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Freak Brothers will be Tubi’s first free-to-watch cartoon original

King of the Hill, American Dad producers bring their comedy to the free service

Rip Off Press via Gilbert Shelton
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

The notorious underground comic The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers is coming to Tubi this November. Workaholics actors Adam Devine and Blake Anderson will lead the voice cast and executive produce, along with Mark Canton (Power, 300) and Courtney Solomon (American Haunting, Dungeons & Dragons). King of the Hill and American Dad executive producers Alan Cohen and Alan Freedland will act as showrunners, with Silicon Valley co-creators John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky on board as writers. Freak Brothers, as the adaptation is called, will be the first animated series on the free-to-watch Fox-owned Tubi, which hopes to siphon a bit of the energy from its traditional Animation Domination Sunday programming block through cross-promotion when the show premieres on Nov. 14.

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, created by Gilbert Shelton, centered on a trio of stoner “freak” characters; freak, in this context, being a subculture commonly associated with the hippie scene in San Francisco, falling somewhere in the post-hippie, pre-punk era. The characters — Freewheelin’ Franklin Freek, Phineas T. Phreak, and Fat Freddy Freekowtski — first appeared in the late 1960s in an underground Texas newspaper called the Rag. The strip blew up in the decade after.

During that era, American comics printers adhered to a draconian set of content rules known as the Comics Code, rejecting anything that didn’t conform to its standards. Hence, the rise of Underground Comix (with the homophonic X denoting a big helping of adults-only content) in the late ’60s, which were largely self-published and distributed alongside or within subculture zines and newspapers. The first Freak Brothers comic was published in 1971 and to this day, over 40 million Freak Brothers comics have been sold worldwide. In 2006, a claymation film based on the characters started production, but it was scrapped in 2013.

This series, however, won’t be claymation, but more traditionally animated by Starburns Industries (Rick & Morty) and Pure Imagination Studios (The Simpsons). Shelton will serve as Executive Producer. The first two episodes of Freak Brothers will hit Tubi on Nov. 14, with new episodes dropping on Sundays every week till Dec. 26.

“When the opportunity arose to get involved not just as talent but also on a creative level, we jumped at the chance,” Devine and Anderson said when the project was announced in 2019. “And also WEED, man!”

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