I’ve always been a fan of cartoons; ever since I was a young ruffian sitting in front of the TV set at a short enough distance to microwave my brain I have always been thrilled and fascinated by worlds that can be created with the power of full motion animation. Now, in my current years of being a grumpy curmudgeon, it is actually refreshing to be able to watch cartoons that can now appeal to both my mature and immature mental capacity and no cartoon accomplishes this better than the animated fun-house of horrors, “The Venture Bros.”
“I dare you to make less sense.”
The story follows a group of science adventurers; Dr. Rusty Venture (an unemployed, crazy scientist), his two naive sons Hank and Dean, his bodyguard Brock Samson (Patrick Warburton’s best role to date) and a slew of other characters who must do battle against Rusty’s so-called “arch-nemesis” The Monarch (a butterfly-themed villain) and his assistant Dr. Girlfriend (who looks like Jacky O. but sounds like Harvey Fierstein).
“I pissed in God’s eye, and he blinked”
If this cartoon has been able to make it past five seasons than it must be doing something right and, by golly, is it ever. I like this show in the same way I enjoy “Archer” and any fans of the aforementioned are going to get a big kick out of “The Venture Bros.” The original idea behind this cartoon gem is that it is continuously poking fun at old cartoons that creators Christopher McCulloch and Doc Hammer used to watch growing up. “The Venture Bros.” pokes fun at a lot of old cartoons and movies from the past like Jonny Quest, G.I. Joe, James Bond, Batman and Indiana Jones. Chris and Doc are very big fans of parody and satirical humor which really shines thanks to their brilliant writing and witty timing.
I mentioned before that fans of the show “Archer” will love this show because Doc and Chris borrow a humorous element from “Archer” where one joke will be set up in one scene and the punch-line will transition into the next scene. Now, most people would think this is silly and impossible to create but “The Venture Bros.” actually accomplishes this comedic feat rather flawlessly without resorting to throw-away gags or anti-climatic set-ups. The series does have the tendency to whiplash back and forth between wit and scatological humor at completely random moments but the gross-out gags are few and far between so you can’t really fault the pair for pushing the envelope when they are offered the opportunity.
“Yes, I only hunt blackulas”
“The Venture Bros.” is very easy to fall in love with not just for its creative writing and its snappy pace but also because of its cast of characters. Every single character on the show will have you laughing your guts out at every characters’ utter lack of failure at everything. Brock is definitely a fan favorite but the rest of the cast is pretty entertaining throughout each season. You will enjoy every single character equally as you realize that each one has been solely crafted for one distinct purpose: failure. This is where the intention for most of the humor comes from; Chris and Doc know that humor comes from suffering and what better way to show this than have us as the audience laugh at the suffering of the cast through their failures. Another thing that makes their characters timeless and engaging is that they are constantly growing and changing. There is always a sense of evolution for the cast of characters that can either change minimally or drastically but, either way, it is quite entertaining.
“Well, I’m gonna go out there and get me some action”
I highly recommend this show. The series is relatively episodic so you can watch random episodes and still enjoy. I recommend watching all 5 seasons front to back so you can fully appreciate the beauty and artistry of this show. Great humor and a cast constantly evolving makes for some quality half-hour cartoon syndication. Go ahead and give “The Venture Bros.” a chance and find out why you should be yelling GO TEAM VENTURE!