TV Review: “Mike Tyson Mysteries” – Another Knockout by Mike Tyson

Written by Braden Thournout November 26, 2014

mike tyson mysteries

For some reason someone over at Adult Swim decided Mike Tyson needed a cartoon. I don’t know who exactly that person is, but I like them. This is another cartoon with episodes that are only 15 minutes long in Adult Swim’s line up, but “Mike Tyson Mysteries” is very much in keeping with Adult Swim’s nonsensical style of humour. There’s only a handful of episodes out as of this writing so it’s easy to power through it all in about an hour, and is definitely worth the time if you like other Adult Swim cartoons.

The premise of the show is that Mike Tyson (played by himself), his adopted daughter Yung Hee (Rachel Ramras), a pigeon named Pigeon (Norm Macdonald), and the ghost of the 9th Marquess of Queensbury (Jim Rash) team up to solve mysteries in a style liberally stolen from “Scooby-Doo”, even having their own van they travel in while solving said mysteries. “Mike Tyson Mysteries” is a parody of older cartoons like “Scooby-Doo”, “Johnny Quest”, and many others. This tribute is made especially obvious with the intro sequence and the art style reminiscent of old Hanna Barbara cartoons.

“Not now! We’re in the middle of a damn mystery!”

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear that the creators just decided to sit Mike Tyson down in a recording studio and go from there, and they certainly promote this image with the clips of real life Mike Tyson at the end of each “Mike Tyson Mysteries” episode. The events that transpire are very much over the top, such as Mike punching out chess Grand Master Gary Kasparov for confusing Grand Master with Grand Wizard of the KKK or assuming Cormac McCarthy to be a robot or horseman. In fact, Michael very frequently assumes people are robots, now that I ponder it. The “Mike Tyson Mysteries” plays up a lot of real elements of Mike Tyson’s life, such as his incredible love of pigeons, or his very sincere and blunt attitude, albeit all taken to absurd extremes for the sake of comedy.

mike tyson mysteries

Mike Tyson strictly uses carrier pigeons to communicate

The rambunctious and childlike antics of Mike Tyson are contrasted by the rest of the cast, his highly intelligent adopted daughter Yung Hee, the sarcastic and cynical Pigeon (who was a man at one point he claims), and the voice of reason and foppish ghost only referred to by his title of Marquess. Well, it’s not entirely fair to say that the Marquess is the only voice of reason, all three provide differing counterbalances to Mike Tyson’s strange behaviour. The comedic delivery of the banter between characters and various one-liners is just spot-on with everyone, I must say.

“I’ll rely on my other senses, like my sense of humour!”

I have always personally loved Norm Macdonald’s style and delivery, and here as Pigeon he is just fantastically cast. It’s as if the character was written specifically for him, and I would not be surprised if that was the case. Jim Rash, better known as Dean Pelton from “Community”, is another stand out performance. Comedic delivery, as previously mentioned, is most certainly not a problem in “Mike Tyson Mysteries”. Just how mundanely he reacts to incredible things, or how casually he acts as a ghost really hits a chord with me, what can I say? Rachel Ramras rounds out the cast as Yung Hee, the bookish adopted daughter who is most certainly not a robot; she is probably the most reasonable source of a counterpoint seeing as she is a living human of sound mind in a cast of boxers, pigeons, and ghosts. Then there are times where this requires her to play chess against supercomputers.

mike tyson mysteries

There is an alcoholic pigeon named Pigeon. What more could you want?

“Mike Tyson Mysteries” is most certainly a show that is incredibly well suited to the 15 minute time slots common to Adult Swim. While the show is entertaining, the shorter format allows it to get its jokes in without overstaying its welcome or really attempting at more of a plot than is necessary. “Mike Tyson Adventures” is good as a series of non-sequiturs and clever, if not absurd, back-and-forths. That and I love the fact that I got through the entirety of the show released up until this point in a single sitting. It’s a good feeling, let me tell you.

“Do you know any other secrets? Like daylight savings time?”

At the end of the day, you are getting exactly what you would expect from a show based around Mike Tyson solving mysteries: Complete nonsense that is very much entertaining. “Mike Tyson Mysteries” isn’t ground breaking or world changing, but it is certainly fun and enjoyable. If you’re not into the immature or ‘stupid’ humour that is par for the course over at Adult Swim, you may want to give it a pass, but if you like shows like “Venture Bros” or “Rick and Morty” then you should probably give it at least an episode or two before writing it off.

My Rating: 7.5/10

mike tyson mysteries

Time to solve mysteries!

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About Braden Thournout

Braden is a philosophy student with a love for old cartoons. He can probably tell you more about fictional worlds than the real one.

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