I figured since we did King of the Hill and talked about the history of animated television/sitcoms I would put this list up. I made this list for my other blog but it fits perfectly here. This is a top ten list of Adult Swim shows that have already finished their runs. This list is not a definitive top ten list as several of their best shows (Venture Brothers, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, Etc.) Have not yet finished their original run. This is just a list for people who may want to go back and see where Adult Swim came from, and perhaps jump into a classic show and give it a look.
10. Perfect Hair Forever- Aired from November 7, 2004 to April 1, 2007. With only 7 episodes produced over 3 years Perfect Hair Forever is a niche title at best mocking typical anime stereotypes in typical Adult Swim fashion. From one of the co-creators of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Perfect Hair Forever is for fans of ATHF, anime, and those interested in watching one of the weirdest shows ever committed to film.
9. Minoriteam- Aired from November 6, 2005 to July 24, 2006. 20 episodes were produced over the course of one season. Taking racial and ethnic stereotypes to a whole new level. With each other five main characters taking on the persona of a racial stereotype (El Jefe, Dr. Wang, Fasto, Jewcano, Non-Stop), with each super villain being an over the top caucasian stereotype (The White Shadow, The Corporate Ladder, The Standardized Test, and Racist Frankenstein). With its unabashed look at racial issues across the board Minoriteam was an interesting and hilarious cartoon using a motion comic style as seen on 1960’s saturday morning Marvel superhero cartoons.
8.12 oz Mouse- Aired from June 19, 2005 to May 16 2007. 20 episodes were produced of this show which came from the same creator as Perfect Hair Forever. This one might just win the award for weirdest Adult Swim show. The whole show focuses on the antisocial behavior of an alcoholic mouse. The hardest of the shows to get into and only for those are ready for something weird. The only one on the list I didn’t really enjoy it is on the list because of it’s immense cult following and how it epitomizes what early Adult Swim was about weird stoner humor and non sequiturs.
7. Assy McGee- Aired from November 26, 2006 to July 6 2008. 20 episodes produced over two seasons. Not much to say about this show other than it was a well constructed satire of a loose cannon cop on the edge Assy McGee who is an anthropomorphic ass with legs who is a cop in New Hampshire. A satire of cop shows and tough guy movies. Definitely one of the better satires on Adult Swim and if you can get over the talking buttocks one of the most accessible.
6. The Brak Show- Aired from December 21, 2000 to December 31, 2003. 29 episodes were produced over two seasons. A spin-off from “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”, “The Brak Show” started off as a parody of classic sitcoms and like most Adult Swim shows dissolved into a form of organized chaos. Starring Brak his best friend Zorak and Brak’s family and friends as they go through their daily lives. “The Brak Show” was one of the original Adult Swim shows. Another of the harder shows to get into in Adult Swim’s back catalogue it is definitely worth a viewing.
5. Frisky Dingo- Aired from October 16, 2006 to March 23, 2008. 25 episodes produced over two seasons. One of my personal favorites and one of the most overlooked of the Adult Swim shows. Feautring many of the same voice actors, style, and even the creators of the FX hit “Archer”, “Frisky Dingo” is hilarious. For fans of “Archer” they should really go back and watch this show and see where the definitive art and style came from. Absolutely hilarious and relatively easy to get into. It tells the story of Xander Crews a superhero and Killface a super villain, but typical of Adult Swim this isn’t your typical superhero show. Definitely worth a view, especially since you can run through it in an afternoon. A definite must watch.
4.Sealab 2021- Aired from September 2, 2001 to April 26, 2004. 52 episodes were produced over 4 seasons. Now we start to get into the “classics” of Adult Swim. One of the first shows on Adult Swim and definitely one of the weirdest. It epitomized what Adult Swim was in its early form. It reused animation from an old Hannah-Barbera show “Sealab 2020” but put the characters in ridiculous and over the top situations. With no clear narrative or connect between the episodes each 11 minute episode was a vignette of it’s own made to be watched individually. From the same people who created “Frisky Dingo” and “Archer”, “Sealab 2021” pushed the envelope with it’s unabashed outrageousness from the crew of Sealab. Most believe the first three seasons are the best because of the subsequent death of voice actor Harry Goz who voiced fan favorite Captain Murphy. A must watch for fans of the bizarre and Adult Swim.
3.Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law- Aired from December 7, 2000 to July 22, 2007. 39 episodes were produced over 4 seasons. Another of the first Adult Swim shows. This show features ex superhero Harvey Birdman, as an attorney for the Sebben and Sebben law firm. Featuring many characters from Hannah-Barbera series from the same era, Harvey Birdman takes an interesting and erratic look at a cartoon law firm. Instead of a rigid plot structure most of the comedy comes from the normal idiosyncrasies of the character in light of their super powers. One of the better shows ever featured on Adult Swim and slightly easier to get into than some of Adult Swim’s other fare.
2. Home Movies- Aired from April 26, 1999 to April 4, 2004. 52 episodes were produced over the course of 4 seasons. Although originally premiering on UPN, it was picked up by Adult Swim after its cancellation. My personal favorite on the list for a number of reasons it follows the stories of Brendon Small, his friends, mother, and soccer coach during their daily lives. The title comes from the home movies created by Brendon and his friends. Featuring the art style of “squiggle vision” made popular by “Dr. Katz Professional Therapist” during the first season. Subsequent artwork was done in Adobe Flash. It featured a form of scriptwriting called retroscripting which involves the script being an outline with the voice actors (mostly stand-up comedians) improvising the dialogue. I probably recommend this over all other shows on the list. One of the easiest to get into and hooked “Home Movies” uses slow pace, irreverent, and hilarious dialogue to create an amazing show.
1.Space Ghost Coast to Coast- Aired from April 5, 1994 to April 12, 2004 and then again from May 30, 2006 to May 31, 2008. It featured 104 episodes over 10 seasons. Now we get to the “Citizen Kane” of Adult Swim shows. The show which inspired the late night channel into existence. Originally featured on Cartoon network in the 90’s it was moved to the Adult Swim block during the 2000’s. Most of the shows that were first created on Adult Swim had writers/producers/creators/voice actors who originally worked on “SGC2C”. An irreverent and weird fake late night talk show hosted by Space Ghost and featuring characters originally featured as villains on his original cartoon from the 60’s. Very weird, very different, and very good “SGC2C” is the epitome of Adult Swim. It is very much where the roots that created the highest rated late night television block came from. Without Space Ghost there would be no Adult Swim. For this alone it gains the number 1 spot on my list.