This week I’ll be looking at some of the best cartoons over the course of four lists: Adult Cartoons, Children Cartoons, Anime and Other. If you think I’m overlooking one of your favorites, hold up for the other lists, they might be there.
We are starting with Adult cartoons, which are basically any cartoons (other than anime) that curse a lot, have sexually suggestive content, etc.
Got to preface this by saying a few things:
1) I, like the rest of the world, loved the first 3-4 seasons of Family Guy, but that show has been a mess for the past 5 seasons and the episodes all have 0 rewatchability. Not a fan. Robot Chicken is a little better but not getting anywhere near by Top 10.
2) What I’ve seen of Archer thus far has been wonderful, but far too small a sample to make the list 😦 Same goes for THE RICKY GERVAIS show, which gets an honorable mention.
3) Ren & Stimpy scarred me as a child, so while I give it the nod of approval, I shut my eyes whenever it’s on.
Here we go.
8. The Oblongs
The Oblongs is one of those “wicked” comedies. It’s like a dark comedy, but with a more frenetic pace, and colorful…because, I mean, it’s a cartoon, it can’t be that dark.
When you have Will Ferrel, The Sklar brothers and Billy West on hand, you are in good company.
QUOTABLE: “We’re going to the quarry, to pick up quarry some skanks.”
7. The Life and Times of Tim
For an HBO comedy, Tim is pretty tame, although they do use their curse/prostitution-quota effectively. While season 3, which narrowly avoided never existing, was an improvement on the disappointing second series, look no further than the original ten episodes to witness comedy gold along the lines of a more absurd, perverted Curb Your Enthusiasm.
QUOTABLE: Too many to count.
6. Aqua Teen Hunger Force
The theme song alone lands this on the list. But seriously, how great must it be going to work knowing you have the freedom to do absolutely anything you want? Certain creative minds might feel like they are in this position, but wait until your central protagonists are a milkshake, a box of fries and a wad of indeterminate meat. While I have my favorites, every episode is a treat, as in about 9 minutes it’s over and, good or bad, you are left wonder what the fuck just happened.
QUOTABLE: “What happened to my friggen car?”
5. The Boondocks
If season 3 hadn’t been such shit, The Boondocks would be vying for a spot at the top. That said, I’m dying for season 4, its existence a miracle in itself. Sure, Boondocks is funny, but it has several other things going for it. The artwork is sublime, refreshing, and constantly changing. Political and social commentary runs rampant. There is action of both anime and Scarface ancestry.
But best of all, The Boondocks is a show with a feel, and it’s a unique one at that, a sort of melancholy tempo. Huey Freeman seems to know what’s best for the world, but damn it if he can’t even get his own granddad to listen.
QUOTABLE: “Nigga, you gay.”
4. King of the Hill
Of all the cartoons on this list, KotH is the least cartoony. Sometimes I forget I’m watching a cartoon. The characters, their relationships and up until the latest seasons, the plot lines are all so minute, mundane and realistic. It’s phenomenal. And let me just say this, Hank Hill is top 5 greatest TV dads of all time, forget about it.
QUOTABLE: “What happens if my tee shot lands on a bird’s back and he carries it out of bounds but then is attacked by a larger bird who grabs the ball and drops it in the hole? Is that still a hole in one? ‘Cause that’s how I’m gonna play it.”
I can’t let these new, Comedy Central episodes tarnish my memory of Matt Groenings other child, Futurama. I’ve always maintained that Futurama, at its best, displays the greatest writing in animation history: not only are the jokes quick, witty and multi-layered, they are often based around some invention, character or future-meme that first had to be created by the writers, and then write the jokes around it. It’s hard to explain, but watch any episode from season 2-3 and you will know what I mean. Rarely will you laugh at a joke, stop, laugh again, stop and think, laugh a third time. Ah, to be young again!
QUOTABLE: “”But that’s not why people watch TV. Clever things make people feel stupid, and unexpected things make them feel scared.”
2. South Park
You didn’t expect this list to be original, did you? Despite South Park recording one of the steepest quality declines in TV history after season 10, well have our DVD-boxsets and 2am UPN reruns to remind us that not only was South Park once edgy, it was damn funny. Every Wednesday fans would hold their collective breaths, waiting to see what ungodly acts the boys would find themselves in. They continue plugging away, but the spirit just aint there. This is about the 4th-5th different “face” of the show, and it is by far the ugliest, but whatever, screw you guys, I’m going home.
QUOTABLE: “Christopher Columbus discovered America and was the Indians’ best friend. He helped the Indians win their war against Frederick Douglass and freed the Hebrews from Napoleon and discovered France.”
1. The Simpsons
We must not let our children forget! As I’m sure this show will still exist in some format 40 years from now, we need to remind our brood that one day, in the before, the long long ago, The Simpsons was, outside of Seinfeld maybe, the most well-written sit com ever. Don’t believe me? Sick of The Simpsons hype? Tough. Suck it up. You’re wrong. The first 6, 7, even 8 seasons of this show are just a well of quote, catch phrases, social memes and nostalgic memories of childhood. If The Simpsons movie came out 5 years earlier it might’ve been one of the highest grossing movies of all time.
QUOTABLE: “The fame was like a drug…but what was more like a drug were the actual drugs.”