If you’ve not been following Cartoon Network over the past few years, you’ve missed out on some strange, wonderful television. I’m not talking about their [adult swim] content either. The CN proper is not only home to the weird-ass, wonderful Adventure Time, but to a number of curious and unusual children’s programs that aren’t made for children so much as blissfully stoned college students and their parents who were once so. If you think Spongebob SquarePants is at the vanguard of weird modern-day kiddie TV, you’ve not encountered the wonders of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, or in particular Regular Show.
The latter, created by J.G. Quintel (an alum of the former), chronicles the everyday adventures of Rigby and Mordecai, a raccoon and blue jay whose primary interests include chronic slacking, caffeine, professional wrestling and “lady pecs.” Unlike, say, Flapjack, Regular Show doesn’t really put on pretenses regarding its status as a show for kids, instead going off in strange directions that trust in its audience to enjoy the blend of irony, pop-cultural in-jokes and the occasional double-entendre. I’m all for this, personally, because far too much television aimed at kids between 6 and 12 is pretty blatantly insulting to their intelligence. At least Regular Show is encouraging comedy literacy, which is to be admired.
That brings us to the beauty presented by this week’s episode, “Rap It Up.” As Mordecai and Rigby find themselves joining with the inexplicable Pops, in a rap battle, they discover that old-fashioned poetry can trump hateful freestyles any day. Especially when those freestyles come from no other than Tyler, The Creator and Childish Gambino. Yep, you read that right. Donald Glover and the man who wrote “Radicals” on a children’s show. In ten years, there are going to be a bunch of really cool, disaffected 20-year-olds to make us all feel a hell of a lot older than we will to begin with.
Check “Rap It Up” before it’s pulled from YouTube: