What Do 18-To 34-Year-Old Men want?
November 22, 2003 3:28 PM   Subscribe

What Do 18-To 34-Year-Old Men want? Young men, it turns out, want to see superheroes arguing cases in court. They want giant fighting robots. They want talking French fries.
posted by skallas (41 comments total)

 
Hee hee - good post, Skallas.

The thing I never understand is how those marketing manuals bung everyone between 18 and 34 together, as if they were one (I believe this is the vogue word) demographic.

Based on purely impressionistic, personal and anecdotal experience, I'd say there were at least six distinct groups stupidly (and I'd think inefficiently) lumped together:

18-20
20-22
23-25
26-29
30
31-34.

And don't get me started on the women! ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:34 PM on November 22, 2003


"a block of bizarre animated comedy and action shows that regularly draw more men under 35 than do David Letterman and Jay Leno"

No shit. Good comedy is surreal, slightly subversive, and self-reflective. Leno et al are mainstream, kid friendly, the man, err, the media. The media comedians are supposed to be making fun of. All this article needs is an obligatory reference to the Daily Show.

I don't think the success of Adult Swim has that much to do with Gen-X nostalgia as much as its just funny. Space Ghost and Sealab are from the 60s. You're not Gen-X if you were born in the 50s.
posted by skallas at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2003


MC, not only can you not just lump 18-34 year olds together anymore, in my opinion, you can't reliably lump people the same age together either. (I suppose it has to do with likelihoods and percentages and so forth, but still)

I've tried multiple times to introduce Aqua Teen Hunger Force to friends / coworkers, and the mostly, the reaction is just a rolling of the eyes.

It gets me through the commute laughing, though.

really good writing, and the 12-minute format allows things 23-minute formats don't. I mean, you're talking about the ADD central here, people.
posted by Busithoth at 3:45 PM on November 22, 2003


Cartoon Network (which, like TIME, is part of Time Warner)
Hey, look! Synergy!

It should also be noted that Looney Tunes are also a Time Warner entity, therefore the "loony toons" in the article title will not get anybody in trouble...

The biggest potential success story on [adult swim] is the unmentioned "Family Guy", which they acquired in reruns from FOX, and may return soon to a real network. I for one, hope the same fate befalls "Futurama", also unmentioned in the TIME fluff-piece.

That said, "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" is a classic of surreal humor that should not be left to perpetual re-running (They're promising a new episode Sunday night, less than 24 hours before I'm going to be torn away from cable TV again). All that has followed is over-sweetened frosting on the cake. (And I think they stole the characters on "The Brak Show" wfrom MetaFilter: Brak is thomcatspike, Zorak is quonsar, Mom is madamjujujive, and Dad is totally MiguelCardoso)

And as for the anime, I still haven't recovered from the dislocated jaw suffered while watching "Fooly Cooly".
posted by wendell at 3:56 PM on November 22, 2003


Good comedy is surreal, slightly subversive, and self-reflective

Um, all good comedy must be surreal, slightly subversive and self-reflective?
posted by lbergstr at 4:11 PM on November 22, 2003


My wife hates "Adult Swim."

Which makes me love it more than just about anything.
posted by ColdChef at 4:13 PM on November 22, 2003


um, i'm in the 18-34 age group, but by no means male, and i love the adult swim cartoons. what are they getting at with this? that people like intelligent, interesting tv programs? wow, what a novel idea!
posted by zorrine at 4:18 PM on November 22, 2003


I'm a white male, age 18-45. Marketers listen to everything I want, no matter how stupid the idea is.

Seriously, I think sometimes I have about as much in common with people my age as a dog has in common with a rock. In other words, we are both have mass.

Grouping people by age group doesn't make much sense. It would make more sense to group by age group and taste. For example, a lot of guys in this age group are mindless corporate followers who think that MTV is just the absolute schnizzle. I, on the other hand, am loathe to watching MTV, follow politics, and aspire to be a writer. As opposed to head pretty boy at Abercrombie & Fitch.
posted by benjh at 4:53 PM on November 22, 2003


Yet another nail in the coffin of 'traditional' animation.
Adult Swim PROVES that what consumers in the target demographic want are spectacular computer generated special effects.

oh wait . . . right . . .

er, writing . . .
posted by cinderful at 4:56 PM on November 22, 2003


Skallas - Space Ghost and Sealab may have originally been around before my time (I'm 33), but thanks to the two-bit magic of cable nets in the 80s, we were treated to their syndi-repeats in packaged tour de forces like USA's Cartoon Express over and over and over again. That they've been resurrected and Frankensteined for CN's Adult Swim makes perfect sense to me.

I'm still waiting for an episode of Harvey Birdman where the Scooby Doo gang sues Speed Buggy, Captain Caveman and the Clue Club for copyright/trademark infringement. And the classic Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch episodes just beg to be reinvinted and redubbed for today's Fast and Furious sensibilities. Someday... someday.
posted by dakotadusk at 5:02 PM on November 22, 2003


Forbidden
You don't have permission to access /df.html on this server.


