Samurai Jack has always had an odd sense of humor that its audience has come to appreciate, but the newest episode features a different kind of joke that makes it very clear this isn’t a Cartoon Network show anymore.
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the most recent episode of Samurai Jack.]
Although Jack has one of his most contemplative moments of inner turmoil during this episode, it was the charming and psychotic android Scaramouche the Merciless who stole the show. Or, rather, Scaramouche’s head. In an attempt to tell his boss Aku that Jack has lost his sword, Scaramouche’s head goes on a pretty comical journey as he tries to get on a boat to deliver the message.
Despite being stopped by The Omen, Scaramouche manages to get on a ship thanks to an alien being who, in Scaramouche’s own words, “looks like a talking penis.” You can see the scene in question below.
The penis joke is juxtaposed the almost childish, goofy visual humor of seeing Scaramouche’s head bounce around during the episode. It makes the joke land even more than usual, but there’s no question that this was creator Genndy Tartakovski and voice actor Tom Kenny embracing the freedom Adult Swim provides.
Prior to being on Adult Swim, Tartakovsky couldn’t get away with writing any kind of vulgar humor because the show was targeted at younger audiences. The move to Adult Swim acknowledges the fans who have stuck with the series and are now in their 20s and 30s. It’s a different side to Tartakovsky’s comedy that we haven’t seen before and the community was more than okay with the slight change in tone.
“Really, everything this season has done has been weak compared to that in terms of proving that this season is the mature one,” one fan wrote on Reddit.
Another person added that although viewers may not have expected Kenny to say anything like that on Samurai Jack, he’s had other roles that have just been crude and explicit. Kenny played one of the leading park rangers in the animated series Brickleberry, and many of the phrases that came out of his mouth during that show would put the tame penis joke to shame.
It seems unlikely that Tartakovsky is going to turn Samurai Jack into a more explicit series, but it’s nice to know that every once in a while, we may get a dick joke.
Samurai Jack airs Saturdays at 11 p.m. on Adult Swim.