Alibi V.25 No.27 • July 7-13, 2016 

Idiot Box

Say What?

“Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio” on Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network’s late-night Adult Swim programming block has made its reputation as a repository for transgressive, experimental, “anti-comedy” in both animated and live-action form. Over the years, the network-within-a-network’s programming has transitioned from the mostly odd (“Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “Fat Guy Stuck on Internet,” “Frisky Dingo,” “Moral Orel”) to the truly bizarro (“12 oz. Mouse,” “Xavier: Renegade Angel,” “The Heart, She Holler,” “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!,” “Check it Out! with Dr. Steve Brule”). Now, writer-producer Brad Neely (“I Am Baby Cakes,” “The Professor Brothers,” “China, IL.”) steps up with an animated sketch comedy series that continues to push Adult Swim into the further reaches of the aesthetically and comically challenging category.

We can start, of course, with the title. “Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio” (originally titled “TV Sucks” until weirder heads prevailed) tells you an awful lot about the show you’re potentially about to watch. It makes no sense at first glance ... and even less the more you look at it. “Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio” is essentially a repository for half-formed and abandoned ideas left over from “China, IL.” That particular show, surreal as it might have been at times, had some semblance of a concept. Set in the “worst college in America,” “China, IL.” concentrated on a group of professors as they got drunk, screwed around and did just about anything in their power to not perform their jobs. “Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio” is just a barrage of micro sketches—most under a minute long. Neely’s taste for musical comedy comes out in the form of the countless songs that dot the series as demented music videos or the intro theme songs to nonexistent sitcoms. (Neely has allegedly composed around 100 of these short-play ditties.) Played in rapid-fire succession, the sketches time out to about 15 minutes per week. Any more than that and your head would probably explode.

The simple, pastel-colored animation from Neely’s other outings makes an expected return. An assortment of guest stars (Affion Crockett, Ilana Glazer, Darrell Hammond, Gabourey Sidibe) pop up occasionally to voice a character or two. But, as in previous series, it’s Neely himself who provides most of the voices. And the humor? Well, one indicative segment babbles on about Donald Trump, “wearing a trench coat with, like, two living goats for shoes and, like, nine rings made out of cheese. And, you know, he’s got no eyes, and he’s got those hand teeth and them, like, ankle testicles. And he’s, like, living in Antarctica with, like, half a cyborg procedure done. But, uh, he’s there with the cast of Goonies and they’re, like, working as his butlers.” Uh huh. Other representative sketches include “Pre-Teen With a Predator’s Head,” a sexy music video about leaf blowers, a clip in which naked basketballers slam dunk and a brief ode to God as a roommate (“He lives in my space. ... He ate all my shit.”) It’s not “funny: ha-ha.” It’s “funny: um, OK.” Fans of Adult Swim’s increasingly surreal, post-stoner, insomiac comedy might get it. All others are advised to stick to the “Futurama” reruns.

“Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio” premieres Sunday, July 10, at 12:45am on Cartoon Network.