Cartoon Comedians is an American adult animated sitcom created and developed by Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green for Comedy Central. The series revolves around a group of people trying to get into the comedy business.
The series was pitched to Comedy Central in 2009 after MacFarlane and Green began brainstorming the idea. Comedy Central greenlit the series in mid-2010 and the show debuted on September 9, 2011. The show received lukewarm reviews due to its dry and bland humor. Due to the reception of the first season, Comedy Central aired new episodes randomly and cancelled the series after its second season, which aired its final episode on March 15, 2013.
After Comedy Central cancelled the show in 2013, Fox saw potential in the show and picked it up for a third season for FX. The third season started airing on May 29, 2015. The show started airing its fourth season on March 4, 2016. Due to low ratings, the show was cancelled by FX after its fourth season, which aired its final episode on November 4, 2016.
Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green bought the rights of the show back in 2017 and pitched the show around to other networks. The show was pitched to Adult Swim, and they liked it. The show was picked up on May 3, 2017. The show's fifth season started airing on April 1, 2019, with no prior announcement. The show's sixth season started airing on November 15, 2019.
The series revolves around six comedians trying to make it into the comedy business. Those six are Allen, Tim, Roy, Jack, Steve, and Miranda. Allen is a depressed man who is 35 going through a mid-life crisis. Tim is a lovable idiot. Roy is a retired teacher who doesn't want to be stuck at home all day, though his wife does. Jack is a college dropout who is using comedy as a rebound to get his life back on track. Steve is a father and a loyal husband, who is finally doing his dream, stand-up comedy. Miranda is a former stripper who is trying to get her life back on track.
- Allen Smith (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) - The depressed one in the group. Allen Smith is 35 and going through a mid-life crisis. He loves his friends and cares about them deeply, even if he doesn't show it sometimes.
- Tim Oswald (voiced by Jason Ritter) - The lovable idiot of the group, Tim is 27 and doesn't really know what he's doing. He got his start out by accidentally walking on a stage and found out that he could make people laugh. He just took that and ran with it.
- Roy Alexander (voiced by Keith David) is a former teacher who doesn't want to be stuck at home all day while being retired, so he starts to do stand up comedy.
- Jack Green (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is a college dropout who is using comedy as a way to get his life together and repair the pieces he once broke.
- Steve White (voiced by Joel McHale) is a loyal father and husband who is pursuing his dream of comedy after not being able to do it for so long.
- Miranda Chase (voiced by Kristen Schaal) is a former stripper who pursues comedy after finding faith in God and decides to get her life back on track.
- Jason Smith (voiced by Nick Kroll) is a lawyer. He is also Allen's brother, who Allen hates.
- Big Johnson (voiced by Donald Glover) is a wannabe rapper who Jack knew in college.
Cartoon Comedians was created by Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green for Comedy Central. They based the series after the number of unknown comedians they saw.
The series was pitched in 2009 for Comedy Central and went into production in 2010. The series first season started airing on September 9, 2011. Comedy Central announced on September 10, 2011, only one day after the first episode had aired, that the show had been renewed for a second season. Comedy Central announced on February 2, 2013, that the show would be getting cancelled after its second season, which finished airing on March 15, 2013, due to the poor reception of the show.
Comedy Central then sold the rights to FX, who picked up the show for a third season, which started airing on May 29, 2015. The show was renewed for a fourth season, which started airing on March 4, 2016. The fourth season aired its final episode on November 4, 2016, and due to low ratings, the show was cancelled by FX.
Seth MacFarlane and Seth Green bought the rights to the show in 2017 and had it picked up by Cartoon Network's Adult Swim that same year. The show's fifth season started airing on April 1, 2019, and its sixth season started airing on November 15, 2019.
Cartoon Comedians was hated by most critics during the shows first two seasons, causing the show's cancellation. The show's third and fourth seasons were received better by most critics. The show's fifth and sixth seasons have been praised by critics, most calling them the best seasons of the show.
Variety, called the show "a show that will make you laugh for days."
Complex, called the show, "a promising new show."