or whatever, but I put it in the script and was sitting there thinking about it."
The song certainly seemed to take several Walking Dead fans by surprise, since this 1981 parody of Queen's iconic song "Another One Bites the Dust" isn't the type of song one would expect to hear on The Walking Dead. Weird Al Yankovic took to Twitter stating that he wasn't sure why the song was used, but he was "honored" that it was chosen, while Scott M. Gimple responded to him by stating that they're honored by his "music and confusion." Scott M. Gimple himself wrote the Season 8 premiere, which also marked the show's 100th episode, revealing that while he may have originally put the song in his script because of his toddler's obsession with the song, he kept it in the script because it was decidedly not "cool."
"One of the things I love about Weird Al is that there's no worry about cool, and cool is the worst thing ever. Cool has infected my beloved comics and science fiction and fantasy and it breaks my heart, and I wanted to make sure we did not start out cool. Also, I wanted it to be rather jarring. I mean, as jarring as what we're seeing. Funny enough, the more I thought about it, seeing Rick with his giant beard and a limp in this other universe in Alexandria, "Another One Rides the Bus" on The Walking Dead, it's slightly more jarring than that. So, to me, it was like, oh, well, that wins. That's exactly right. Initially, I thought it was my own bias and I shouldn't do this, and then I was like, 'Wait, no. It isn't cool and the audience is going to be like, What the hell is this?' And I was like, 'Oh my God, this is exactly what we want. This is perfect.' I was so thrilled."
Andrew Lincoln revealed in an interview yesterday that Walking Dead Season 8 features, "some of the biggest deaths we've ever dealt with." Since there are no major character deaths in the All Out War comics, it's possible that the show may be getting ready to throw fans for a very big loop by killing off a character that fans aren't expecting to lose. While we wait for next week's episode, "The Damned," airing Sunday, October 29, you can visit Entertainment Weekly to check out their full interview with Scott M. Gimple, along with the recent tweets sent out by Weird Al Yankovic and Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple.