We sat with ‘Phineas and Ferb ‘creators and Executive Producers Dan Povenmire & Jeff “Swampy” Marsh at the Phineas and Ferb Last Day of Summer Event event for an exclusive Q&A where they shared their passion and love for the characters they have voiced over the past 13 years.
Laughter and tears filled the Q&A as Dan and Jeff reflected on the characters they created 13 years ago, their favorite songs and episodes from the series, and the heartfelt stories audiences everywhere have shared with them over the years. Stories about how their show Phineas and Ferb, helped so many overcome the adversities in their lives and put smiles on the faces of children everywhere.
(Insert bawling talent and mom bloggers here! I even cried again today listening to the full audio.)
But don't worry! Phineas and Ferb episodes will still air regularly on the Disney XD channel, plus the creators are not opposed to bringing Phineas and Ferb back in the future with a penned ultimate episode called ‘Act Your Age'.
You can check out all the details from or emotional Q&A below, along with a fun character audio clip from the interview where Dan Povenmire shares his feelings on saying farewell to Dr. Doofenshmirtz, gives us a sample of Doof himself from his ‘Doof Daily Dirt' web series, and as Jeff “Swampy” Marsh shares how he likes to have fun with kids while out and about as Maj. Monogram.
In the one-hour ‘Phineas and Ferb’ episode titled ‘Last Day of Summer,’ the summer season is coming to a close and it’s Candace’s last chance to bust her brothers. She is quickly foiled, but is presented with an opportunity to redo the day when she sets off Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s Do-Over-Inator, which results in other consequences like rips in the space-time continuum, the shortening of days and the disappearance of her brothers.
Phineas & Ferb ‘Last Day of Summer' special one-hour episode premieres Friday, June 12, 2015 at 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM ET/PT on Disney XD. Phineas & Ferb ‘Last Day of Summer' is rated TV-G.
Phineas and Ferb Last Day of Summer Event Q&A
Q: How much of your family life ends up on screen and do they know everything is fair game that happens?
Dan Povenmire: Well they know anything’s fair game that happens. My daughters are only now about the age Phineas and Ferb were. They inspire stuff but it’s not usually as direct. We’ve stolen pieces of his son’s life.
Jeff “Swampy” Marsh: Literally. He has a lawyer now and all.
Dan Povenmire: Exactly. Most of our inspiration actually comes from our own childhood, because Swampy and I were both sort of creative kids. We had creative parents that would allow us to do ridiculous things and we were always building tree houses, and I was the king of my neighborhood because I could jump 31 pines cones on my bike.
Me and some buddies took sticks and flashlights one day and crawled all the way through our sub division in the drainage pipes that were about 4 ft. tall. We'd come up and you’d see light ahead and you would look out through the drainage thing on the side of a curb and we suddenly realize, “Oh wait that’s, that’s Overlook Church. That’s like a mile and a half from my house. We should go back.”
There was a manhole right there that we could have easily gotten out of and instead we went back through the drains again.
Jeff “Swampy” Marsh: A lot of it starts with us putting ourselves back as a 10 to 12-year-old boy and thinking, if you could do anything, and that’s pretty easy for us to do because we’re pretty close to that maturity level. Ask anyone who knows us.
Dan Povenmire: Those are the things you did as kids. We built tree houses, but how Phineas and Ferb built tree houses, well they would be tree houses but also robots. They would move around and fight each other and stuff like that.
Q: After 10 years, and so many episodes, do you have any favorites?
Dan Povenmire: We have a list of favorites. If I really have to be pressed for a favorite it might be the roller coaster, because it’s the one Swampy and I did just by ourselves basically.
But the one that, when I watch it now, for me is Summer Belongs To You, which is our first hour-long special. It had Phineas and Isabela in Paris where Isabela’s trying to see how romantic it is, and Candace and Jeremy decide to be boyfriend and girlfriend, and then they all get stranded on the desert island. And the last 11 minutes of Summer Belongs To You I think was maybe the best thing.
Jeff “Swampy” Marsh: The song is one of my favorites. It really says a lot about the series.
Dan Povenmire: There’s a couple of ending songs. There’s Summer Belongs To You, Carpe Diem, and this one that was just aired that I literally can’t watch without tearing up. When it was playing I actually purposely took my phone out and answered e-mails so that I wouldn’t be red eyed.
Q: Has anyone said that you’ve inspired them to become and Engineer? What's your favorite inspirational story that you've heard?
Jeff “Swampy” Marsh: I don’t have a favorite, but you would be shocked at how many letters we get of people telling us the show got them through a really dark time.
Dan Povenmire: Somebody sent us this letter, it was actually a letter to Gary Marsh the head of the channel, saying before their kid was watching Phineas they would get through art class to go out and play and would never draw anything. She sent a picture that was drawn from before Phineas and it was like one line on a piece of paper, and a picture that he drew after he started watching Phineas, and all the creativity that she saw coming out of him. That makes me proud. We get a lot of stuff like that.
We've know the show's been over for a while now, we've been over it, and a couple of weeks ago when they announced it I was waiting outside a courtroom for jury selection. I was on jury duty, and I looked at my phone and Cecilia had sent us the link. ‘Oh hey it’s finally announced.'
I tweeted it because people on twitter suspected the show was over for a while. I said, ‘Okay it’s finally been announced. We get to let you know it’s been a great summer.' and there were hundreds of people saying wonderful things about the show.
Some of them were things like, ‘This is the show that got me through PTSD.' ‘This is the show that got me through chemo with my kid, because it was the one thing that would make him smile.' They’re all these kind of things. I started crying like I’m doing right now.
Q: It was probably about 2 years ago I interviewed you guys at Comicon. It’s interesting to think at that point you were in contract negotiations. Was it something where you really felt the need to move on to your next project?
Dan Povenmire: We’ve been doing this for a decade and we felt like this is a good time. I feel like this show is still really good, and really fresh. I’m really proud of most of the 4th season as much as I am of the first ones, and I felt like let’s go out before it starts feeling tired.
They're doing a marathon on Disney XD this week. It’s 73 hours straight of Phineas and Ferb. It’s gonna' be going 24 hours a day, and they’re going to do every episode leading up to the finale. That’s a lot of TV.
Q: You had an end date 2 years ago. Did that change the way you approach the stories? Was it a chance to, if you had a the wish list of things to do, did you suddenly feel like the clock was ticking and now is the time?
Dan Povenmire: People of have always asked if Phineas and Isabela are gonna' get together, and so the penned ultimate episode is an episode called ‘Act Your Age'. It takes place 10 years in the future and we get to see how Phineas and Isabela get together.
I’ve been quoted as saying that is really the emotional finale to the show, like that’s the end of the emotional arc for the show, and that this is the finale for the rest of everything else.
Q: I wanted to ask a little bit about the writers room when you came in and wanted to work towards creating this episode. How many different story ideas did you go through or did this kind of come together?
Jeff “Swampy” Marsh: We had an idea for a long time about doing a Ground Hog Day-ish story, and so when we thought about the end it just seemed like a really good fit.
Dan Povenmire: Because it the last day and it, and the last day repeats over and over. So it’s sort of like getting extra days.
Q: So what’s next for you guys?
Dan Povenmire: We just sold another show to Disney that they picked up called Mikey Murphy’s Law. I can feel that ramp upcoming again and we’re not quite in that crazy area yet because we’re just writing it, but we’re starting to hire artists. So a month from now we’ll be frantic again for hopefully a long time.
I feel like this is a good follow-up to Phineas because it’s in a completely different show, but it has the same positivity that Phineas does. Mikey is a kid who is the great, great, great-grandchild of Murphy from Murphy’s Law. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
So whatever can go wrong does go wrong around him constantly, since he was a little kid. But just as if you were born with one arm you learn to do everything with one hand and you don’t think of it as an imposition. By the time you're in middle school you're not upset that you don’t have the other arm.
Jeff “Swampy” Marsh: If you ask Mikey he’d say he’s lucky because his life is filled with adventure and excitement every day.
Dan Povenmire: He takes everything with the most absolute optimism and positivity and he puts a positive spin on anything. He just copes with it as it comes because this stuff has happened all the time.
Q: There has always been a question of where kids can find 104 days of summer vacation. Was this how many days you had as a child?
Dan Povenmire: [LAUGHS] We have to apologize for that.
In a meeting when we were first deciding to set it all in summer, the show wasn’t originally just set all in one summer, I said, ‘Oh that would be really cool if you did it all in the summer because then we don’t have to draw desks.'
I asked ‘Does anybody know how many days there are of summer vacation?' Somebody said, ‘Oh yeah I just had to research that. There are 104,' and what they researched was how many actual days of summer there are which is 100 and 4. There’s not anywhere near 104 days of summer vacation. [LAUGHS]
About Phineas and Ferb ‘Last Day of Summer'
In the one-hour ‘Phineas and Ferb' episode titled ‘Last Day of Summer,' the summer season is coming to a close and it's Candace's last chance to bust her brothers. She is quickly foiled, but is presented with an opportunity to redo the day when she sets off Dr. Doofenshmirtz's Do-Over-Inator, which results in other consequences like rips in the space-time continuum, the shortening of days and the disappearance of her brothers.
The ‘Last Day of Summer' celebration kicked off this past Tuesday, June 9th with a Phineas and Ferb marathon!