Great Moments in TV History: Stimutacs

3 Jan

Sealab 2021

I don’t really watch a lot of television. That being said, the television shows that I do spend my time watching are always cartoons.  I don’t know what it is about cartoons that is worthy of my attention. Maybe it’s the exercise my imagination needs, maybe it’s that the list of possibilities is endless when reality is removed from the equation. Maybe I just need a little escapism.

For Christmas this year I got the DVD box set of one of the best television shows ever aired: Sealab 2021. In the fashion of Space Ghost Coast to Coast Adam Reed and Matt Thompson got together, stitched up a bunch of old footage from Hanna-Barbera’s short-lived environmental cartoon Sealab 2020, and dubbed it over with new dialogue.

They pitched it to Cartoon Network, where they worked at the time, and the network passed. They didn’t think it was funny. They both left CN eventually, right about the same time that Adult Swim came about. They remade the pilot episode, pitched it, and it got picked up. Twelve episodes later we have the single funniest 11 minutes of animated television that I have ever seen in my life: Stimutacs.

Stimutacs 2

You really must watch the episode to understand.  Thankfully for you if you haven’t seen it, it’s available on YouTube (or at least it was last time I checked). Sparks gets the whole crew addicted to his “herbal supplement,” which has a variety of effects on the different crew members: Marco gets “the energy of a bear that has the energy of two bears,” Debbie gets super strength, Stormy becomes an avatar of Marduk (Son of Ea, Slayer of Tiamat, etc…), and Murphy gets… well, Murphy gets nothing.

Watch it. Now.

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