Adult Swim Surprise Drops ‘Smiling Friends’ Season 2, Remakes Season 1 Using Puppets

The drop was part of the network’s long-running history of April Fool’s Day pranks

This year, the target of Adult Swim’s historic April Fool’s Day prank was “Smiling Friends.” The network released the first episode of Season 2 and also remade three episodes of Season 1 using puppets to celebrate the spring holiday.

The Season 2 premiere aired on Adult Swim at midnight on April 1. True to form, if you didn’t catch it then, you’re going to have to wait until the series’ return on May 12 to watch it. Directed by Paul Ter Voorde, the episode revolves around trying to make Gwimbly smile, a ’90s video game mascot whose animation is starkly upsetting in Zach Hadel and Michael Cusack’s bright world.

Though the Season 2 premiere is unavailable to watch on any official channels, Adult Swim released a trailer for the episode on X and on YouTube.

That’s not all. The network also remade three fan favorite “Smiling Friends” episodes using different puppets. Specifically, “Mr. Frog,” “Shrimp’s Odyssey” and “Charlie Dies and Doesn’t Come Back” all received a puppet makeover. Watch the adorable recuts above.

Adult Swim has a long history of fully embracing April Fool’s Day dating back to 2004 when the network added random mustaches to the episodes it aired that evening. “Smiling Friends” isn’t even the first Adult Swim show to have its new episode be surprise released on April 1. After over two years of waiting, the Season 3 premiere of “Rick and Morty” had a surprise drop in 2017.

The network has also used the day to release the unfinished version of “Squidbillies,” a tiny version of “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters” and to show “The Room” on several occasions throughout the years.

Created by Hadel and Cusack, “Smiling Friends” follows the day-to-day lives of two employees of a business dedicated to making people smile. Oftentimes, the clients’ demands are ridiculous, resulting in the optimistic Pim (Cusack) and the cynical Charlie (Hadel) going on a series of bizarre adventures.


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