Adult Swim — which I went to great pains a few weeks back to explain is not the same thing as Cartoon Network, even though they share a channel — has branched out of animation with a couple of live action shows recently. Saul of the Mole Men is the most successful. It’s a clever parody of old Sid & Marty Krofft Saturday morning programs, mostly “Land of the Lost” but with a sly nod to the earlier, psychedelic Krofft shows like “H.R. Pufnstuf.” It will get old soon, but given the format of Adult Swim it would be gone soon anyway.
When I was at Oral Roberts University, there was one year — I believe it was my sophomore year — when Oral Roberts contracted with Sid & Marty Krofft to produce his weekly show. I am not making this up. At the time, the Kroffts were coming off the successful run of “Donny & Marie.” Anyway, for much of that year the Oral Roberts TV show was taped in Los Angeles, even though Oral, Evelyn and Richard referred to “here at ORU” as if they were still on campus in Tulsa. Even back then, when I was still wide-eyed about TV evangelism, this bothered me, especially because in the past they had boasted about ORU’s TV production classes, and now they were not only using an L.A.-based crew but, in effect, lying about it. That was one of my first seeds of doubt about the ministry.
Anyway, the other live-action Adult Swim show is Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, from the creators of “Tom Goes to the Mayor” and with the same skewed vibe. This one is definitely an acquired taste. It’s an intentionally awkward variety and sketch comedy show. I definitely like it better than “Tom Goes to the Mayor,” but I’m still not sure if that means I like it or not. Even though the content is different, it occasionally has the rhythm and sensibilities of “Mr. Show with Bob and David,” which is not surprising since Bob Odenkirk is a hero of, and consultant to, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the show’s creators.
Anyway, it was nice to see Fred Willard turn up on this week’s episode.