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Comic Con 2011: Adult Swim

Juxtapoz // Saturday, 23 Jul 2011

Adult Swim is well known for some of the funniest and most creative TV shows on television today. With a portfolio which consists of established hits like The Venture Bros, and Robot Chicken as well as new successes like Childrens Hospital, and NTSF:SD:SUV (National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego:Sport Utility Vehicle) it shouldn't be a surprise that this series of panels was by far the most hilarious experience I have ever had. They lead off the day with a show which has 4 seasons, and thousands of fans already under its belt.

Venture Bros
The creators of Venture Bros, Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick (a pseudonym of Christopher McCulloch), were both on hand alongside the voice of Dr. Venture himself, James Urbaniak, to handle this year's event. The started off the show with a music video they have created for a band two of the characters are in called Shallow Gravy. The song is called Jacket, and yes it is completely about different styles of jackets, and they lengthened the video in order to allow Adult Swim to utilize it either in broadcast or on a DVD extra for season 5. The also confirmed that they have signed the contract for at least 2 more seasons (seasons 5 & 6) which they are already writing. With pretty much every character from the series represented at this years Comic Con, the show is definitely not in danger of disappearing anytime soon.


NTSF:SD:SUV(National Terrorism Strike Force:San Diego:Sport Utility Vehicle)
A new show for the late night line-up, this comedic parody of police procedural shows, CSI for example, really surprised me. Starring Paul Scheer, Kate Mulgrew, June Diane Raphael, Rebecca Romijn, Martin Starr, and Rob Riggle, it definitely has the cast to hold itself up, but I was worried that this could be just as bad as the series which it is pulling parody from. And while sometimes it definitely approaches the line which separates corny and humor, I believe it walks this line quiet well. I think this is helped by the fact that the majority of Adult Swim shows are only 15 minutes long, preventing the episodes from dragging on.

Now this panel was a bit of a surprise since the time slot it occupied was supposed to be used to present a series of Pilot Episodes for new series they are thinking of producing. But they made up for the change in schedule by filming a portion of one of the episodes in the panel. Getting the audience involved was a neat addition, and it was interesting to see how they will work this footage into the show later in the season. They even had Robert Picardo, he was the Doctor on Star Trek Voyager, pretend to be introducing new clips from the Hobbit to kick off the scene. The series debuted last night(July 21st) and occupies the 12:15 AM time slot on Thursdays moving forward. For a series that was not on my radar until today, I will be DVRing this as soon as I return home.


Childrens Hospital
Now this is really the panel that truly had me in stitches. Never have I laughed so hard for such a long period of time. The cast is now in their second season, and I have trouble believing that they can actually get work done with the amount of fun they seem to have together. With comedic stars like Rob Corddry(who also is the creator of the series), Rob Huebel, Megan Mullally, Erin Hayes, Ken Marino it was amazing to see them all play off one another. They started off by pressuring star Erin Hayes to dance in front of everyone after she admitted she was a horrible dancer when asked if their would ever be a "Musical" episode(see video below).

Then one poor girl name Julie was singled out after her question, and was brought on stage to answer questions with the rest of the panel. The next 4-5 questions were all directed at said fan, and the fact that the audience was going along with the gag had the panel laughing hysterically. She even got a back message from Ken Marino, as well as some comedic advice whispered into her ear from Megan Mullally.

Then a real shocker when actor Stephen Root approached the microphone and proceed to ask Rob Corddry when he would be paid for the episode the debuted at the panel. This surprise was completely unknown to the panel, and shocked everyone, and he too was invited to join the panel. Then after realizing there was a fan dressed up as the character Blake from the series, they invited that fan to join them as well on the panel. Stephen Root even gave up his seat so the fan could join the group.

They did actually provide some information about the series as well. Explaining that their is a "Dramatic Play" style episode coming up, and their is even talked about turning that episode into a musical and touring around performing it. The PA in the series which you never see was confirmed to be actor Michael Cera, and they also confirmed that they are going to finally have him on camera this season. Not afraid to deviate from the topic at hand, they even confirmed that the series Party Down is getting a live action movie made for it. If you haven't seen this series yet, you are missing out. A fan of the show already, seeing how this panel interacted with each other only solidified my thoughts about how awesome this casting job and series truly is.


Black Dynamite
The cult hit of the year in my opinion, the blacksploitation movie Black Dynamite has become so successful they have now adapted the movie into an animated series. They got some major players from the movie to carry through to the animated version as well. Both Michael Jai White, and Kym Whiteley have returned to reprise their roles as Black Dynamite and Honeybee. They showed off the pilot episode, which was in the typical 11-15 minute format and Adult Swim liked it so much, they expanded it to a 20 minute show. This was done so they could explore more about the characters in each episode, while still kicking major honky ass. They also explained that this allowed them to tell longer stories, including a Jackson 5 episode as well as a Richard Pryor episode.


Not only did the get powerhouse Titmouse to do all the animation work, they also drafted Carl Jones from The Boondocks fame to assist as well. Since the series won't be airing until Spring 2012, they have filled that gap with a limited run Black Dynamite comic book which is available starting now. If you haven't seen the movie yet, it is available on Netflix and I highly suggest watching it, especially since the new series is coming out soon, and they even hinted at a sequel to the Live Action movie soon in the future as well.


Robot Chicken
The 4-time Emmy award winning series Robot Chicken is back for the second half of season 5, and is even up for another 3 Emmy awards this year as well. The new season will be starting up October 23 and in an amazing update they will be releasing the season 5 DVD October 25. You read that correctly, 2 days after the second half starts you can buy the DVD with 9 unaired episodes on it. This will either prove to be a brilliant move to increase DVD sales, or a big disappointment as TV viewership drops. This panel was another great example of a group of writers and stars who get along so well, you can't help but enjoy watching them all interact with each other.

Poking jokes at one another, calling each other out very vulgarly when they incorrectly answered a question, and explaining stories about celebrity reactions to being made fun of on the show, are probably the only things I can even write about without incurring a lawsuit of some sort for slander. The second half of this season looks like a home run from the clips they showed, including a clip from the 100th episode which included an amazing scene involving "The" Robot Chicken. The series is just as strong as ever, and isn't showing any signs of breaking its stride anytime soon.


Eagle Heart
Now in it's second season this ultra gory US Marshall parody is new to me, and from the attendance at the panel a relatively unknown show, which I feel deserves a shot. Chris Elliot is the lead role with Maria Thayer and Brett Gelman providing ample support. This show takes gore humor to a whole new level. For example, one scene that was shown consisted of two Marshalls' leap frogging each other while kicking their targets, and after missing one of their enemies the character basically throws himself into a rotating prop of a parked plane being vaporized into a fine mist of blood almost instaneously. The shortest panel of the bunch, not much else was discussed, but that may have been for the better. Leaving a lot to be discovered by watching the show has definitely made me interested in checking out this series.

All text by Nick Lattner / Video Game Editor and Comic Con Guru
Media Research by Yolanda Rodriguez


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