Pen Ward Quit ‘Adventure Time’ Because It Was Driving Him Nuts


There’s a startling revelation in a new Rolling Stone piece about Cartoon Network’s hit series Adventure Time: Pendleton Ward hasn’t been running the show he created since sometime during season 5. “I quit because it was driving me nuts,” he told the magazine. He further explained:

“Dealing with people every day wears on you. To spend that extra energy and time you don’t have, to make something that’s worth making, to make it awesome, wears you out. It’s a beast of a show. And the more popular it gets, the more the ancillary things – like the merchandise and games and everything – keep getting bigger. For me, having quality of life outweighed the need to control this project and make it great all the time.”

Ward’s departure has been a bit of an open secret, especially since the new showrunner, Ward’s CalArts classmate Adam Muto, has been the public face of the show at conventions and festivals for the past year. But this article is the first official confirmation of the change.

Will Ward ever create another show? “No, never. That sounds like a nightmare!” he says.

According to the article, Ward still writes and storyboards on the show, but prefers to stay at home eating pizza, working on his own ideas, and playing videogames with the lights off and curtains closed. “That’s the root of what I like doing. Make stuff on my own and fall asleep.” Ward says that he’d also like to write an Adventure Time movie and make his own videogame, the latter of which is already happening.