In 1994 a man named Tony Millionaire (that’s not a pen name, that’s just one of the coolest names ever) created a comic called “Maakies” that…I’m not really sure if it’s still running or not. Most publications say it’s been dead for 4 years, but the below comic has copyright 2016. Why have you never seen this comic in any newspaper ever, unlike The Boondocks? Well with The Boondocks it’s not really in your face with its satire and you really have to think to get many of the jokes. Also, newspapers actually picked it up. Needless to say, that’s not the case with Maakies, which ran in alternative newspapers all across the nation. Wait, it was in Italy too?!
A bunch of flash animations were made in the late 90s to broadcast during SNL. In 2007, it was announced The Drinky Crow Show, a show based off the Maakies characters, would be one of the 5 pilots in the “Night of 1000 Pilots”. The end results were Fat Guy Stuck In Internet, Superjail!, Freaknik: The Musical, and The Drinky Crow Show (nothing really happened with Let’s Fish)
The Drinky Crow Show premiered 2 months after Superjail! on November 23rd 2008 at 12:15 AM. It was cancelled shortly after for “meh” ratings and Mike Lazzo personally not giving a shit about the show.
So what’s The Drinky Crow Show about? Well, it’s your basic [adult swim] plot: an alcoholic suicidal crow voiced by the creator of Moral Orel and a monkey with a hat are sailors that rarely do sailor things and it all takes place in the 1800s and both characters are immortal for some reason. And it DOESN’T have the weirdest basic plot on the network. That award would probably go to King Star King. What’s the plot for that show? I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine.
Ok, the ACTUAL plot of the show is pretty much just the wacky adventures of Drinky Crow and his friend Uncle Gabby, no relation. Drinky wants to impress Phoebe Bird, his on-again, off-again girlfriend while Gabby just wants sex, booze, and just to have fun. The captain wants to end the war with the French (did I mention the war with the French Navy Alligators? There’s a war with French Navy Alligators) while his daughter, whom Gabby loves, could give a shit. One of the things I love about this show is the absurd adventures. Thanks to the main characters being immortal, they can get fucking DEMOLISHED for the point of a joke. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. An example of where it works can be found in the episode Whale Show, by far the most violent episode of the series. In it, the duo are paid to make stories based on “True Stories”. Whether or not the stories are actually good is irrelevant because no one cares about the plot they care about the GORE! YEAH! This can actually be viewed as good satire on the sense of humor of the general demographic of channels like Spike TV. It insults the intelligence of some but the actual target audience will get bored, a reason some shows like Arrested Development and The Grinder were cancelled: they were popular among the wrong audience.
Want to know what the most surreal thing about the show is? Explicit language is very rare on the show. I only found two moments when they censored the language, and one of them is clearly used for comedy. That’s pretty rare these days, compared to the stuff aired now on the network. To compensate, there’s LOADS of violence. Maybe not on Superjail! levels, but still enough. It’s clearly not realistic, but I think that’s because of the animation style. It’s stylized for a 1950s children’s cartoon. It has a 2.5D look and definitely looks like it comes right off the comic. It was animated in Mirari Films, whose 2D animated works can be found in The Problem Solverz and the King Star King pilot (I’ve mentioned that show twice now, that’s a horrible sign) and their 3D animated works can be found in Mongo Wrestling Alliance and this show. They mostly specialize in 3D animation, and have only recently been looking into 2D. I personally like their 3D more, especially in their “Real Animals” pilot. The animation does NOT look bad, especially considering that CGI TV shows on a low budget don’t always look all that great. Yes, compared to other shows, it looks like shit. But on its own it’s not noticeably bad.
The show’s humor isn’t gross-out stoner comedy like a bunch of other shows of this nature. Sure, there’s gross-out, but it isn’t in your face or there just to be there. Something disgusting happens so naturally there’s going to be some disgusting imagery. It isn’t high class comedy either, as this is [adult swim] we’re talking about. This is more in-between those two. It’s stupid, but it’s aware that it’s stupid. Here we come to the show’s greatest flaw: it’s aware, but unlike trying to take that as an advantage, it tries to hide it. My favorite episode is God of Monkeys because of all the batshit insane things that happen in the episode. My least favorite episode is Aspire, an episode where the captain’s daughter tries to be funny, but isn’t. Pointing out that you aren’t funny doesn’t make you funny. The episode has a fucking vampire on the ship and it STILL comes out as boring. Another episode like that is Beer Goggles. This is one of those shows that goes under the category of “The first episode is shit compared to the rest of the series”. There are a lot of shows that do this (Hell, there are even a bunch of anime with a first episode that’s filler) and this is one of them sadly. It focuses on one joke for the majority of the episode and fails at it. Best part of the episode is the aliens. An episode that SUCCEEDS at this, however, is Organs. In the episode Drinky tries to become sober for his girlfriend so he gets rid of his brain and tries to become a hero. This episode works because of a running gag involving anthromorphic organs showing off the show’s off-color humor.
There’s another big problem with the show. There are many comedies where the more you watch it, the funnier it is. The Drinky Crow Show is the opposite case. It’s funny as hell the first time you watch it. By the 47th time it’s stale. This can be best represented when a newspaper publication announced that they would no longer run Maakies. They commented on the fact that at first they loved it but as it went on the jokes became recycled and pretty soon it was bland and unfunny. If The Drinky Crow Show lasted as long as Squidbillies for instance, people would’ve panned the series after 5 seasons. Some episodes show how funny it can be (Old Girlfriend) while some show how the show can age FAST (Aspire).
While I don’t think the show should’ve been around for a long time, 10 episodes and a pilot is too short in my opinion. 30 episodes probably would’ve been what I would’ve settled for, but I understand how it got cancelled: it’s not very marketable. At least Superjail! had a gimmick with its violence. This has Xs on eyes when drunk. The show’s a little flawed, especially after this long, but I still personally enjoy it. Nostalgia, I guess.
Final Rating: 8 pints of human emotion out of 10.
You can watch the entire series for free on adultswim.com right here: http://www.adultswim.com/videos/the-drinky-crow-show/
You can also watch it on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/the-drinky-crow-show-season-1/id295979259