The Cyanide & Happiness Show

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The Cyanide & Happiness Show
Cyanide and Happiness Show logo.png
GenreBlack comedy
Satire
Sketch comedy
Adult animation
Created byRob DenBleyker
Dave McElfatrick
Matt Melvin
Kris Wilson
Voices ofDave McElfatrick
Rob DenBleyker
Kris Wilson
Joel Watson
Jennie Mae Sweat
Wildrose Hamilton
Zach Prescott
Theme music composerDan Paladin
Opening theme"I Like Your Hat"
Ending theme"I Like Your Hat" (extended)
Composer(s)Steve Lehmann
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes41
Production
Executive producer(s)Dave McElfatrick
Kris Wilson
Rob DenBleyker
Gary Binkow
Producer(s)Greg Slagel
Running time10-15 minutes (Internet version)
22 minutes (TV version)
Production company(s)Explosm Entertainment
Collective Digital Studio (Season 1)
Studio 71 (Season 2–present)
Release
Original networkYouTube (2014–15)
Seeso (2016–17)
VRV (2017–present)
Picture format1080p (16:9)
Original releaseNovember 12, 2014 (2014-11-12) –
present
External links
Website

The Cyanide & Happiness Show is an adult animated comedy web series created by Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Matt Melvin and Kris Wilson, based on their webcomic Cyanide & Happiness. Each episode consists of a few short stories that have little to no connection to each other (with the exception of six episodes from Season 3, which were a story arc). The creators described the goal of each episode to be "to extract the human excretion known as laughter from your face hole via fast-paced weird comedy."[1]

The Cyanide & Happiness Show was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign. The first season was initially released on YouTube from November 12, 2014 to January 21, 2015. The show was later acquired by Seeso, which produced second and third seasons before selling the show to VRV in mid-2017. On February 20, 2019, it was announced that VRV had renewed the show for a fourth season, which will comprise 10 episodes.[2]

Production[edit]

The Explosm team has been creating short videos based on Cyanide & Happiness for years before working on the full show. The Explosm YouTube channel had over 3.6 million subscribers and 490 million views before The Cyanide & Happiness Show started airing.[3] Some of these short videos, such as "Junk Mail" and "Confession", have proven "overwhelmingly popular" among fans of the webcomic.[4]

The Cyanide & Happiness Show was funded by the means of a Kickstarter campaign in early 2013, where it collected a total of $770,309. This was more than three times the initial goal and broke the record of most money ever funded for an animated series on Kickstarter.[5][6] Among the "zany gift offerings" given to Kickstarter backers was an "all-expenses-paid trip to Dallas for a Banana Bar Crawl replete with a banana costume, scepter, and crown".[7]

When the Explosm team sat down to plan the first season, they realized 50 percent of the writing for it was already done, with some ideas being over five years old. Many of the stories used in The Cyanide and Happiness Show resulted from the team trying to make each other laugh while in a bar. Due to Wilson living in Fort Collins, Colorado, numerous plane rides and Skype calls had taken place during this process. As the show began to take shape, the team drew out management positions for themselves. McElfatrick was put in charge of art, DenBleyker covered animation and Wilson managed sound design and voice acting, but as the project went on, these roles loosened up. The team hired contributors from the United States, India and South Korea for various processes.[4]

Release[edit]

The creators originally attempted to negotiate a TV series deal with cable networks, but due to "concerns about artistic compromise",[7] their efforts were fruitless. One of the creators wrote:

"We walked away from the first two [networks] due to rights and creative control issues. We thought that we could settle those issues in the third deal, but things didn’t quite work out as we hoped. We’re starting to realize that TV as an industry just isn’t compatible with what we want to do with our animation: deliver it conveniently to a global audience, something we’ve been doing all along with our comics these past eight years. That's just the nature of television versus the Internet, I suppose."

— Explosm[8]

The first episode of The Cyanide and Happiness Show premiered in an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Richardson, Texas, on 12 November 2014.[4] Episodes of the series are released on YouTube, but are also available for DRM-free, low-price download. These downloads were released shortly before the episodes are uploaded to YouTube. According to the creators, once bought, people are free to copy, edit and spread the material to their liking.[9]

The second season of The Cyanide and Happiness Show, which started in December 2015, was made available through the Seeso streaming service rather than YouTube. NBCUniversal Cable senior vice president Parra Hadden noted that, shortly after it was announced that The Cyanide and Happiness Show would be hosted on Seeso, the website saw a very large surge in traffic.[10] Seeso renewed the series for a third season later in 2016.[11] Prior to the closure of Seeso in late 2017, The Cyanide & Happiness Show was also made available on the streaming service VRV.[12] The series premiered on cable television in February 2020 on Syfy's late-night programming block TZGZ.[13]

In some countries outside the United States, similar to its format on Syfy, the series is aired as a 22-minute TV series, conjoining two episodes into one.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Imad Kahn of The Daily Dot described Cyanide & Happiness videos as an "odd, but hilarious, mix of abrupt black humor that's overtly weird and doesn't pretend to be profound. It really does feel like a group of writers with free reign [sic] to animate whatever their twisted minds can think of."[3]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
111November 12, 2014 (2014-11-12)January 21, 2015 (2015-01-21)
210December 9, 2015 (2015-12-09)March 4, 2016 (2016-03-04)
310February 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)June 1, 2017 (2017-06-01)
410September 18, 2019 (2019-09-18)November 20, 2019 (2019-11-20)

Season 1 (2014–15)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
11"A Day At The Beach"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Matt Melvin, Andy Nawoj, Evan Peterson, Mike Salcedo, Jennie Mae Sweat, Joel Watson, and Kris WilsonNovember 12, 2014 (2014-11-12)
22"Why I Hate Summer Camp"Rob DenBleyker, Derek Miller, and Kris WilsonNovember 19, 2014 (2014-11-19)
33"Grandpa's War Stories"Rob DenBleyker, Ryan Hudson, Dave McElfatrick, Zach Prescott, Chase Suddarth, Joel Watson, and Kris WilsonNovember 26, 2014 (2014-11-26)
44"The Meaning Of Love"Rob DenBleyker, Joel Watson, and Kris WilsonDecember 3, 2014 (2014-12-03)
55"Dirty Dealings"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Matt Melvin, Jennie Mae Sweat, and Kris WilsonDecember 10, 2014 (2014-12-10)
66"San Diego Breakfast"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Chase Suddarth, and Kris WilsonDecember 17, 2014 (2014-12-17)
77"The Elusive Mr Wimbley"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Derek Miller, Joel Watson, and Kris WilsonDecember 24, 2014 (2014-12-24)
88"The Depressing Episode"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Mike Salcedo, Jennie Mae Sweat, Joel Watson, and Kris WilsonDecember 31, 2014 (2014-12-31)
99"Tub Boys"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Derek Miller, Mike Salcedo, Joel Watson, and Kris WilsonJanuary 7, 2015 (2015-01-07)
1010"Episode Schmepisode"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Mike Salcedo, and Kris WilsonJanuary 14, 2015 (2015-01-14)
1111"The Christmas Episode"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Mike Salcedo, Jennie Mae Sweat, Joel Watson, and Kris WilsonJanuary 21, 2015 (2015-01-21)

Season 2 (2015–16)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
121"Too Many Trains"Rob DenBleyker, Joel Watson & Kris WilsonDecember 9, 2015 (2015-12-09) (International)
132"Episode Too"Dave McElfatrick & Joel WatsonJanuary 7, 2016 (2016-01-07) (International)
143"Too Tall a Tale"Rob DenBleyker & Kris WilsonJanuary 14, 2016 (2016-01-14) (International)
154"Too Much Time"Kris Wilson & Mike SalcedoJanuary 21, 2016 (2016-01-21) (International)
165"World War Too"Dave McElfatrickJanuary 28, 2016 (2016-01-28) (International)
176"Too Deep Too Furious"Rob DenBleykerFebruary 4, 2016 (2016-02-04) (International)
187"Too Many Hats"Kris Wilson, Dave McElfatrick, Rob DenBleyker & Jennie Mae SweatFebruary 11, 2016 (2016-02-11) (International)
198"Too Many Cops"Dave McElfatrick, Kris Wilson & Rob DenBleykerFebruary 18, 2016 (2016-02-18) (International)
209"Too Many Superheroes"Rob DenBleyker & Joel WatsonFebruary 25, 2016 (2016-02-25) (International)
2110"Too Much History"Kris Wilson, Dave McElfatrick, Rob DenBleyker & Joel WatsonMarch 4, 2016 (2016-03-04) (International)

Season 3 (2017)[edit]

This season was initially released on Seeso, but episodes 6–10 were later removed. In August 2017, it was announced that the rights to the show had been transferred to VRV, another streaming service. Coinciding with this announcement, the rest of the show was removed from Seeso and all episodes of all three seasons were made available on VRV.

