Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Top 5 Best Current Adult Cartoons

No, not that kind of adult cartoon, pervert.  We're talking about prime-time, network (or at least network-friendly), MA-rated, animated t.v. that you can currently watch (and no, syndication doesn't count).  Here's the best:

5: Archer (FX) - Anything with H. Jon Benjamin is worth a watch.  Here, he voices Sterling Archer, a Bond-esque secret agent whose conceit is only matched by his disregard for others.  The best and funniest part of this show is the characters' conversations with each other.  Keep an eye out for Archer's father--Nikolai Jakov (pronounced Yah-cove or Jackoff, depending on whose saying it)--voiced by Peter Newman of Thundercats and Silverhawks fame.

4: Family Guy (Fox) - There is something brilliant in the cutaways.  Sure they're random and could be determined by a manatee, but they are often genuinely laugh-out-loud funny.  It's styled after the standard family sitcom, but is much edgier--often going too far for most people.  Plus, Family Guy was the only prime-time sitcom to be resurrected from cancellation years later, until the next show accomplished the same feat a few years later.

3: Futurama (Comedy Central) - Matt Groening is brilliant.  And while you may watch current episodes of The Simpsons with more of a groan than a giggle, Futurama just keeps getting better.  It's about a pizza delivery boy who gets cryogenically frozen for 1,000 years and how he adapts to a completely foreign future.  It's also one of the few cartoons where you experience belly laughs and genuine tears in the same episode.  No other show on this list evokes the emotional response of Futurama, which is ridiculous, but true.

2: South Park (Comedy Central) - As my cousin once said, there's something charming about watching 8-year-olds swear.  He's got a few kids of his own now, so I don't know if he still holds that belief, but I know I agree.  This is basically a show about 4 kids and their daily lives.  Of course, they often become the center of vast national, global, and (occasionally) inter-galactic schemes.  South Park is funny, topical, and rational and measured in its approach to real issues.  It's always pushing the envelope too, having some of the most graphic content of any show on television (pay cable included).

1: The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim) - Really funny, great 80s references, intelligent writing, good animation, and cool characters.  Imagine that superheroes and villains actually exist.  This show is set in that world, focusing on Rusty Venture--former boy adventurer and now (failing and pill-addicted) super-scientist--his two boys, and their bodyguard.  What makes it brilliant is that the show ignores their adventures and focuses on the time in-between adventures (sitting around the house, paying bills, watching t.v., etc.).  It's just brilliantly and hilariously written.  This show has it all, including Patrick Wharburton, occasional guest spots by H. Jon Benjamin, and many others.

Okay, so I am not hating on The Simpsons.  The show was great, but is past its prime.  Every show on this list (and the dozens more that didn't make the cut) owe their existence to The Simpsons.  In an all-time list, it would be ludicrous to exclude those yellow-skinned bug-eyed bastards.  But this is about the here and now, and The Simpsons falls short.  Or does it?  Make your case for your favorite cartoon in the comments below.  Would love to see some discussion on this one.


  1. I've never gotten into 1 and 5, but love the middle 3.  You gotta love a show that goes back to its pilot episode to make fun of itself.  Best part was when Steie comments about how odd Meg's voice was and includes a great line about the original voice actor (who apparently decided Family Guy was not worth her time) giving up a huge opportunity.

  2. Was that this past Sunday?  My DVR ran out of space so I didn't see it!

  3. I like the list but I would have put Archer first. That show is great. Glad you didn't put the simpsons on here.

    The new Beavis and Butthead is hilarious. Even funnier than the original version. Might be the funniest show on TV right now.

  4. 1. Family Guy
    2. South Park
    3. Archer
    4. New Beavis & Butthead
    5. Venture Brothers (even though I haven't seen it seen season 3)

    6. Cleveland Show

    Futurama,I never found that show funny. 

  5. Glad to see the love for VB.  Haven't seen the new Beavis & Butthead, but it's getting a lot of positive comments here and other places...

  6. I think you must include Aqua Teen Hunger Force .Originally, they were crime fighters, but that plot was quickly abandoned.The cartoon has attractive posture and clips too.

  7. Yep - It was really good.

  8. You are right, your list was much better than the askmen one. I really appreaciate that you aren't mixing kid cartoons and adult cartoons in your list. 

  9. Here's my top 5 current running shows:
    1. Family Guy
    2. South Park
    3. American Dad
    4. Beavis & Butthead
    5. The Simpsons