It's been great writing on the internet for a site that doesn't even display my full name in the bylines of my articles, but I'm on to bigger and better things. You see, I've created a cartoon that the Cartoon Network has opted to pick up for their Adult Swim block of programming, ensuring me everlasting fame and fortune for about a year and a half before they dump my show in favor of an even shittier one and then run repeats of the same four episodes for the next decade.
The whole thing was surprisingly easy. I simply identified the elements that nearly every Adult Swim series had in common and then incorporated them into an exciting new series that will push the boundaries of unoriginality and cleverlessness even further than 12 oz. Mouse, Tom Goes To The Mayor, Perfect Hair Forever, Squidbillies and Robot Chicken combined. From what I gathered, these were the basic tenets that each show closely followed.
1. The uglier the art and the shittier the animation, the funnier the show will be. Even if you somehow screw up everything else on this list, the sight of a poorly drawn guy moving jerkily will make your viewers laugh nonstop and also respect you for being too talented and ironic to waste your time and money on actual art.
2. Create characters that are nonsensical in nature. An angry bicycle. A zombie in a coma. A racist hot dog. Now when you write dialogue, no matter how stale that dialogue may be, it will be funny because a bear with herpes is saying it.
3. Random = funny. Always. There's no need to craft an actual joke that half the audience might not get when you can ensure laughs by having an unusually large photograph of a monkey enter a scene and ask if anyone has seen his contact lenses. Cram variations of this theme into your basic plot outline and you'll fill up an entire timeslot without having to think even once. Your script for each episode is essentially a big Mad Libs that you'll fill in over and over again. The photograph of a monkey could just as easily be a sentient bowl of cereal, and instead of asking whether anyone has seen his contacts he could just as easily challenge everyone to an arm wrestling match. Just toss anything in there and people will think it's hilarious. It helps to have a dictionary nearby so you can just flip to a random noun or verb and build a scenario around that.
4. If you absolutely must include humor that isn't random for the sake of being random, consider going with extended periods of uncomfortable silence or having your characters repeat one or two lines of dialogue ad infinitum. This was pretty funny when Space Ghost: Coast To Coast did it ten years ago, but it gets progressively funnier every time it's recycled.
5. Toss in lots of curse words, which will of course be bleeped out. Why bore your audience with this:
Jack The Martian With No Hands: Hey Joe, what's going on?
When you can delight and entertain them by incorporating dialogue like this:
Jack The Martian With No Hands: Hey Joe, you *bleep*, what the *bleep* is *bleep* *bleep* going on?
Oh my god, I can't believe he just didn't say that!
6. Celebrity appearances. Have actual famous people show up to do voicework for your show or simply create their likeness and make them do something bizarre, preferably by combining rules 3 and 5. If you make the celebrity unusually angry and toss in a lot of violence or vomit or poop, oh man watch out because cable television wasn't designed to transmit that much humor. Tom Hanks piloting a mech as it crushes women and children, screaming "Take that, *bleep*suckers!" is just about the funniest thing ever.
My series, "The Triceratops And The Cowboy Gynecologist", features an ensemble cast the likes of which hasn't been seen since Seinfeld or The War At Home. First, there's the triceratops:
Then there's the cowboy gynecologist:
It would be wrong of me to tease you with all of this tantalizing information and leave you hanging, so as my going-away gift to you I will now share the complete script for the pilot episode of The Triceratops And The Cowboy Gynecologist.
THE TRICERATOPS AND THE COWBOY GYNECOLOGIST
INT. OF TRICERATOPS AND COWBOY GYNECOLOGIST'S APARTMENT - ESTABLISHING
Triceratops is sprawled out in a bathtub in the center of the living room. The tub has been filled with a black substance. Cowboy Gynecologist enters from stage right, sliding into the scene without moving his legs or arms.
Why are you taking a bath in the living room? And is that tar?
Ten second silence during which no one moves.
I said is that-
Thirty second silence.
Close-up of Triceratops' face, zooming in on his eyes more and more over the next minute as he blinks silently.
INT. OF TRICERATOPS AND COWBOY GYNECOLOGIST'S APARTMENT
Did you say something?
Triceratops blinks. Total silence follows for three minutes. Christian Slater enters the apartment and bursts into flames.
Oh, you *BLEEP*!
Christian Slater slowly backs out the way he came, still on fire. Triceratops and Cowboy Gynecologist continue to stare at one another for several minutes.
[sauntering up to joss whedon giving magazine interview] Hey are these guys bothering you
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