Is it cos I is black?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:16 PM on November 22, 2003


i need a five letter word, slang for 'feline'. anyone?
posted by quonsar at 5:43 PM on November 22, 2003


::: waves hand frantically :::
Oh! Me! Me! Me! I got it! Me! Me!
Is it: kitty?
::: ear-splitting game-show wrong-answer buzzer :::
posted by wendell at 5:58 PM on November 22, 2003


wendell: Dad is totally MiguelCardoso

Heh, great. Now Miguel's 'web voice' is Dad and from now on I'll think of Dad as Miguel. Thanks.
posted by skallas at 7:24 PM on November 22, 2003


Adult Swim won my heart when it introduced Fooly Cooly to me a few months ago. And they have the best bumpers on cable.
posted by jbrjake at 8:15 PM on November 22, 2003


fooly cooly confused the hell out of me.
posted by joedan at 8:22 PM on November 22, 2003


fooly cooly really was fun...i wish most tv animators were as adventurous (or is it the programmers that won't allow experimentation--except for samurai jack, of course)
posted by amberglow at 8:26 PM on November 22, 2003


Adult Swim rocks. And I'm 38. The shows do have their occasional lapses in comedy golditude, but overall, the funniest stuff going, that I've seen recently.

I don't think the success of Adult Swim has that much to do with Gen-X nostalgia as much as its just funny

Agreed. There's no nostalgia factor at all for me - I've never seen any of the original cartoons.

Dad is totally MiguelCardoso

Hee.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:33 PM on November 22, 2003




Hmmmm....
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:22 PM on November 22, 2003


here you go, mig--you're the one in the snappy sweater and shoes (and desi arnaz-ish accent)
posted by amberglow at 9:40 PM on November 22, 2003




Cheers, amberglow!

Two-tone shoes and a Cuban accent, huh?

*places Wendell's name on his blacklist*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:51 PM on November 22, 2003


two-tone shoes, a cuban accent, and much smaller than all the other characters--usually sitting on a kitchen chair reading a paper or something...very funny tho--vain, self-obsessed and full of bad advice and shady spy stuff ; >
posted by amberglow at 10:07 PM on November 22, 2003


The biggest potential success story on [adult swim] is the unmentioned "Family Guy", which they acquired in reruns from FOX, and may return soon to a real network. I for one, hope the same fate befalls "Futurama", also unmentioned in the TIME fluff-piece.

Did you *read* the article? Last paragraph:

Adult Swim's success amid cable's smaller audiences may not be directly translatable to the big networks; its most popular programs, reruns of Futurama and Family Guy, first appeared on Fox and were canceled. But it suggests that those missing young men want surprises, not 15 more cop procedurals. Will the floundering networks take the lesson? Sure. When French fries talk.

Unmentioned?
posted by kayjay at 10:55 PM on November 22, 2003


The first season of Aqua Teen Hunger Force makes me haw like a freak.

I love Adult Swim.

Nice post, skallas.
posted by brittney at 11:08 PM on November 22, 2003


What Do 18-To 34-Year-Old Men want?
650$ to fix their blog!


oh my God, somebody set me on fire...
posted by pemulis at 1:53 AM on November 23, 2003


My wife hates "Adult Swim."

My wife loves "Adult Swim." I love my wife.
posted by pzarquon at 2:05 AM on November 23, 2003


Since our digital channels got the chop I've found the only channel I miss is Cartoon Network. Thankfully they've released Space Ghost on DVD, and if someone also released Home Movies I'd be the happiest 18-35 yr old in the world.
posted by dodgygeezer at 2:15 AM on November 23, 2003


According to co-creator Matt Maiellaro, budget constraints posed a problem in animating Meatwad

Talk about rhetorical articles.

Just how does one animate a meatwad?

Give 'em superheroes arguing cases in court, fighting robots and talking French fries. That apparently should do the trick.
posted by crasspastor at 2:45 AM on November 23, 2003


First you tell me I want the word "fuck" in the newspaper, now you tell me I want talking french fries? Screw that, I just want some new eps of the Mr. Hell Show.
posted by arto at 2:51 AM on November 23, 2003


I have been a long time fan of Adult Swim, 3 years or so now. One of the things i like most is the recent addition of the actual commentary between clips and shows. They play some great music, funny converstations ripped from their chatroom and employees, giveaways, and other random funny stuff. I think its a great way for a low budget show to do something original and connect with its viewers.

The whole thing about... this is the new trend, Follow It! In the Time article is not quite on mark though. Sure a lot of people watch adult swim, because its a great series of funny cartoons and one of the few places to see anime on US TV. It has remained good because of its culty, low budget, and often eccentric comedy and feel. Many people love it, but some people just look at it and shake their heads in puzzlement. Not the Jay Leno Show #2.
posted by sophist at 3:46 AM on November 23, 2003


By the way, a new episode of Space Ghost was meant to happen today (or yesterday or tomorrow or some damn thing, depending on where you are). I await the corresponding torrent with anticipation.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:17 AM on November 23, 2003


Grouping people by age group doesn't make much sense.

