Aqua Teen Hunger Force is one of those shows that has managed to stay pretty far under the radar. It’s heading into it’s 15th season on Adult Swim, making it the longest running show in Adult Swim history. I, personally, believe that it’s the most inventive of the adult cartoons. Tonight, we had the very rare opportunity to get to listen to the show’s creators, Dana Snyder and Dave Willis, talk about this long running program.
Tonight marked the anniversary of a very special occasion in Aqua Teen History. Seven years ago, the good people at Adult Swim and First Look Pictures decided it would be clever to leave LITE-BRITEs around various different major cities with the image of ATHF character Ignignokt flipping you off as a way to promote the release of Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters. This promo fared well in nearly every market. Every market except Boston. In Boston, people thought it was a bomb. Thus causing the entire city to shut down! Snyder and Willis spent the first 30 minutes or so discussing this experience. They even teased us with the idea of showing us a lost episode about the incident that the network refused to show!
After a wonderful and informative bit about paranoia in a post 9/11 society, we were treated to what was both the most casual and most informative panel about a TV show that I’ve ever witnessed. Snyder, who wore a silver jumpsuit, and Willis, dressed more casually, proceeded to tell a history of the show. These guys were working on Space Ghost Coast to Coast when they were offered the job of developing a reboot of Huckleberry Hound. That reboot never got off the ground, and, instead, they ended up with a TV show about crime fighting fast food. The network execs said “I don’t like this. It’s not very good. But we’ll do it.” We also learned that it costs $100k to produce an episode, and yes, they reuse animation.
In addition to a bit of learning, we were also treated to a few bits! A puppet of Carl spent some time predicting the Super Bowl wins. (He predicted The Seahawks. I did not watch the Super Bowl, and opted not to research the results, as I feel very confident that a late night cartoon puppet knows what’s up). We were treated to a reading of a scene from the unreleased second ATHF film, Aqua Teen Hunger Force II: Death Fighter. We even got to enjoy some of the best audience Q+A questions that I’ve ever experienced! These were a lot of intelligent, somewhat nerdy people, that were excited to finally talk to the minds behind many of the great programs on Adult Swim.
Of course, every show deserves a big finish. Our big finish? Snyder bought a bag full of goodies from Ichi Ban Kan in Japantown, including disposable underwear, portable toilets, and goofy glasses. Willis brought a bunch of Adult Swim swag, including coasters, hats, CD’s, DVD’s, etc. Both men proceeded to throw these items throughout the room. They brought so much stuff that EVERYONE got to take home a prize. Or two. Or even more.