A Weird Kid’s Top 10 – Adult Swim Shows
Gone are the days of college life where I had no worries past getting through classes and working just enough to make car payments and buy food. Never again will I scrape every penny I own out of the car’s ashtray to buy a bagel in the commons. Sadly, I will never again experience the magic that came from the beginning days of Cartoon Network’s saving grace, Adult Swim.
Sure, the network still has Adult Swim on, but you have to be honest…not everything that the network decides to air on the late night block is as great as some of the other great shows that have come and gone. Today I hope to share with you what I feel are the top shows that have ever appeared in the timeslot. Keep in mind, these are the network’s original programming, not syndication or pre-Adult Swim shows (sorry Space Ghost!).
Let’s begin shall we?
Saul of the Mole Men
This wacky ass show was meant to be a throwback to the olden days of Saturday morning shows like H.R. Pufnstuf and many of the shows of the Sid & Marty Krofft era. If you’re old enough just think back on shows like Land of the Lost and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and you’ll have an idea of this show’s intended range of jokes.
The show centered around the unlikely hero Saul Malone, a geologist from Buffalo NY (complete with Buffalo accent), who the only survivor of the STRATA team’s voyage to the center of the Earth.
This series was great because of how low-rent the show appeared, complete with horrible camera cuts and awkward filming. There were also numerous instances of sexual innuendo, with my favorite above of mustache ride. Damn I loved this stupid show.
In what would become 70/30’s second best work on Cartoon Network before dissolving and moving on to doing the series Archer on FX, Frisky Dingo was perhaps one of the greatest and and salacious shows I’ve ever seen.
It followed the lives of Xander Crews as Awesome X and his nemesis Killface as he attempts to destroy the Earth via his Annihilatrix. Both characters were voiced by Adam Reed and had an ever changing relationship from dire enemies to uneasy allies throughout the entire series. By far the brilliance of this show comes from the supporting characters, like Simon (Killface’s sexually confused teenage son) and the Xtacles (Awesome X’s cabal of faceless troops) that made this series one of the most beloved cartoon series ever made.
All I can say is…MASTER CYLINDER!!!
Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Take a whole bunch of shitty Hanna-Barbera characters and first make a law firm, then have the rest of the characters from their universe such as the Flintstones and Scooby Doo, commit crimes and have the need for them to be defended by none other than Harvey Birdman…voiced by Gary Cole (Bill Lumbergh from Mike Judge’s Office Space).
This show was amazing because they weren’t afraid to make fun of the legacy of the Hanna-Barbera characters that are considered some of their best cartoons but were actually pretty shitty such as Johnny Quest. Perhaps my favorite recurring bit of the show was when they’d find a way to sneak Mentok The Mindtaker into the episode.
Aaron McGruder’s long running comic strip made its way to Adult Swim in the winter of 2005 and has enjoyed a 45 episode run so far and is unclear as to whether it will return for another season, but still remains one of the most enjoyed cartoons from Adult Swim to take the hefty subject matter of race relations in America and turn it into something that we can ALL laugh at.
The two best things about this series were all of the celebrity cameos and Uncle Ruckus. Such cameos include John Witherspoon, Sam Jackson, Ed Asner, Charlie Murphy, Busta Rhymes, Mos Def, Katt Williams, and even Fred Fucking Willard had their voices on the show in one form or another. Ruckus was perhaps one of the most racially charged characters that I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch on TV. The entire episode that they spent on Ruckus’s racist country music career was just genius.
My favorite bit however, would have to be Katt Williams as “A Pimp Named Slickback” whom you have to call him by his full name. Not Slickback, not Pimp, but the entire thing like A Tribe Called Quest.
As an atheist who was brought up watching shows like Davey and Goliath, the whole idea of Moral Orel spoke to me in such a profound way, that hasn’t really been matched by anything else on Adult Swim thus far. Good ol’ Starburns himself, Dino Stamatopoulos, was the creative force behind the show that tries to expose the nature of small religious towns and the rampant hypocrisy that is contained therein.