But it's so easy...!
posted by rushmc at 6:13 AM on November 23, 2003


One of the great disappointments in my life has been the failure of our earth scientists to produce a viable gigantic fighting robot.
posted by wfrgms at 8:27 AM on November 23, 2003


Dodgygeezer - HOME MOVIES!!! Love love love that show. It's the best part of Adult Swim.
posted by synapse at 8:46 AM on November 23, 2003


I lerve the "Adult Swim". I am 39 and a lady. My hubcap, on the other hand, loathes it.

I was turned on to the "Adult Swim" by the fathers of my eggs (long story) who are men-loving men, 39 and 41.

I don't know what any of this means, but I like being the outlier.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:31 PM on November 23, 2003


if someone also released Home Movies I'd be the happiest 18-35 yr old in the world.

Make this happen. Someone. ATHF is out on DVD (good), but I need something more portable than my ReplayTV copies of Coach John McGuirk to show friends he really is the funniest person on TV. The "Yankees Suck" bumper sticker on the back of his beater hot rod would be enough, but bringing beer to a kid's birthday party and hitting on the mom made me idolize him even more.
posted by yerfatma at 2:20 PM on November 23, 2003


What Do 18-To 34-Year-Old Men want?
Isn't the answer to this question always boobs?

Seriously, though, nice post. My husband and I watch adult swim all the time, and we love it. On the other hand, I've got to agree that we (and our friends who watch it) don't have all that much nostalgia going on here.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 6:13 PM on November 23, 2003


You know what? I fucking hate aqua teen hunger force?!

It's stupid shit. Surreality only gets you so far, eventualy, you need to be funny. Surreal, outlandish stuff is the kind of thing that is found funny by people who have the humor parts of their brains destroyed.

I'm serious. People with certan kind of brain damage are unable to find humor in humorous things. Asked to pick the punchline to a joke, they would usualy pick the 'sureal' or 'outlandish' punchline, while missing subtle humor.

What happened to the Sinfeilds when David Kelly worked there? (the later ones got slapp-happy, IMO).

Sea Quest is quite funny. Oh, I loath to think of TV if everyone copies adult swim. Then again, I never watch TV anyway.

btw, I'm very drunk. Fuck my cerebellar cortex. Who needs that shit anyway?(not cerebral, cerebellar)
posted by delmoi at 1:09 AM on November 24, 2003


Surreal, outlandish stuff is the kind of thing that is found funny by people who have the humor parts of their brains destroyed.

Whoa pal, talk to the folks at Old Navy: your pants are three sizes too tight. Anyone who can see Meatwad talking to his friend Boxy and not laugh is noone I wanna know.
posted by yerfatma at 7:48 AM on November 24, 2003


It's stupid shit. Surreality only gets you so far, eventualy, you need to be funny.

I haven't posted here in forever, but when someone knocks the quality programming of Adult Swim, I just have to take a stand. Sir, surreality is the very foundation of all humor. Reductio ad absurdum is a technique employed by satirists all the way back to Swift, which involves taking an aspect of life and "reducing it to absurdity," or exaggerating it to surreal levels, in order to demonstrate its faults.

I did a project on humor theory a year ago for school and used the Aqua Teen Hunger Force's "WWWYZZERDD.COM" as a prime example. This in my opinion is a brilliant portrayal of internet advertising, which seem even more asinine when manifested in the form of a deified "Internet Wizard." The WWWYZZERDD appears to the Force as an internet popup that constantly has to pause to "rebuffer". After introducing himself, he goes on to offer several intrusive services to them such as the Home Invasion Cam. This is just a reimagining of the normal internet experience... Frylock represents the exasperated internet user, battered left and right by ads, and the WWWYZZERDD represents the advertising itself, exaggerated of course to an absurd degree.

Also, look at any instance of conversational humor, even that which you would find in an episode of Seinfeld or Friends. Usually what happens is the humorist perceives a difference between two worldviews (he usually represents his own), then attempts to render one as superior. This is accomplished by temporarily entering the other worldview, in order to color it as foolish. For example, imagine if your friend was to learn Klingon, and felt that this was a wasted effort. You might say, "Yes, I was considering the same. Planet Klingon is an ever greater economic power in our universe." You have temporarily entered the worldview in which learning Klingon is useful, and rendered it as "surreal" and your own worldview as "real".

Do you see what I mean? No? Well, then you are a nerd. And on the moon, nerds have their pants pulled down and they are spanked with moon rocks. So you drop those sweatpants right now.
posted by Laugh_track at 8:57 AM on November 24, 2003


Laugh_track,

That, sir. Was awesome.
posted by brittney at 9:49 AM on November 24, 2003


« Older Not in fact about telegraphy....  |  Create-a-meal [note: flash] ..... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments