Home Channels Tubi’s First Animated Series Will Be Both Fabulous And Furry

Tubi’s First Animated Series Will Be Both Fabulous And Furry

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Can’t say we saw this one coming. Tubi TV, one of those ad-supported free streaming services you have on your Roku menu, is getting into animation. And for inspiration for their first cartoon series, they’re going underground.

To explain further, we have to go back to the late 60s and the stranglehold the censors had on the comic book market. After a notorious and now-discredited book by Edward Wertham cited comics as the source and inspiration of all juvenile delinquency, the Comics Code Authority was established to clean up the content and banish the more gruesome books off the shelf entirely.

As a consequence, by 1968 comic books were thought of as a children’s medium, because material aimed at kids was all they were allowed to print anyway. The perception took decades to reverse (and a lot of overcompensation in the opposite direction during the 90s), but the first step was the Underground Comix movement of the late 60s and early 70s. When cartoonists couldn’t get their work published uncensored through traditional means, they went independent and had their work distributed through other avenues. While the sheeple bought Archie and Casper from the drugstore, the cool folks knew where to find Zippy, Zap and American Splendor at the record store.

One of the most successful underground cartoonists was Gilbert Shelton, who created the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, three stoner burnouts with a lot of hair. In those days “freak” meant somewhere between hippie and punk — one subculture was turning into the other but wasn’t quite there. The first book about the adventures of Freewheelin’ Franklin Freek, Phineas T. Phreak, and Fat Freddy Freekowtski went through multiple printings and Shelton created many more issues through the 1970s.

Underground comix didn’t tend to get much exposure above ground, but there have been attempts to turn Freak Brothers into something over the decades. A claymation movie adaption was almost made in the 2000s, but fell apart. Now the Freak Brothers are the subjects of Tubi’s first animated series. It only took fifty years.

We’re presuming the series will take place in the era the comix were written in — between the mutton chops, the bell bottoms, and the necessity of hiding weed from the cops, nothing about this book matches our current reality. Alan Cohen and Alan Freedland, who worked on King of the Hill and American Dad, will be the showrunners, and John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky (Silicon Valley) are writing scripts. Adam Devine and Blake Anderson (Workaholics) will be voicing characters and will also serve as executive producers.

The first two episodes of Freak Brothers will crash land onto Tubi TV November 14, followed by new episodes every week until December 26. Tune in, turn out and turn on, man.