You couldn’t help but love Orel for being the bright eyed youth who approached problems in his life with his half knowledge and religious programming.
You should already know about this show. Shame on you if you don’t. Any show that creates a rock-n-roll-clown is a winner in my book. Even though he’s not the main character, he’s the #1 reason I watch this show.
For those of you who might have been living under a stone, this show follows the lives of the members of the mega popular band Dethklok as they flaunt their opulence and ignorance at every turn. Mainly written as a satire of so many bands that have achieved their level of fame, this show is a great tribute to the awesomeness that is death metal.
The Venture Bros.
Take the world of 70s and 80s pop culture, mix it in with the world of comics, toss in obscure references, and add a bit of organized supervillainy and you have The Venture Bros. A show so rich with quotable lines and extravagantly built characters that the amount of backstory you can tell about each key player would fill a notebook. This show has been on for the past 8, yes EIGHT, years and has become one of the driving series shown on Adult Swim.
The series just finished it’s 4th season and will more than likely be back for a fifth season, but like any of their seasons, it’ll be when the animators are happy with the product and not a moment sooner. My favorite character on the show would have to be Hank Venture, if only for the clip I’ve included.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
With those two words, my life was forever changed by an 11-minute cartoon. The whole idea of a giant dickish milkshake, a know-it-all box of fries, and a childlike wad of meat never seemed like a show that would ever be made, but thankfully it was and still is being made.
It wasn’t until the first episode to have the Mooninites, Ignignokt and Err, in it that I was convinced that this show should become a casual addiction. I’ve been lucky over the past seven seasons and terrible movie, and the bomb scare it created, that the show still continues to deliver the jokes and quotable madness such as my favorite scene ever. While he’s not my favorite character from the show, that would have to be Carl the neighbor, Hand Banana is one of those characters that writes their own memes.
Harry Goz, RIP. This is by far the best animated show to ever come from the minds at 70/30…the same guys from Frisky Dingo above. The series was a fucked up rehashing of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoon Sealab 2020 where the setting and characters were lifted to create a new series that featured out-of-this-world storylines, and of course…the entire Sealab blowing up every episode.
This show, along with ATHF showed me that I wasn’t alone in my sense of humor, that you can have an entire cartoon dedicated to a character being stuck under a soda machine, and that if you wanted to create a show where the world was populated with Adrienne Barbeaubots you could do so.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!
I remember first seeing these guys do the show Tom Goes to the Mayor and thought that show was great. When they decided to switch from that to go and do a live-action show on the network, I was a bit afraid…I didn’t think it would work out well for the duo.
Luckily it did.
I don’t have the words for how awesome this show is, but there has yet to be a show like it and I doubt anything will come close to it when they finally stop making it. I’ve watched every episode of the T&EASGJ series multiple times, and the episodes can border from the retarded to the insanely heady. Just watch the video above and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
Well, this concludes yet another Weird Kid’s Top 10 list. I hope you all enjoyed reading it. I know for certain that there are many of you out there that will disagree with some of my choices for this list, but keep in mind that this is in no way a definitive listing nor is it meant to be taken seriously. Its all for fun! I only hope you enjoy reading and take something away with you or drive you to leave a comment, if you so wish.
If you have a particular Top 10 that you’d like to see EMAIL ME, and I’d be happy to oblige. Thank you for reading. See you again next time!
by Alan Smithee
I sit upon my throne as the owner/shogun of this site, WatchPlayRead. But it wasn't always so. I too have had blogspots, I've done other community blogs, I've even written professionally for other sites out there...yet none of them provided the content I had a real passion for. It is then that I became tired of being a small cog in a big machine, and of writing about nothing but game news after game news article and the periphery that comes from such schlock, like knowing who Michael Pachter and Bobby Kotick are. I decided to start MediaWhoreNetwork.com and ran up my post count there for about 2 years, commenting about any and everything that I wanted to. I even started a weekly podcast that I feel has come into its own. It wasn't until earlier this year that I realized that having the word "whore" in your URL might be a bit limiting to my potential audience. I then made the website and its branding move over to WatchPlayRead.com.