Adult Swim drive-in excels in weirdness, quality

Kathryne LeBell, Senior Staff Reporter

On Oct. 2, Adult Swim came to New Orleans on its fall drive-in tour. In a grass lot adjacent to Audubon Zoo, Adult Swim brought the natural weirdness associated with the brand. Viewers experienced a night of talking catfish, late night hacky-sacking, ghost whales and superstar Hamburger the Eel.

New episodes and miniseries premieres from their fall lineup screened and its sponsors, Cricket Wireless and Sony’s PlayStation Vue, provided a food truck, raffles and prizes during the pre-show. String lights lit up the standing area behind a row of cars where people viewed a large, blow-up screen.

At the front, people sat on blankets and pillows, blow-up mattresses and any other number of comfortable seating options. Being situated outside in 60-degree weather found the hundreds of attendees bundled in their winter gear.

Fans of Adult Swim are in for an entertaining season. Williams Street, the main production studio for Adult Swim, is bringing back classics such as “Squidbillies” and “Mike Tyson Mysteries.” During the show, viewers saw new episodes, miniseries premieres and the unaired pilot of the newest series, “Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter.”

Opening with “Squidbillies” was an interesting decision, given the graphic content associated with two main characters receiving harmful drugs at an animal testing facility. At several points, it was disgusting enough to make viewers cover their eyes to avoid watching a cartoon squid’s skin melt off. It also featured the first of two very explicit transgender slurs over the course of the night; a disappointing, though expected, aspect of this event.

The season two premiere of “Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories,” had some clever shout-outs to New Orleans, including a grumpy mob boss demanding a crawfish po’boy. That being said, the overall premise of the episode was pretty disgusting. Eric Wareheim played an unfortunate protagonist with a soiled diaper addiction. Still, it was perfectly in line with Tim and Eric’s body of work.

Fish Center Live opened with a shot-for-shot remake of the “Powerpuff Girls” opening and then proceeded to do its usual thing: ten minutes of Puppybowl-style sportscasting for a tank full of oblivious fish. “Dream Corp LLC,” John Krasinski’s newest project, followed. Set in an experimental testing facility, the show utilizes the same uncomfortable virtual-animation style used in “Xavier: Renegade Angel” to depict a jumbled, nightmare dream state, where patients receive therapy from the (also very uncomfortable) doctor in charge of the clinic.

The pilot of “Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter” was the highlight of the event. Anyone who struts around in neon denim while insulting those around them in a Cajun accent is alright in The Arcade’s book. Set in a seemingly quiet small town, the show seems to apply a fresh veneer of dirty humor to the Lovecraftian cult-town trope. The not oversexualized lesbian mayor was a huge bonus.

Closing out with the season two premiere of “Mike Tyson Mysteries,” the night ended on a positive note. That being said, the fact that they did not show an episode of “Rick and Morty,” arguably one of their best shows on air right now, was disappointing. But overall, the event was absolutely a success.

An estimated 1,500 people RVSPd to the free event and many were turned away once the park hit capacity. Those turned away still received a complimentary Adult Swim bandana and a friendly apology. Understandably, the Adult Swim press team has plenty of experience doing event tours. Prior to the drive-in, they traveled the country with an inflatable bounce house for the Adult Swim Fun House Tour in 2014, as well Adult Swim’s block parties in 2010 and 2011.

It will be exciting to see what else comes from the network in the future, on top of a killer season of new programming.