Despite the chilly weather, a large number of people showed up for the Adult Swim Carnival Tour in the parking lot of Shakespeare’s Pizza. In addition to a performance by the alternative rock group Band of Skulls, there were multiple booths that featured games and activities based on Adult Swim’s lineup of shows.
Keeping true to the theme of some of the shows, each booth had a carnival-based game such as shooting moving targets with rubber babies, popping balloons with a unicorn head and throwing a bag through a hole in a toilet. However, the biggest difference between a regular carnival and this particular carnival was that everything was free. Items ranged from pins, notepads, posters and even a shirt with your favorite Adult Swim show graphic, and attendees did not have to spend a single penny for games or items at the event.
The copious amount of free items, as well as the atmosphere, was very different from what most students do on Thursdays.
“It’s different from going to clubs and bars on a Thursday night,” senior Tyler Bowers said. When asked if he would attend the event if the tour stopped in town again, Bowers said, “Definitely. Hopefully it’s also a little warmer.”
Sophomore Daniel Maxwell was surprised at the large amount of people that showed up for the evening, considering the fact he did not see a lot of advertising for the tour on campus. However, he points to one factor as the sole reason for the high attendance.
“You really can’t go wrong with free stuff,” Maxwell said. “I’m having fun.”
The emcee for the event was also very lively, keeping the crowd interested with a dance contest, a raffle to win cash and promoting one of Adult’s Swim’s new shows, "China, IL," by selecting a random’s person’s application that was filled out at the show’s booth. In addition, people also viewed some of Adult’s Swim’s summer lineup of shows such as "Black Dynamite," "Children’s Hospital," "Metalocalpyse" and "NTSF:SD:SUV."
In the later hours of the carnival, Band of Skulls began playing songs from both old and new albums. Most of the crowd members who were focused of the band knew them well and sang along to familiar tunes, and those who were unfamiliar with the band seemed to appreciate the music and might now have a new group to listen to on their iPods.
In the end, Adult’s Swim’s Carnival Tour was nothing short of a success. Large numbers of people walked about Shakespeare's small parking lot, all of the games were entertaining, the performance was great, and not to mention the fact it was all free. Sophomore Nick Terrell was extremely pleased with the event, saying it was pure entertainment.
“Most of the shows were represented one way or another,” Terrell said. “Adult Swim did it for the fans and it has restored my faith in humanity that Adult Swim would do something like this.”
As a late-night cable network, Adult Swim continues to attract more and more people to its late-night run of animated shows. Most recently, it brought back the much-loved Toonami block of cartoons as part of its April Fool’s joke. Toonami began in the late '90s and featured some American cartoons, but a huge portion of the segment was comprised of Japanese anime. This one-day joke brought back so much nostalgia that people on Twitter wanted to bring back Toonami permanently. Adult Swim commented on the matter by tweeting “#BringBackToonami We’ve heard you. Thanks you for your passion and interest – stay tuned.” Such an occasion will only raise their popularity even more and it just might turn their Carnival Tour into an even bigger venue.
Events such as the Adult Swim Carnival Tour are rare these days, especially when it caters to such a specific audience due to its programming. There is no doubt that such an event was very successful and attendees can probably expect another carnival next year.