Ever since we first saw Grunkle Stan’s trap door vending machine way back in the debut episode of Gravity Falls, we’ve wondered what in the heck Grunkle Stan is up to. According to the series’ creator and executive producer, Alex Hirsch, the next episode, “Not What He Seems” (airing Monday, March 9 at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT), will show that when it comes to Dipper and Mabel’s great uncle, there may be more than meets the fez. Hirsch told D23, “Secret agents from a mysterious department of the government have been watching, waiting, and planning the day when they could get their hands on Stanford Pines—and that day has finally come.”
Secret agents from the government have been watching, waiting, and planning . . .
This episode also marks the return of Agent Powers, who is again voiced by Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation). “Nick Offerman is an American treasure,” Hirsch said. “His gruff attitude was a perfect fit vocally for Agent Powers, a man so stoic that he was literally born with a disorder that prevents him from laughing. We couldn’t think of anyone better than Nick for the part and it was a personal thrill to direct him.” Hirsch adds, with pride, “The highest honor was when he said, with a completely flat and monotone voice: ‘This script is funny.’”
Like so many of us, Hirsch grew up watching the Disney Afternoon—DuckTales and Rescue Rangers were favorites—and, like the series’ protagonist, Dipper, Hirsch grew up with a twin sister. Their real-life summer adventures inspired Hirsch to create Gravity Falls, he explained. “Much of Mabel’s personality, from her boy-craziness to her love of pigs, comes directly from my sister. Grunkle Stan is loosely inspired by my Grandpa Stan, who is legendary in the family for telling tall tales.” And, Hirsch believes, “As a TV writer, I think he’d be proud that I’ve continued his tradition of making things up on a daily basis.”
When we tried to pry more information out of him about the big developments on Gravity Falls, Hirsch told us, “I’d love to reveal more, but if I did, I’d have to kill you. (It’s in my contract!)”
Luckily, D23 was able to secure an exclusive interview with Grunkle Stan himself, who took a few minutes out of his mysteriously busy schedule to answer the questions that Disney fans have been dying to ask him:
Q: What’s it like raising two crazy kids like Mabel and Dipper?—Diane
Grunkle Stan: Taking care of kids is easy! As long as you leave some lettuce and newspaper on the floor they’ll be fine. Or maybe I’m thinking of turtles. Either way, I’m an excellent caretaker. Don’t call the cops!
Q: What exactly were your first thoughts when you saw those zombies crash your grand re-opening of the Mystery Shack?—Lindsey
Grunkle Stan: Bring ’em on, I say! If I got scared every time I saw a wrinkly old ghoul in front of me, I’d never look in the mirror. Ha-ha!
Q: Where can I buy a hat like yours?—Marc, Agust, and Cera
Grunkle Stan: You’ll have to fight me for it! It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve fought three children over a hat.
Q: How do you stay so foxy even at your age?—Actual Bambina Wario
Grunkle Stan: Two words: natural beauty.
Q: What is your favorite thing about New Jersey?—Victoria
Grunkle Stan: What? Who said anything about New Jersey? I’ve never been to New Jersey. Who’s asking? Next question!
Q: Have you ever been in love?—Alex T.
Grunkle Stan: The way to my heart is through your wallet. Buy something or get out!
Q: How did you come up with the idea for the Mystery Shack? Has it always been a dream of yours?—Patrick
Grunkle Stan: I’ve had a fascinating life, Patrick! Raised by wolves in the arctic, I travelled the world fighting bears, seducing princesses, and collecting knowledge until the public demanded that I share my secrets with them. What, you think I’m lying? Look at those legit degrees on the wall! “Unusuology.” “Unbelievabiology.” “Bizzarchitecture.” You can’t make that stuff up! The Mystery Shack is my humble attempt to share my genius with the idiots of this backwater town at a reasonable price!
Q: How do you manage to run the finest establishment in the state of Oregon?—Vailskibum94
Grunkle Stan: Put junk in a barn, hire teenagers, and keep your nose clean. Bada bing, bada boom—a legend is born!
And after answering Disney fans’ questions, it looks like Grunkle Stan faced an even tougher interrogation! Enjoy this video, and be sure to see what happens to Grunkle Stan on tonight’s episode of Gravity Falls.