Friday at San Diego Comic Con, within the Hilton’s Indigo Ballroom, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim had a block of its biggest shows all present panels at Comic Con, including a look at their newest series, the animated TV adaptation of Black Dynamite. I was only able to see the first three Adult Swim panels, which included The Venture Brothers, NTSF:SD:SUV, and Children’s Hospital, but each one was a very entertaining experience. The creators and various cast members were present for each panel and brand new footage, or in the case of the two live-action shows, whole episodes were presented during them. Continue on to learn more about the exciting and hilarious new seasons for each of these shows.
First up was The Venture Brothers, which is one of my favorite TV series in general. Creators/executive producers/stars Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer were both present and very ready to talk about the upcoming seasons of the series. For those unfamiliar, The Venture Brothers is an animated series that revolves around the normally misguided adventures of the Venture family, which includes two brothers (Hank and Dean), their super-scientist father (Dr. Venture), and their body guard and secret agent Brock Samson. The show is essentially an action comedy and has a wide assortment of characters, plotting, and backstory. It is currently entering its fifth season, which is what Publick and Hammer would ideally be discussing.
After some opening remarks, Publick and Hammer introduced a reel of footage from the upcoming season of The Venture Brothers. Presented entirely in animatic format, there was clearly a lot to be done in order to finish the show, but the humor was all very apparent and entertaining regardless. The dialogue is always incredibly sharp, with plenty of fun being had in regards to various elements of pop culture including Game of Thrones.
Following the footage, Publick and Hammer took some time to discuss what is coming up in regards to the show. Firstly, Season 5 should debut in early 2013, but there was no specific date set. However, there is the promise of a Halloween special this year, which should be a lot of fun and a good way to quench the thirst of all the fans who have been waiting for new Venture Brothers. The duo also teased that the special would be a flashback episode of sorts, though it is set within the time-frame of Season 5 (they had plenty of confusing ways to build upon that explanation). The two also discussed Season 6 in so much as there is a Season 6 that has been planned out and that they currently like it way more than 5, which they have not finished animating, as I have already mentioned. And lastly, in between Seasons 5 and 6, there is a plan to do an hour long special to wrap up various plot threads. They also made sure to mention the variety of guest starts who will be on the show next season, which includes J.K. Simmons, Aziz Ansari, John Hodgment, Tim Meadows, Padget Brewster, and Gillian Jacobs.
I will continue to sit in anticipation for one of my favorite shows to finally return on the air with new episodes.
The next Adult Swim panel was for the 24/CSI spoof series NTSF:SD:SUV, which is of course short for National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle. This is a series that was created by comedian Paul Scheer, which originally started out as a fake commercial sketch that came on during the next show that I will write about, however, ‘NTSF’ is now entering its second season and continues to look like it will be a lot of absurdest fun.
Paul Scheer served as moderator on the panel and brought out stars Martin Starr, Rebecca Romijn, Brandon Johnson, June Diane Raphael, Rob Riggle, and executive producer Jonathan Stern. With a panel this large, this was a pretty entertaining one, which was better fueled by a discussion revolving around the presence of Ray Liotta as a guest star for one of the episodes they filmed. Along with Liotta, this upcoming season is said to have other guests including Alan Tudyk, Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Aubrey Plaza, Ellie Kemper, Aziz Ansari, Ed Helms, and Hal Linden. The other key announcement was the arrival of an ‘NTSF’ comic book, which made its debut in the panel and on the Comic Con show floor. One thing I found quite interesting to learn was that while only 15 minutes long per episode, they do have 13 episodes this season and they were all apparently shot in just 20 days. Incredibly fast paced indeed.
Eventually one of the episodes was played in its entirety (the show lasts 15 minutes, along with the next show featured in the next panel). The episode was a special Comic Con episode, which was obviously fitting, but did plenty to continue to establish the ridiculous nature of the series. The show is very much a parody of the intense procedural made famous by people like Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in 24 (It was noted in the Q&A that Scheer apparently is aware that Sutherland has seen the show and found it funny).
The new season of NTSF:SD:SUV will debut on August 9th.
The last Adult Swim panel that I managed to see was for Children’s Hospital. This is another parody show that pokes fun at other medical drama series like Grey’s Anatomy. It is also a 15-minute long show, that originally started out as an even shorter web series, only to blow up into a pretty big success as far as Adult Swim shows are concerned. Show creator and star Rob Corddry served as moderator and he brought out stars Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Henry Winkler, Ken Marino, and executive producer Jonathan Stern. Actually, I should backtrack, as the cast was brought out with Van Helen’s jump being blasted through the speakers, in order to have everyone super pumped about what they were about to see (and this was following a brand new promo, which featured the doctors having a blood spray fight, during a blood drive).
Once again, with a panel that mainly consists of comedians, this was a very lively group of people, who were all having a great time making the audience laugh. The promise for this newest season (Season 4) is that all of the episodes will be very much tied to a specific theme, with plenty of ambitious ideas to go around, which should make sense to anyone that has been keeping up with the show. To aid in this description of the season, one of the episodes was shown in its entirety to the audience, which was met with great response.
The last thing I want to mention has less to do with the show and more to do with the presence of Henry Winkler, who is very funny on the show and managed to be a big hit at Comic Con. It is funny to listen to the comedians present on stage, but Winkler seemed to be having a blast at managing to both tell jokes and speak of his sincerity in the amount of respect he has for his fellow cast members and the audience that came to celebrate the show at Comic Con. Basically, the Fonz is still cool.
Children’s Hospital will debut its latest season on August 9th.