Watch Xavier: Renegade Angel and Blow Your Own Mind

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A while back I did a post about how sometimes comedy shows require more than one viewing to get. Xavier: Renegade Angel is one of those shows.

Though the show deliberately targets shallow adoption of new age/native american/eastern spirituality, Xavier is itself a consciousness expander - it demands your attention to get all the little jokes or else they slip by. In twelve minutes, so many ideas get packed in and then tied back together again. The speed it moves and the willingness to appear like nonsense, makes the show seem random to a casual eye.

A collection of bizarre physical traits including backwards legs and a snake for a hand, Xavier wanders the Earth, looking for the arsonist who murdered of his father. As a self-styled mystic and helper of the innocent, he finds people with problems to help along the way. But everyone he meets, he harms - often because he’s as narrow minded as the people who inevitably beat him up for being a freak when he first arrives into town. (Appropriately enough, the killer he’s searching for is himself. He burned the house down while meditating in a room with an insane amount of candles.)

Like the creators previous’ program Wonder Showzen, the creators’ willingness to use ugly imagery and darkness to create humor is bracing. It’s so rare. In this clip, happiness is equated with murder:

And the demented logic of it all. Take last week’s episode. Smoking and eating bacon takes years off your life, therefore if you eat enough of it you can travel backwards in time. How to travel forwards again is predictable…

 

...but the detail of how Xavier, who can’t touch anything without turning it to shit, strands two other people in the future in the process is pure genius.

This weekend’s episode (available at Adult Swim at 6 PM today) brings together Mother Earth, Darfur, rampant consumerism and some really wonderfully juvenile jokes about tampons all together. If you haven’t had a chance to tune in or have only seen the show once, you owe it to yourself as a comedy nerd to use the Adult Swim generosity of clips to watch a couple of episodes in a row.

The good news for those who have fallen into Xavier’s rhythms. I recently corresponded with Vernon Chatman, one of the series co-creators, who told me that they’ve already received an order for a second season (10 episodes) from Adult Swim. Great News.

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Comments

Posted by Johannes Vindenburg on 12/16  at  05:31 PM

To add to all that: people tend to give this show’s visuals a lot of shit but miss sight of the fact that throughout all the low polygon and simply textured graphics is some amazing cinematography.  Body language and nonverbal expression is more competent than in any similar looking videogame.  Creating the show like you would for a mod of a PC game provides the show some fantastic shots and locales at a low cost and allows the animation to keep up with the furiously paced writing.

But what is perhaps most significant is that this is the first CGI cartoon that is actually funny.

Posted by Jenny on 12/17  at  03:04 AM

just curious, but do you think these two are expressing a socialist political viewpoint through their comedy?

Posted by Gus on 12/17  at  06:43 PM

Jenny -
On WOnder Showzen, maybe.  I don’t know if it was socialist, but it was definitely political.  I;m not sure about Xavier.

Posted by Joanna D' Silvio on 12/18  at  01:24 AM

I would like to know if Chatman and Lee actually plan on donating the money that would otherwise have been spent on an expensive Earth Dream sequence in the Bloodcorns episode to benefit people suffering in Darfur.  While that entire joke was very funny and clever, it would be shameful if it really was only just a joke.

Posted by Jenny on 12/19  at  05:35 AM

I dunno, they strike me as fairly nilhist.. to them, there may be no point of donating money..

Posted by CommanderGreen on 01/06  at  09:56 AM

This is the best show I ever seen, I laugh at it even through repeat viewings.

Posted by Nicol3 on 01/14  at  02:38 AM

I feel like a total pussy admitting it, but I’ll be honest; Wonder Showzen scared the excrement out of me. As much as I loved it, I felt entirely squeamish watching it- the same squeamish feeling one gets when watching World War II Nazi propaganda. Xavier’s a lot less gut-churning (with the same amount of blood, guts, and genius).  The laughs feel good because they’re a little more justified; Xavier’s a lovable dumbfart at times while other characters seem even dumber. Wonder Showzen’s goal was more like.. fevereshly raping your brain in hopes of accessing the laugh button.

Posted by Rob on 01/24  at  05:22 PM

PFFR is absurdist.

There is nothing DEEP about it. Its just completely silly, with no real point. If you think there is some deeper underlying meaning, then your mindbrain is working too hard.

Posted by Luke on 02/11  at  03:11 AM

no i think your just not gettin it brah

Posted by John on 02/12  at  02:03 AM

it isn’t “deep”, but it isn’t total nonsense either. There’s usually opinions and underlying points that go along with a lot of the jokes (not all of them). Seriously Xavier and to a more obvious extent wonder showzen have some of the angriest and most frustrated senses of humor out there

Posted by Sally on 02/18  at  12:39 AM

“In pain, I found the truth.  And even though pain hurts, you need to confront pain if you want to transcend the crushing pain of your inner pain.”  How is that NOT deep?  Okay, if not DEEP, then atleast INSIGHTFUL!

There IS truth in sand-madness, chompsky-honk!

Posted by wish13 on 04/13  at  01:24 AM

I wouldn’t try to categorize the show or the views expressed therein. Doing so is just a way of summarizing it, and a summary is never completely accurate, so just watch the damn show for what it is. It’s brilliantly deep and paradoxical, while at times completely shallow and juvenile. It is yin and yang. I don’t think they’d rightly limit themselves to something as arbitrary as a genre.