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
221"Now That's What I Call Pain (1-6)"Kris WilsonFebruary 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)
232"Now That's What I Call a Good Space Time (2-6)"Rob DenBleyker, Kris Wilson, Joel Watson & Dave McElfatrickFebruary 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)
243"Now That's What I Call a Story"Dave McElfatrickFebruary 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)
254"Now That's What I Call Spooky"Dave McElfatrick, Rob DenBleyker, Kris Wilson & Joel WatsonFebruary 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)
265"Now That's When I Call These Guys (3-6)"Rob DenBleyker, Dave McElfatrick, Kris Wilson & Joel WatsonFebruary 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)
276"Now That's What I Call The News (4-6)"Rob DenBleyker, Kris Wilson, Dave McElfatrick & Joel WatsonJune 1, 2017 (2017-06-01)
287"Now That's What I Call A Musical"Joel Watson, Rob DenBleyker & Dave McElfatrickJune 1, 2017 (2017-06-01)
298"Now That's What I Call Depressing"Joel Watson, Dave McElfatrick, Rob DenBleyker & Kris WilsonJune 1, 2017 (2017-06-01)
309"Now That's When I Call Those Guys (5-6)"Joel Watson, Rob DenBleyker, Kris Wilson & Dave McElfatrickJune 1, 2017 (2017-06-01)
3110"Now That's That (6-6)"Rob DenBleyker, Joel Watson, Kris Wilson & Dave McElfatrickJune 1, 2017 (2017-06-01)

Season 4 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
321"Yo-Ho-Ho and a Nautical Bum"Joel WatsonSeptember 18, 2019 (2019-09-18)
332"Strongbird"Mike SalcedoSeptember 25, 2019 (2019-09-25)
343"Chip Chapley Unscripted"Joel WatsonOctober 2, 2019 (2019-10-02)
354"The Man-Marryin' Candidate"Joel WatsonOctober 9, 2019 (2019-10-09)
365"The Animator's Curse"Mike SalcedoOctober 16, 2019 (2019-10-16)
376"Lunk's Awakening"Connor MurphyOctober 23, 2019 (2019-10-23)
387"The Nine Ryans"Mike Salcedo & Rob DenBleykerOctober 30, 2019 (2019-10-30)
398"The Good, the Butt and the Tumbling"Joel WatsonNovember 6, 2019 (2019-11-06)
409"Mega Prom"Connor MurphyNovember 13, 2019 (2019-11-13)
4110"High, Robot"Mike SalcedoNovember 20, 2019 (2019-11-20)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dean, Rob (2014-11-13). "Cyanide & Happiness has a new show on YouTube". The A.V. Club.
  2. ^ Lopez, Matt (2019-02-20). "'The Cyanide & Happiness Show' Picked Up for a 4th Season on VRV". The Wrap.
  3. ^ a b Khan, Imad (2014-11-21). "The 'Cyanide and Happiness' show is here". The Daily Dot.
  4. ^ a b c Leblanc, Jane R. (2014-11-10). "Cyanide & Happiness Show Premieres Live This Wednesday at Alamo Drafthouse". Dallas Observer. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  5. ^ Gutelle, Sam (2014-11-13). "Cyanide And Happiness Debuts First Episode Of Kickstarter-Funded Show". Tubefilter.
  6. ^ Amidi, Amid (2013-03-17). ""Cyanide and Happiness" Shatters Kickstarter Animation Record". Cartoon Brew.
  7. ^ a b Davis, Allison (2013-04-26). "Kickstarting: "Cyanide & Happiness" breaks records, TV-or-bust mentality". Co.Create.
  8. ^ Amidi, Amid (2013-02-26). "What is the Biggest Animation Project on Kickstarter Right Now?". Comic Brew.
  9. ^ Boog, Jason (2013-03-18). "Cyanide & Happiness Creators Raised $770,000+ for DRM-Free Show". adweek.com.
  10. ^ Hamedy, Saba (2016-02-10). "How 'The Cyanide & Happiness Show' landed on NBC's Seeso". Mashable.
  11. ^ King, Spencer (2016-08-18). "Seeso Renews Three Fan-Favorite Shows". Paste Magazine.
  12. ^ Spangler, Todd (2017-08-10). "Seeso Comedy Fans React With Dismay, Sarcasm After NBCU Announces Service's Shutdown". Variety.com.
  13. ^ "Deadline". Deadline. January 17, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.