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Smiling Friends Renewed for Season 3 at Adult Swim, Won’t Get Serious

Smiling Friends Renewed for Season 3 at Adult Swim, Won’t Get Serious

Smiling Friends has more reasons to smile as the Adult Swim series has been renewed for a third season.

The new run for the absurdist animated show was confirmed Thursday during Adult Swim’s presentation at the Annecy Animation Festival. “These guys are already working on the next season of Smiling Friends,” Adult Swim president Michael Ouweleen told the audience of co-creators Zach Hadel and Michael Cusack, who also took the stage.

In response to a question from a fan, Hadel explained why he doesn’t expect the series to ever have darker or more dramatic episodes, as some comedic programs may have done later in their runs. Smiling Friends launched in 2022 and centers on co-workers Charlie (Hadel) and Pim (Cusack) trying to bring positivity into the lives of their company’s customers.

“A lot of comedy shows, like you say, tend to get serious,” Hadel replied to the attendee. “I don’t think Charlie and Pim could cry and anybody would care. It would just be annoying. So it would probably end before it gets to that point.”

He continued, “This show is hopefully kind of an escape. We always think about when we worked minimum-wage jobs, we would get home and just want to watch YouTube cartoons and South Park and [It’s] Always Sunny [in Philadelphia]. There’s something nice about being a little comedy thing, and that’s it.”

Cusack concurred and explained why other comedies might be more adept at such a tonal shift. “Something like South Park, when I saw that episode when Stan gets depressed, I loved that because Trey [Parker] and Matt [Stone] are so great at that when they get serious,” Cusack said. “I just think we like keeping a continuous tone with Smiling Friends, where you can tune in in any season. You don’t really know where you are.”

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This led Hagel to confirm that he doesn’t see the series having a more serialized narrative. “I don’t think we’ll ever do serialization,” he shared. “It’s supposed to just be popcorn. It’s McDonald’s of TV.”

Also participating in the panel was creator Genndy Tartakovsky (Primal), who shared sketches and character ideas he has been developing for a potential series entitled Safari Heist. His idea focused on three frog brothers who are forced to team up for a bank robbery in order to secure their late father’s inheritance.

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