Whenever Adult Swim hosts a panel at Dragon*Con, it’s safe to assume they’ve brought their “A” games — and by that I mean those in attendance will get an exclusive performance and most likely will leave laughing their asses off.
Specifically, I’m referring to the team behind Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Squidbillies, who’s panel opened with show creator and voice actor Dave Willis taking stage to recite a monologue performed by a puppet version of Carl. Soon there after, voice talent Dana Snyder joined with a Master Shake puppet.
The puppets — presumably from the ATHF live action show tour Willis and Snyder did earlier in the year — were actually a genius idea to associate the voices with the characters (since voice actors aren’t always easy to identify).
I love watching Adult Swim, the Cartoon Network’s brilliantly unhinged block of late night animation programming. It’s the greatest experiment in popular animation: the block functionsÂ practically like a laboratory where aÂ multiplying group of mad scientists armed with art supplies, computer software, and a collective absurdist sense of humor are given free reign to let their deranged imaginations run riot.Â Sometimes this results in a messy explosion, but most of the time the results are wonders to behold. If that wasn’t enough the Adult Swim block has also served as a pet cemetery for resurrecting under-appreciated shows like Family Guy and Futurama and a prime hangout spot for shows that never had a chance in this life or the next, like The Oblongs and Clerks. Then there are shows like Sealab 2021 and Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law that took characters and concepts from the vintage Hanna-Barbera heyday of the 1960’s and 1970’s and completely turned them on their heads, which may seem like an act of blasphemy in the eyes of animation traditionalists but I dare you to question the genius of taking those boring and stolid superheroes and transforming them into mental patients and sexual deviants.Â That’s golden.
What’s more important is that they never fail to entertain you.Â The go-for-broke attitude that spread to everyone involved with the production of these shows after a while begins to get to you. If getting each episode produced is an extremely arduous task, it never seems that way because while you’re watching you’re laughing so hard or at least thinking to yourself several times during the show what the fuck was going on in their heads while they were putting this together, and you can’t imagine any member of the cast and crew getting through a writing or voiceover session without cracking up in laughter. It’s a joyous kind of lunacy that proves to be infectious time and again.
Now Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has issued the latest full season DVD sets for two of Adult Swim’s best shows.