I, like many of you, grew up watching Adult Swim every night (probably to my parents' dismay). Adult Swim helped introduce us to many great syndicated shows like Family Guy, Futurama, King of the Hill, American Dad, Bob's Burgers, and a bunch of anime. Even though we all spent countless hours watching these shows, Adult Swim has had a plethora of original content that they've produced over the years. I'm sure we have all had our favorites, but here are my ten picks for greatest Adult Swim original shows.
Starting off my list is the always brutal Metalocalypse. This show, like many others on this list, was filled with the oddest assortment of sexuality, gore, violence, and language. It follows Dethklok, the band, as they traverse the world touring and getting themselves into all sorts of trouble. What made Metalocalypse stand out was the fact that their music was actually pretty kick-ass (I actually bought two of their albums and almost saw them live). I always enjoyed watching their episodes because I knew things would get balls-to-the-wall insane, and I'd get to listen to some funny/awesome music. Something else that I always appreciated about the show, being a metal fan, was how each character was similar to well-known Metal figures in real life.
9. Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty is the newest show on this list, and I'll admit, it took me a while to actually give it a try. After about three episodes, I was sold. The show gets more and more bizarre with every episode. I love the relationship between Rick and Morty, as well as Rick and the rest of the family. The animation in the show is also really aesthetically pleasing. It reminds me a bit of Superjail! mixed with Adventure Time. The pace also keeps me intrigued because it doesn't let you catch your breath. I look forward to watching Season 2 and I'm sure it will cement its place in Adult Swim history with each subsequent episode.
8. Frisky Dingo
What a name! Quick story: I started watching this show because I had seen a picture of a bloody dingo in an old issue of AP Magazine years and years ago. I went home that night and ended up finding this show because the name stood out to me. Despite the odd circumstances that led me to this show, I love Frisky Dingo for the insane, Archer-esque show it is. The animation always catches my eye, as does all work done by Adam Reed. More gripping than the animation, however is the dialogue. Adam Reed and Matt Thompson have one hell of a way of writing the interactions between the insane characters they create. Frisky Dingo has incredibly wild characters that all have these terrible ways of talking to each other while being unbelievably hilarious. If you haven't seen this show, I implore you to look it up on YouTube where almost all of the episodes are available.
7. Home Movies
Who remembers Home Movies!? If you've watched this show, you likely either hated or loved the it. This show, while crudely animated, had some really funny and, oddly enough, touching moments. I watched this show while I was in middle school and I remember feeling like these kids were growing up like me. It was like someone was actually recounting how life was as a kid. Everyone in the show was immensely flawed, which made for great comedic moments, but the flaws also made each character relatable. If you don't believe that this show is awesome, just know that Archer himself, H. Jon Benjamin, plays one of the main characters, and he kills every role he's in.
6. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
This show had some really high highs and some really low lows, but when it delivered it always got huge laughs. Luckily, more often than not Aqua Teen Hunger Force was super fun. It took me a while to get over the whole premise and animation (and how everything looked constantly dirty in the show), but once I was able to accept it for what it was, it became so much funnier. Obviously, we all wanted to be like Frylock, but the funniest character was Carl. Even though Meatball was constantly shit on by Milkshake, it was so much more rewarding when Carl's already terrible life got just that much more miserable. At the end of the day, I respect this show for being consistently random in its premise, all the way down to the weekly adventure. I never knew what to expect each week, and I love that feeling when I'm watching a show.
5. Space Ghost Coast to Coast
Now some of you might not remember this show. It is my only (sort of) exception on this list. Space Ghost originated on Cartoon Network before there was Adult Swim, but was always more mature. It was the first show on Adult Swim and was specifically targeted for an older, late-night audience. Space Ghost is basically a funnier late-night talk show than the ones hosted by real people. It is chalk-full of crazy characters like Space Ghost himself, Brak, Zorak, Moltar, and even Harvey Birdman! The whole premise was to have Space Ghost interview different people, whether it be real people or animated characters, and then sit back and let the hilarity ensue. This show was the cornerstone for everything that Adult Swim eventually did and deserves to be recognized as the grandfather of all the subsequent shows.
4. The Boondocks
Who hasn't felt like Huey or Riley at some point during their adolescence? The Boondocks followed two brothers who lived with their granddad and constantly caused problems while trying to make some money or have some fun. Much like Home Movies, I remember loving this show because it reminded me of how people actually act in real life. The Boondocks, despite the crazy fight scenes and schemes, was always telling the story of normal people living in a world just as cruel as ours. I think this is why it was so popular for so long. Also, didn't Huey always remind you of a young Afro Samurai? No? Just me? Ok.
3. Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law
Another cornerstone of Adult Swim programming, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law changed the game. For those who haven't seen it, it's similar to Archer, but instead of ISIS agents, they are all lawyers and such. Harvey Birdman was the first Adult Swim show I'd ever seen. This is what got me interested in all of the shows that came after and before it. Harvey Birdman was like nothing else I'd ever seen. I remember being caught so off-guard by the fact that I was watching an animated show, but that there were so many mature references, smoking, drinking, and sexual innuendos. In some small way, this show made me who I am today. Beside all of my own personal connection crap, this show was hilarious! The greatest part of this show was the characters that were brought on for Harvey to defend in court. Each week you'd see beloved cartoon characters like Fred Flintstone or Scooby Doo and Shaggy acting completely out of character and smoking, while Harvey would find a way to bail them out of whatever trouble they were in. For those who haven't seen it, I can't recommend this show more!
2. Venture Bros.
Venture Bros. came out when I was watching The Justice League animated series. I was watching JLA religiously and loved the idea of an animated show about a team saving the world. Then, I turned on the same channel around 10pm and found Venture Bros. It is basically a superhero show about two brothers who are nit-witted sons of a brilliant and cynical scientist. They battle The Monarch and other super-villains, all while having their trusty bodyguard Brock Samson by their side. What made this show so interesting for me was the obvious connections to the Justice League. There were a plethora of villains and heroes that were caricatures of known characters in the DCU and that made it so much funnier. Regardless of this connection, Venture Bros. is the gem that it is because of Brock Samson. He is one of my favorite characters of all-time. Brock is a cross between The Punisher, Superman, 007, Johnny Bravo, and The Hulk. How could you not love someone like that!?
1. Robot Chicken
The top spot on my list goes to the show that simply gave me the most laughs. I am admittedly more invested in some of these other shows, but Robot Chicken has literally made me laugh every time I've watched a new episode. I can't say that about almost any other show. The beauty of Robot Chicken was its ability to take beloved characters, much like Harvey Bridman, and make insane parody skits with them at the center. Even with the use of great characters like He-Man, the JLA, Spider-Man, Michael Jackson, and Star Wars characters, some of the funniest skits involved original characters from the show. For instance, The Nerd, as he is so eloquently referred to, is the character that got the most consistent laughs out of me. I loved when he met aliens and kept getting anally probed, met Doctor Who and hated the Tardis, or when he had a nightmare about driving the shitty Kit from Knight Rider. There were, and continue to be, so many hilarious scenes from Robot Chicken.
There you have it guys! Be sure to let me know which Adult Swim original show is your favorite in the comments below! Also, have you ever seen one of these shows? Are you now are planning on watching it? Thanks for reading and keep on nerding out!