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The 20 Best Adult Swim Comedy Series, Ranked: From ‘Rick and Morty’ to ‘Robot Chicken’

Cartoon Network's evening programming has become appointment television for comedy nerds.

Adult Swim

10) “Hot Package” (2013-2015)

Derrick Beckles’ surprisingly faithful sendup of entertainment newsmagazines like “Entertainment Tonight” and “Access Hollywood” takes a familiar Adult Swim trick — substituting bizarre archival footage for real video — and surrounds it with the trappings of a brightly lit set, voiceovers, and upbeat anchors teetering on the edge of sanity. Though the content is bizarre, watching real-life talking heads like Pat O’Brien and Mark McGrath elevates this into a true celeb sideshow. This is one of Adult Swim’s shortest and least-seen series; it’s worth the search.

9) “Metalocalypse” (2006-2013)

The bratty younger cousin of “This is Spinal Tap,” “Metalocalypse” follows the misadventures of metal gods Dethklok as they deal with fame so massive that it alters the world economy and causes grateful fans to kill themselves. Mixing cult conspiracies with apocalyptic events might not be an obvious target for hilarity, but the pitch-black humor from Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha is infectious. Bonus: Dethklok might be a cartoon band, but their real-life albums (courtesy of bandleader Small) are heavy as hell.

8) “The Boondocks” (2005-2014)

This socially conscious cartoon was never afraid to mix deep laughs with cultural commentary, and built on the legacy of Aaron McGruder’s comic to create soulful, compassionate characters. Huey Freeman is a protagonist for the ages, and Regina King’s magnificent voice performance quickly elevated the show to brilliance. “The Boondocks” pulled no punches as it tackled hot-button cultural topics, including the influence of violence in hip-hop, BET, Tyler Perry, and many more. Fans of “Chappelle’s Show” and “The Carmichael Show” will value spending time with the Freeman family.

7) “Childrens Hospital” (2010-2016)

Rob Corddry’s web series–turned–Adult Swim hospital spoof owes a debt of gratitude to the Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker school of comedy, with “Airplane”-esque puns and sight gags everywhere. But episodes were wildly ambitious in structure as well, with the 11 minutes expertly wound to parody murder mysteries, documentaries, variety shows, Shakespeare, and vampire fan fiction. Besides tight writing, a pitch-perfect main cast was supplemented by dozens of comedy ringers stepping in for smaller roles.

6) “The Eric Andre Show” (2012-present)

Although the DNA of his show is effectively Tim and Eric meets “Space Ghost Coast to Coast,” Eric Andre has become one of the most dynamic performers of his generation thanks to his urgent and insane talk-show parody. Aided by his perfectly laid-back foil Hannibal Buress, Andre is constantly destroying his set, terrorizing his guests, bending the laws of physics and good taste, and going offsite for his “Jackass”-on-peyote field segments. It’s the most subversive show on television, with Andre’s punk-rock posturing perfectly skewering celebrity culture.

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