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April Fools Day / [adult swim]

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You're tearing me apart, Williams Street!

"Oh, hi, [adult swim]. I got the results of the test back. And I definitely have April Fools!"

There exists one television network that has reliably done a big April Fools' Day prank every year. [adult swim] is that network. Though, sometimes, the prank can be more of a present.

  • 2004: All regularly scheduled episodes were aired with mustaches drawn on the characters. The next night, the same programming was played again, only without the mustaches.
  • 2005: Instead of Robot Chicken, an unfinished version of the Squidbillies pilot episode aired, followed by an announcement of the show's official premiere later that year.
  • 2006: Reruns of 1980s cartoons Mister T and Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos were aired, followed by episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex with fart noises added to the dialogue. The Spumco short Boo Boo Runs Wild was also aired in place of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • 2007:
    • On March 31st, every episode of Perfect Hair Forever was played in reverse order in place of the Saturday night anime lineup, with the visual quality having been digitally degraded to look like old VHS tapes of a poorly fan subbed anime. One episode even had the subtitles for an Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode instead.
    • On April 1st, the network followed up on promises to air Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters in its entirety, several weeks before its actual theatrical premiere date by showing the already available first two minutes... before airing the rest in a small, 1 x 1 inch corner of the screen with the sound played over secondary audio programming, as the block ran episodes of Futurama, Family Guy, and even Aqua Teen itself with loud commercial pop ups, bumpers, and actual advertisements promoting the ATHF film to boot.
  • 2008: Unfinished sneak peeks, pilots and stealth episode premieres of upcoming series were aired in place of regular programming, including shows such as Superjail!.
  • 2009: The network aired The Room, with sex scenes obscured with black boxes.
  • 2010: The Room was aired again, this time with bumpers featuring director Tommy Wiseau being interviewed on Space Ghost Coast to Coast.
  • 2011: The Room was aired once again, this time followed by a 15-minute special titled "Earth Ghost", a version of a pilot shown on [adult swim]'s website a few years prior, with the main actor (George Lowe) replaced by a CGI version of Space Ghost.
  • 2012: After a Fake-Out Opening utilizing The Room, the screen switched to TOM, the host of the defunct Toonami animation block, who noted the date and revealed that he is Back from the Dead for one night only, with the channel airing episodes of older anime associated with the "Toonami" block and [adult swim] AcTN for the rest of the night. Notably, fan reaction was so overwhelmingly positive and widespread that [adult swim] brought the block back for good a month later!
  • 2013: Cats. Everywhere. Every show and bumper had images or videos of cats, while live-action programming had cat faces covering those of the actors. The [adult swim] logo was even replaced with "[meow meow]". The only show exempt from this was Loiter Squad.
  • 2014: Two new episodes of Perfect Hair Forever were aired, eight years following the series finale in reference to a gag from said finale episode. This was followed by a Space Ghost Coast to Coast marathon featuring creator-chosen episodes (including the uncut version of "Fire Ant", which had until then not been seen since its original premiere), which had outtakes and commentary from the writers and staff aired during commercial breaks.
  • 2015: An Aqua Teen Hunger Force marathon that featured a version of the "Coin Hunt" game from Adult Swim's online series "FishCenter", where the characters got points by hovering over coins that had been added to the episodes.
  • 2016: After a series of advertisements were shown, hyping up that year's broadcast by recapping previous years of pranks and claiming this one will be just as grand... there was no prank.
  • 2017:
    • On March 31st, after midnight, each show was given new audio mixes that replaced the regular audio with auto-tuned speaking voices, laugh tracks, Seinfeld strings, and various sound effects.
    • On April 1st, the evening portion of Adult Swim was replaced with the unannounced and unscheduled premiere of the first episode of Rick and Morty's third season ("The Rickshank Redemption") airing repeatedly until midnight. This had the unfortunate effect of angering fans of Dragon Ball Super and Samurai Jack (2017), with said shows getting preempted by the stunt.
  • 2018:
  • 2019:
    • The network premiered a new Mind Screw series, Gemusetto (unannounced, but leaked by trademarks and Hulu), a tennis-related anime-esque series with six hour-long episodes. Also without announcement (as its launch was scheduled later in the morning there), the new Adult Swim channel in Canada soft launched at midnight to air the same programming (interrupting The Visit, the final program of its predecessor Action).
  • 2020:
    • The night begins with another Fake-Out Opening, this time involving a second season of Gemusetto. Post Malone cuts off the show, leading into a night of stealth premieres. Bumpers surrounded around a beer pong game Post was playing with his friends. The premieres include new episodes of Primal (2019), Dream Corp LLC, Tigtone, The Shivering Truth, Robot Chicken, the trailer for the back half of Rick and Mortyís fourth season, and the series premiere of JJ Villard's Fairy Tales, along with the Smiling Friends pilot and YOLO Crystal Fantasy, the latter of which had just been announced as picked up for a series two days prior, and the former being announced just 15 minutes prior on a livestream with the show's creators, Michael Cusack and Zach Hadel.
      • The Rick and Morty Season 4 second trailer ended up being a prank itself in retrospect, which presented many Shocking Moments like Rick and Morty facing the army of the Citadel, Snuffles' return and a lightsaber fight between Summer and Tammy. Come the premiere of the episode "Never Ricking Morty" after this, the clips were moments created as alternate storylines by the anthology train and not canonical with the series.
  • 2021:
    • The format was changed into a kids block spoof called adult swim jr., possibly spoofing the then-upcoming preschool block for Cartoon Network, Cartoonito. The shows were dubbed over using children's voices (with some adult language replaced with more child-friendly terms), the bumpers were written in a child's font, the logo was done up like a preschool channel's, the theme songs were rewritten like a preschool show's, the titles were changed to things like 'Aqua Child Hunger Force' and 'Rick and Morty Babies', and the advertisements were done in childlike animations. Though it only showed the Rick and Morty and Aqua Teen Hunger Force parodies twice before returning to the regular schedule at 1:30 AM, it was still a pretty well-done prank nonetheless.
  • 2022:
  • 2023:
    • The stunt consisted of five portions, all appearing to mock the practice of rebranding. The night began with a white text on black bump explaining that in response to the new AI craze, the rest of the block will be produced by AI, starting with part of an episode of Smiling Friends done in really crappy quality AI. After about one minute, the bumpers returned with an apology about how it looked, stating that the AI block is cancelled and the schedule would return to normal. The schedule then resumed with the debut of the first 15 minutes of the pilot of Royal Crackers and sneak previews for new seasons of The Eric Andre Show and Teenage Euthanasia, with VCR fast-forward effects at the starts and ends of each segment and the bumpers; and the uncut version of Space Ghost Coast to Coast's Fire Ant episode, with VCR rewind effects for the bumpers only. These were stated to be the result of [as] losing the remote. After finding it, at 1 AM, they announced a new block that cut out shows entirely and showed only commercials, airing two shorts from Infomercials, Unedited Footage of a Bear and Broomshakalaka, in line with that. The prank concluded with an episode of Ambient Swim, showing first-person train footage from the YouTube channel RailCowGirl set to music from artists signed to Ghostly International. The "rebrands" for each portion, respectively: [as/ai], [as (fast-forward symbol)], [as (rewind symbol)], [as-], and [as (train graphic)].