With my excitement for the upcoming season of Star Wars Rebels, I sometimes forget about the other great cartoons to watch that are out there. There are dozens of other wonderful shows . It’s like the kids who grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons grew up to be writers and animators. Then, they eventually said, “Eff it. I’m going to make cartoons. But good cartoons with drinking and violence.”
God bless people like that. They are the real MVP.
This post will focus more on shows that are less kid-friendly than Star Wars Rebels. Actually, this post will mostly focus on shows that I think are pretty freaking awesome. If you are easily offended, these shows may not be for you.
Rick and Morty
Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty is about a super-intelligent, grandfather (Rick) who takes his grandson (Morty) on his many interdimensional travels. Since Rick is a huge bag of douche and Morty is a pushover, Morty ends up learning a lot about the nature of people and himself. So far, there are two seasons to this show. While each episode tells a single story, there is an underlying story arc that weaves its way through the seasons.
The Venture Bros.
Image a superscientist. He is rich, charming, and brilliant in all the ways people want to be. Now image he is also a jet-setting adventurers. This man is 50 percent Indiana Jones, 50 percent James Bond, and 50 percent Steven Hawking. No, my math is not wrong. He is just that bad-a.
Now image he has a son who embodies everything he is not. The Venture Bros. is about that son. Dr. Thaddeus Venture is a 40-something scientist who has failed at everything but riding his dead father’s coat tails. He has a blood-thirsty bodyguard and two sons that seem to get into Scooby-doo-esque hijinks.
The show is in its sixth season and is set to launch another sometime in the future.
Frisky Dingo was one of the most brilliant television shows I have ever seen. While the show only ran for two seasons, that is no indication of its hilarity. Season one focuses on billionaire Xander Cruz, also known as Awesome X, trying to find a new supervillain to fight. Enter Killface. Killface is an alien, of sorts, who is just trying to raise a son while trying to finish his work on the Annalilatrix…which will push the earth into the sun. This comedy of errors has a runtime of just over two hours per season.
Season 1 is great.
Season 2 is an accidentally brilliant depiction of today’s political theater. But that’s a post for another day.
When the higher-ups cancelled Frisky Dingo, the writers, director, and voice talent created Archer. Image the Office, with more sexual innuendo, more violence, and a lot more witty banter. Archer is probably one of the most well-written shows on TV today. The show follows Sterling Archer, an international secret agent who is all to open about his life as a spy. He works for his mother, an overbearing woman who is never pleased with her son. He also works with his on-again, off-again paramour Lana Kane. There’s also a ditzy receptionist, a gossipy HR director, a sex-addicted accountant, and a morally bankrupt scientist who may or may not be a clone of Hitler.
The characters on the show spend just as much time arguing about office politics as they do preventing governmental coups and international secrets getting into the wrong hands.
Mike Tyson Mysteries
What does Mike Tyson do when he is not boxing? He’s solving mysteries, of course. The Mike Tyson Mysteries is about Mike, his daughter, a ghost, and a foul-mouthed pigeon helping people with their problems. This show is a self-deprecating romp of hilarious awkwardness.
Mike Tyson, voiced by Mike Tyson himself, is always trying to lend a hand…or a fist. And with the help of his gang, he often does. Each episode is only 11 minutes long, so it is worth giving it a shot.
If it seems like a 5 year-old boy wrote this show, then you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. Because it was. The many adventures of Axe Cop come from the mind of a 5 year-old with a wild imagination. There is no logical progression of story. Each episode makes fantastic leaps in plot, characterization, and general logic.
Axe Cop, is another show with short episodes. Invest 11 minutes in this show and you will love it.
There is something I love about H. John Benjamin as a voice actor. He plays the titular character in both Archer and Bob’s Burgers. The show follows Bob and his wife Linda as they try to raise their three children, Tina, Gene, and Louise. The restaurant is not what you would call successful but has a certain charm about it that seems to help keep it and the family afloat.
If that description doesn’t make you want to watch this show, just know, there are tons of fart jokes. Which, you know, makes it totally worthwhile.
I am sure that I have left some great cartoons of this list. What cartoons do you like that I should have added to the list? Leave a comment below.