ADULT SWIM FEST

by Andie Eisen

Are you a glutton for punishment? Or maybe just a glutton for hot dogs? Do you want to get catapulted from a giant mechanical wiener that you’re riding like a rodeo bull? In public? And would you wait in line for an hour to do it? If you answered yes to all of these questions you may be one of the hundreds of cartoon-lovin’ 20-30-somethings that indulged in the psychosexual carnival of the Adult Swim Festival this weekend. 

On an overcast Saturday afternoon, the Festival offered a smörgåsbord of comedy and musical acts that alternated between two stages housed in ROW DTLA. Adult Swim feels like a celebration of arrested adolescence, and I say that with the utmost compassion. There is an overwhelming sense of good spirit amongst the festival-goers—Hot Topic nerds and Vice-lookin’ scenesters stand in kumbaya solidarity waiting in line to play Rick and Morty mini-golf or “Smack Up My Uvula” (if you’re confused, see pictures above). 

With the sweet smells of Korean BBQ and Juul vapor in the air, the crowds head-bopped and fist-pumped to the beats of Clams Casino, Wavves, Thundercat, Flying Lotus (in 3D!), and many many more. The comedic acts of the day featured Jo Firestone, Joe Pera, Hannibal Buress, and Tim Heidecker & Gregg Turkington with On Cinema Live!

The On Cinema show was the highlight of my Saturday afternoon— a multi-tiered performance showcasing the elaborate character universe Heidecker and Turkington have developed in the last five years. On Cinema At The Cinema began as an Ebert and Roeper-style film critique series in which Heidecker and Turkington play exaggerated versions of themselves. Tangential to film entirely, the mythology of ‘Tim’ and ‘Gregg’ evolved to the point that by Season 9, Heidecker is put on trial for second-degree murder after a series of vape-related fatalities at an EDM music festival. On Saturday, Heidecker performed as his nearly unrecognizable cock-rock persona in the band Dekkar, followed by a live episode of On Cinema in which Tim and Gregg reviewed all the current blockbusters from Small Foot to A Star is Born.

The exaggerated confluence of music, film, comedy, and EDM culture felt like a perfect microcosm of the Adult Swim Festival; an incisive and fraternal jab at our zeitgeist.


Photos by Andie Eisen, Eric Rippin, and David Morrison