Monday, April 6, 2009

All Kids Out of the Pool: A Short Retrospective on Adult Swim in its Golden Years, Pt. 1

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but Adult Swim was actually showing quality programming before Family Guy went into syndication. I know, crazy, huh?

It started out (for me anyway) with Space Ghost Coast to Coast. I caught this weird show one late night in middle school and, though I had no idea what I was watching, could not turn away. Confusion led hilarity, and I was hooked. Check out my favorite episode, featuring Bjork, Thom Yorke, and this great exchange between Space Ghost and his new wife:

"You know what? It doesn't matter, because I love you so much...that, it's time for you to go to sleep."

I remember as a freshman in high school trying to convince my older sister that Space Ghost's song in this episode, "Knifin' Around," was hilarious, but to no avail.

It wasn't long until a primitive Adult Swim premiered. One night a week, 13-minute episodes. Space Ghost was joined by a bevy of great new shows: Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law (with a character voiced by Stephen Colbert), The Brak Show, and the less funny but immensely more popular Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Sealab was particularly amazing. The first video I ever downloaded (when YouTube didn't exist and Napster was still king), was an episode of Sealab where a French diver helps the crew find Captain Murphy's Happy Cake Oven: "It's not a toy. It makes real cupcakes, with a 40 watt bulb, and there's icing packets....but the secret ingredient, is love....damn it."

Check out this amazing clip.

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