For the bizzare animated sketches of The Meth Minute 39, New York-based artist Dan Meth combines flash-based graphics with a style drawn from the past three decades of adult and children’s cartoons. After his viral advertising campaigns with catchy, kitschy tunes caught the eye of animation heavyweight Fred Seibert (especially Shofar Idol), Dan soon joined Channel Federator, the world’s first cartoon network podcast, as a hired pen. In September 2007, he introduced his Meth Minutes.
Not surprisingly, the series’ first episode, Internet People, a song about those touched by internet fame (and infamy), became a viral hit spoofing everything from Numa Numa to Dick In A Box. Since then, The Meth Minute has found mention in the New York Post, Time Out, and New York Magazine, among others. Each episode is a completely unique universe in itself, twisting pop culture into unseemly shapes and stone-cold weirdness. Populated by parodied pop stars, both titanic and obscure (or even fictional) and human Pez dispensers.
Even when he’s not drinking and drawing, navigating the mind of Dan Meth, soaked with Ren & Stimpy reruns and classic rock radio, is no light-hearted task, but Josh recently gave it a shot when he met up with the artist at the Frederator Studios in NYC:
As he mentioned above, Dan records improvised dialogue, creating a hilarious overlap rarely found in mainstream and more orderly animation. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, here’s a primer on the content:
### In Syd Barret Visits his Accountant, a typical day of soul-numbing tax preparation turns into a psychadelic rock-out within the LSD-damaged mind of the former Pink Floyd leader. Mike Tyson’s Brunch Out is a meeting of the Heavyweight Champ, (the eight-bit Nintendo version) and the hipster brunch crowd. Hilarity ensues. Nite Fite is a parody of Hardball-style news shows where two hosts, Penalty and Lloyd, debate whether the band Rush can indeed be classified as “heavy metal.” Similarly, The Music Nerds animates an argument between two friends both claiming title as the world’s largest Led Zeppelin fan (NSFW – language).
Despite the ingenuity, some sketches feel more like warm-ups for viral adverts. Dog Video Dating is a montage of dogs looking for love. While the idea of video dating might not be all that topical, the production is still top-notch and veers towards an darkly comic sensibility.
But those that don’t strike entertainment gold are few and far between. Conceived by Meth after spending too much time watching children’s programming, For Kids! is a personal favorite, while Watermelon Nights is a happy-go-lucky, leave-your-worries-on-the-doorstep, walk-on-the-sunny-side-of-the-street fav of the series’ creator.
We’re 22/39 of the way through, but the series is far from over. Before all’s said and done, Meth told us that we can expect to see some reappearances of old friends and definitely more strange animated goodness. Catch episodes new and old at MethMinute39.com.