Seth Meyers Says He’s Sorry His Forgotten Animated Comedy Was So Obscene

‘The Awesomes’ was as needlessly crass as it is hopelessly forgettable
Seth Meyers Says He’s Sorry His Forgotten Animated Comedy Was So Obscene

Who knew an animated superhero series called The Awesomes would be such an awful watch for kids — or adults who don’t prefer their superheroes childishly pervy, for that matter.

Back when streaming platforms creating their own content was still a novel idea and not the industry standard for any Saturday Night Live veteran looking to venture into serialized storytelling, the announcement of the Hulu original series The Awesomes from creator, writer, producer and star Seth Meyers in 2013 was met with excitement from fans of both SNL and Saturday morning superhero shows — so, you know, kids and adults with close ties to their inner children. 

Featuring Meyers as the voice of a super-nepo-baby put in charge of his more impressive father’s old Justice League-esque coalition, The Awesomes ran for three seasons and featured past and then-present talent from SNL in a stacked cast of comedy legends.

Despite running for three seasons under the watchful eye of Lorne Michaels and Broadway Video, The Awesomes was, ultimately, a forgettable and awkwardly adult cartoon that quickly became a minor footnote in Meyers’ career as he moved on to late-night success. On a recent episode of The Lonely Island and Seth Meyers Podcast, Meyers admitted that the animated series featured more “mature” humor than was likely necessary for a silly cartoon superhero show. 

Imagine how Meyers must have felt when he first watched The Boys.

Along with Michaels himself, The Awesomes featured Kenan Thompson, Bill Hader, Rachel Dratch, Andy Samberg and Ike Barinholtz, among many other stars. However, as Meyers acknowledged on the podcast, the humor on The Awesomes was even more obscene than what would be appropriate for a late-night sketch show like SNL.

“There’s just too many bleeps, and now I have a 7-year-old who loves it,” Meyers said of The Awesomes, telling his co-hosts Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, “It was trying to be too cool and we didn’t need to be. … It’s such a drag now because my son really likes watching it, and every now and then there’s some sexual innuendo, and you realize, ‘I don’t think anybody was watching this superhero show for that.’”

Meyers’ current evaluation that the comedy and language used in The Awesomes were jarringly lewd for a series that modeled its setup and art style after an entire genre of shows aimed at kids is in line with what many TV critics said about The Awesomes during its original run. Though the cartoon drew lukewarm-to-vaguely-positive reviews in its time, many critics objected to Meyers and his fellow co-creator Mike Shoemaker’s decision to go blue.

Among the inappropriate decisions made on the show was how Barinholtz’ character, the best friend sidekick Muscleman, had a weakness for what he upsettingly called “alien pussy,” leading to an interplanetary paternity test on a distant world shaped like a woman’s boob. The aliens themselves also have two breasts for their heads with nipple eyes, in case the plot line’s inherent horniness was too subtle.

On top of the overt sexual content, the rest of the series is hyper-violent, grossly gory and reliant on the kind of explicit shit, piss, cum and booger jokes that are better left unsaid here. Suffice it to say, The Awesomes was an awful attempt at capturing the spirit of a kids’ superhero cartoon with the humor of a canceled Comedy Central show, and Meyers should make like Hulu and cut off his son from The Awesomes.


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