"The wait is over! Chad is back!" exclaims Super Bowl Sunday is a rather appropriate day for the series to come back from hiatus, given the burgeoning online audience for its high-profile commercials both before and after the big game. Created by Madison filmmakers and improv artists Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda, Chad Vader was a big winner amidst the rise of popular online video. Debuting in July 2006, the inaugural season spanned eight episodes released on a regular basis through the following spring, racking up tens of millions of viewers around the world and achieving status as a widespread internet meme.
Yes, as hinted in the teaser at the end of "The Takeover," a droid will make an appearance in the next episode. Created by John Lee, this robot resembles those scurrying along the floors of the Death Star, but also crosses over sci-fi canons to make some rather Dalek-like declarations. Also on they way in subsequent episodes are two more major characters, the crossover of a character from the Chad Vader Training Videos series, and the death of a major character.
Yonda says they hope to release a new episode every three weeks, which would bring the second season through the end of summer. Production is ongoing, meanwhile, with shoots at the Willy Street Co-op and elsewhere. Blame Society is also asking viewers to donate or buy Chad Vader and other merchandise in order to support production costs for the series and keep new episodes flowing.
"It's great to have Chad back," says Collins. "It felt like it had been so long since we wrapped up Season 1, but when we commenced shooting last month at the co-op with many of the same cast and crew members, it was so easy to get right back into it, and the excitement on set was pretty contagious."