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Adult Swim: 20 Years Of An American Institution.

There is NOTHING that takes me back to the Late 2001/2002 Era of Televison MORE THAN the Early Days of Adult Swim. I remember very VIVIDLY the night the Adult Swim block aired for the VERY FIRST TIME on a Sunday night on September 2, 2001. I was 6-years-old watching reruns of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (I believe?) until SUDDENLY all the kids shows I loved watching on Cartoon Network STOPPED AIRING and I started seeing these WEIRD bumpers that took place in a swimming pool and I was hearing this random lifegaurd telling us kids to "GET OUT OF THE POOL." (I didn't LOL).

Adult Swim:




As I said above, Adult Swim launched for the first time on Cartoon Network on September 2, 2001 which was ONLY NINE DAYS BEFORE 9/11. The whole point of the existence of this nightime block was to serve as an adult alternative nightime television block that aired at nightime for teens and young adults while most of kids who watched Cartoon Network during the day and evening were SUPPOSED to be ASLEEP (BUT MOST OF US WEREN'T LOL).

The block proved to be INCREDIBLY POPULAR and VERY REVOLUTIONARY for Cartoon Network at the time because it aired it's own original programming, syndicated series such as ANIME and SEVERAL adult animated shows.

I will discuss the shows I mostly remember watching as a little kid when Adult Swim first came out below.

The Brak Show (2001-2003):

Ahh, The Brak Show...Brak FREAKED ME OUT A LOT whenever he came on at night when I was little kid and I always found him and this show to be VERY PECULIAR (like Space Ghost: Coast To Coast) back then...but now I LOVE IT and look back on it with LOTS of NOSTALGIA and realize how funny it was.

At the time, I didn't realize that Brak and Zorak were Space Ghost characters and this show was SUPPOSED to be a spin-off of Space Ghost: Coast To Coast.

Home Movies (2001-2004):

Of ALL the shows that aired during Adult Swim's early days, the one I liked to watch the MOST was Home Movies.

The show centered around an 8-year-old boy named Brendan who made homemade films with his friends Melissa and Jason.

I always loved this show when I was little because of how WEIRD and STRANGE it was and I LOVED the animation of the show because it VERY MUCH reminded me of the animation from Science Court.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2001-2015):

And of course, we all know what kind of BIG HIT and CLASSIC Aqua Teen Hunger Force would eventually become...but I was DEFINITELY SHOCKED with HOW OLD this show was and I DEFINETLY DON'T REMEMBER Aqua Teen Hunger Force airing around this time...but I was ONLY a little kid so.......

The Continuation Of Space Ghost Coast To Coast (2001-2004):

And of course, Space Ghost: Coast To Coast continued to air as a show part of the Adult Swim block until April 12, 2004 when it ended all together.

While I DEFINITELY DIDN'T get exposed to Space Ghost: Coast To Coast through Adult Swim (because the show predates the block BIG TIME) and DON'T consider to be an Adult Swim original, I do remember contining to watch the show after Adult Swim premired until the show ended and I have A LOT OF NOSTALGIA for the Late-2001/2002 period of Space Ghost.

Today, Adult Swim REMAINS a Nightime Television EMPIRE and is pretty much THE ONLY THING keeping Cartoon Network ALIVE these days. And this September, it will turn 20 YEARS OLD like A LOT of CLASSIC THINGS from the Early-2000's will turn 20 THIS FALL such as the ORIGINAL Xbox, the Gamecube, the first release of the IPod, the first Peter Jackson Lord Of The Rings Movie, etc.

It will be real interesting to see what Cartoon Network/Adult Swim will do for it's 20th anniversary on September 2nd this year.

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BionicleFan1994 Posted on Sep 01, 2021 at 02:13 PM

@Mr. Magic, I didn't include my thoughts on Harvey Birdman because I didn't want to make the article too long, but I realize that was a mistake and I should have included Harvey Birdman and Sealab 2021.


Mr Magic Posted on Sep 01, 2021 at 01:49 PM

No love for Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law?

onipar Posted on Aug 20, 2021 at 01:42 AM

Nice article. It's funny, I also have nostalgia for these shows and Adult Swim, but from a very different perspective. I was 21 and in my third year of college, so these shows are all tied up with my college experience. Memories of watching them in the commons area, or having them playing in the background while we had "hush hush" dorm room parties. And then later, once I graduated, watching in my first real apartment with my roommates in between Xbox sessions. Ah, good times.

BionicleFan1994 Posted on Aug 17, 2021 at 04:21 PM

@Vaporman87, yeah I would have included my thoughts Harvey Birdman and Sealab 2021, but I didn't want to make the article too long and plus I don't know much about Sealab 2021.

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 17, 2021 at 03:20 PM

Of these, the only show I couldn't get into was The Brak Show. All others were pretty decent, especially Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Missing here are two other funny ones... Harvey Birdman and Sealab 2021

Benjanime Posted on Aug 17, 2021 at 03:09 PM

personally i was more of a fan of toonami, and i only ever cared about watching the anime on adult swim's timeslot. the problem? during its early to mid 2000s years they would air their anime late at night and past midnight and i had to go out of my way to grab some vhs tapes and record them while i had my last years of school. i'm actually surprised too, it was my last time even using vhs tapes to record at all.

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