Monday, October 05, 2009

Cartoon for grownups

I loved several cartoon shows as a kid.  He-Man, She-Ra, Tiny Toons, and Animaniacs were some of the finest half-hour blocks of my childhood TV time.  My love of the animated short has continued into adulthood.

The upstairs neighbors introduced me to a show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim called The Venture Brothers.  Imagine Johnny Quest all grown up into a jaded, bad superscientist (and self-centered douchebag) named Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture.  He has two idiot sons, Hank and Dean, and their mother is nowhere in sight.  Dr. Venture also has a massive bodyguard with a mullet and the voice of Patrick Warburton--Brock Samson.  Dr. Venture's nemesis is The Monarch, a butterfly-themed supervillian with a second-in-command named Dr. Girlfriend.  Much funnier than it sounds, the show makes a bevy of pop culture references in any given episode and debates the villain/hero dynamic.  (While Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog had the Evil League of Evil, the supervillains in The Venture Brothers are governed by the Guild of Calamitous Intent.)  The characters build over the course of the first three seasons, and my favorites are Master Billy Quizboy, Henchmen 21 and 24, Brock Samson, Dr. Orpheus, and The Monarch.

Sample dialogue:
Henchman 21: Here is where you are wrong, my friend. This woman has killed before.
Henchman 24: Allegedly.
Henchman 21: Okay, whatever. But she was a big girl. We are talking about a large, healthy woman of questionable stability.
Henchman 24: Oh, you are totally underestimating the never-say-die scrappiness of a survivor.
The Monarch: Hey, guess what? Nobody cares who would win in a crazy fantasy fist-fight between Anne Frank and Lizzie Borden. We never should have brought the henchmen. We're going to be the only ones there with henchmen!

Brock Samson: After the twist, you'll feel a snap and the body goes ragdoll on you.
Hank Venture: And that will knock him out... even more?
Brock Samson: That will kill him.
Hank Venture: Do I have to?
Brock Samson: Alright, fine crybaby. Tie him up and, I guess, gag him. But at the first sign of trouble I want you to at least break both his knees.

Dr. Girlfriend: Killing your arch-enemy on Christmas Eve - that's a gift for me?
The Monarch: Well, I got you some stocking-stuffers too...

Season four starts on October 18.  Cartoon Network has whole episodes available to watch for free on their website, so get caught up while you can.  Go Team Venture!!!

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