Posted by Megatron on 04/22  at  06:46 PM

I would have to agree with some of you. I think Nicol3 hit the nail on the head. WonderShowzen was a great show but it was extremely graphic in both imagery and content at times. I loved it for that and I think it did a great job of exposing real world issues but did it in such a way that if you didn’t roll up into the fetal position and cry about how F-ed up political and social issues are then the only thing you could do is laugh hysterically. Xavier is just a bad acid trip that makes you laugh for no logical reason at all.

Posted by Cubilas on 11/16  at  03:22 AM

Never liked WonderShowzen… really wasn’t something I could enjoy for too long. Where as, Xavier can be watched each episode back-to-back (in my opinion). It really is one of my favorite shows on the Adult Swim lineup.

Posted by Michelle on 01/12  at  02:55 AM

I hope that you know this show is simply for people who want to watch something when they’re high.
Its crazy to watch in that state of mind.

Posted by mr.e babylon on 03/08  at  11:01 PM

Xavier is great to watch high but it is also great to watch low. it is great to watch fast,its great to watch slow. great to watch now, great to watch then, great to watch wow wondershowzen i like to watch xavier even though i.m dead i like to watch xavier with a bullet in the bed, xavier is an illusion xavier is real xavier is a holograph xavier is a tasty meal

Posted by ace reiman on 03/17  at  10:10 PM

The first time i watched this show i thought it was horrible

then i watched it again but completly stoned

now its my favorite show

if you watch it stoned it will make more sence

i love it

watch it baked its funnier and it makes sence

but haha one time i watched it baked and i thought xavier was god and i was like worshiping him scary / :

Posted by tabuths on 03/27  at  08:34 AM

I think that show sucks.
The graphics make me feel sick, and the way the characters talk is ridiculous.
I give it 2 thumbs down

Posted by Shadow Elite on 04/10  at  04:46 AM

Xavier Renegade Angel!!!!!
What the hell was that???!!! It’s Free Mason/Illuminati TV : at least the episode i just watched, I saw it all (Pyramid with all seeing Eye, Sun Worship, Black and white checkered floor…wow I don’t think you understand this late show is BRAINWASH GOVERNMENT SHIT. I thought It might be cool for stoners to watch. But I’ve watched the sickest Aqua Team Hunger Force Episodes and well Robot Chicken is one of my Adult Swim favorites, But this show is Sick and I got a weak Stomach watching it. I recommend you watch the show I saw and see for your self. The Audio tricks and Subliminal Messages are fuckin scary as shit, and I wasn’t stoned. I think this kind of crap doesn’t need to be on the Air, no matter how late it plays. I seriously think I went under a temporary mindcontrol phase, anyone else agree email me plz and share.

Posted by Shadow Elite on 04/10  at  04:50 AM

lol it was the Dog eating the Ketchup episode…Watch that shit and tell me that’s not mind control TV

Posted by Shadow Elite on 04/10  at  04:54 AM

lol squidbillys is the shit. lol Squid Devil and Squid jesus, now thats quality programming…hahaha

Posted by duffman on 04/27  at  01:19 AM

I don’t know about you guys but i experienced physical pain when watching this show. it has to be the worst CGI i have ever seen, just such piss poor humor with the character unbearable to even watch

Posted by Jesse Lawson on 01/29  at  07:55 PM

Dude, listen. If a TV show can scare you or make you sick your a pussy. Don’t be a chicken. There is real fucked up shit in the world. You can pretend it’s not there in you little safe place, but it is still there. This show does not flinch, and that is awesome. They use mind control, Illuminati and such as shtick. Yes, there are tons of Easter eggs in the show, that makes watching it more that once worth a damn. If you feel like you were under mind control, you are weak. You are who they are making fun of. The wordplay is exceptional. If you need weed to understand things you are dumb. I’m not against drug use, but brain use comes first. Robot Chicken is fucking hack. Try harder. Do your homework and spend some time on your art. Shad leet, your brain can’t hang with the big dogs, so you say it shouldn’t be on the air. Mediocrity is not a value you should push on others.

Posted by jack e. jett on 11/20  at  03:03 PM

I have been studying Xavier as a religion and have found many messages in the teachings of RA.  Many can be expounded on to reach an even more absurd state and somtimes just basic common sense.

I am starting an internet radio show based on life lessons from Xavier RA by Father Jack.

Posted by Godknown on 03/21  at  10:38 AM

@duffman:

The CGI looks the way it does because the creators intended it to look piss poor, which actually should make the content a lot funnier. It’s like when someone tries so hard to make something look good, and it just ends up looking like shit, but whatever looks terrible or out of place just seems to fit into the funniness. I find those kinds of moments hilarious, and PFFR went straight for that funny bone. I can’t help you as far as humor goes. If you’re not into it, then you’re just not into it.

However, I will say that I hated this show so much at first. Every time I saw it on TV, I just wanted to skip it. But, the episode with the dog eating ketchup was what pulled me into watching the show and giving it a second chance. Why? I understood the humor they were attempting to convey, but at the very surface. That was enough to get me to want to try and like it. It was really strange, and some of it was funny. Then, I couldn’t stop watching episode after episode. I preferred the second season over the first because it got significantly better, but I still like the show entirely, now. It’s your journey into liking the show. Nobody else can convince you differently.

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