Animated Shows That Changed TV Before Archer

With the premier of Season 7 of Archer coming up, it’s hardly a surprise that such a funny animated show has managed to stay on the air for this many years.  It may sound odd now to express surprise that an animated show geared towards adults has lasted this long on television, but its a relatively recent phenomenon that these types of shows have done well.

You could say it used to be a danger zone.

You could say it used to be a danger zone.

With that in mind let’s take a look at some of the forerunners to Archer that made it all possible!

The Simpsons

the-simpsons animated

It’s hard to have a list like this without talking about The Simpsons.  In 1989, the animated adult cartoon was basically dead; The Flintstones and The Jetsons had been popular in the 60’s during prime time, but a more modern audience didn’t see the appeal.

The 80's were a weird time.

The 80’s were a weird time.

Maybe it was just good fortune that made The Simpsons popular, but a lot can be pinned on good writing, and at least for awhile, on Bart Simpson and his catchphrases, much to the chagrin of parents and principals across the country.

Basically every early 90's kid's go to "not for school" t-shirt.

Basically every early 90’s kid’s go to “not for school” t-shirt.

While the show is not necessarily as popular as it once was, it still churns out a solid episode every once in awhile, and considering it’s been on TV for over 25 years, that’s pretty good for an animated show that changed the game for everyone else.

South Park

south park animation

The creators of South Park have not been shy about expressing their frustration that The Simpsons seem to have done every plot-line available, but really few have come close to the satire or wit that South Park has employed.

simpsons did it animation

“Simpsons did it! Simpsons did it!”

What started out as a crudely animated short by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, made by re positioning construction paper cutouts of the sets and characters, has turned into a global phenomenon that has come to overshadow even The Simpsons. Also, the success on that show has propeled its creators to new heights, allowing them to make the incredibly funny movie, Team America: World Police, and to write one of the most successful musicals of all time, The Book of Mormon.

Family Guy

family guy animated

There are a lot of people that may not think that Family Guy deserves a place on this list, as it was initially considered a Simpsons clone.  South Park even mercilessly ridiculed the show, saying that the random pop culture references were not selected by people but were selected by manatees.

Makes for an interesting writers room.

Makes for an interesting writers’ room.

That said, it’s hard to deny Family Guy’s impact on animated shows and on pop culture in general.  The show evolved into it’s own thing over time, and even the creators of The Simpsons saw it in their hearts to finally do a crossover episode.

Wait, which one is which?

Wait, which one is which?

The show also had a huge hand in launching the career of Seth MacFarlane, so without Family Guy there would be no Ted, and the world just doesn’t need that kind of joy taken from it.

We'd put a quote, but there's literally nothing appropriate from that film that we can type here.  Just go see it.

We’d put a quote, but there’s literally nothing appropriate from that film that we can type here. Just go see it.

About author View all posts

Brendan