Sealab 2021 (2000 - 2005): Why 2021 Is the Year of Sealab!

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Two decades ago, when Sealab 2021 was just released, this year seemed to be somehow far away in the future. The year 2021 seemed to be like the future that we would not reach. But alas! Here we are. We’re in the year 2021 and quite surprisingly Sealab 2021 is still a hit show!

Today I had to stop and just look deeply into the idea behind the name. Did they predict anything? Did the technologies that were presented in the series come to being? Well, I have had to binge again on the show available on YouTube, but unlike 20+ years ago, am really listening and watching everything for clues or prediction of the future.

Sealab 2021 was one of my most favorite shows back then. Unfortunately, I wasn’t old enough back then to watch the Adult Swim, but boys will be boys. We had a way of watching it either way! Let us just call it a hack in some way. Before the inception of the Adult Swim, which became the official block, I loved the few episodes that came earlier on.

I loved the first two years of the show, that is immediately after the launch of the adult swim. The show was crazy then. And loved the choice of words of this show. The creators were just ahead of time for real. It is definitely because of this that the show has survived through all these generations without loss of enthusiasm. Plus, it is still being watched online today twice as much as it was way back. Sealab 2021 was one timeless show that we will miss. How I wish it had a re-run.

Sealab 2021 Hilarious Twists

The plot of this show was epic. The turn of events was just off the plant. Way ahead of its time. I remember the goofy scenes when stock characters would bicker and call each other names. They all looked so dumb doing stupid things. Surprisingly that is all we needed back then. It was awesome, I remember laughing ourselves off back then the whole weekend while chilling with my friends from school.

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
This show had the best humor and warmth. The guys talked as if they were stoned or high on something. But that is what made it mad fun. Especially the Adult Swim version. Besides being defiantly episodic, the structure, script, and storyline did work the magic on us back then. OH. Men I just loved the voice-over. I had to go on YouTube and just look at the faces behind the people who voiced the characters.

Just learned that Captain Hazel “Hank” Murphy was voiced by Harry Goz, that was my favorite. I just had to dig deep to find out all about Harry. He looked simple, nothing like the Hank on the show. Honestly, he nailed the character! It was quite amazing.

Space Ghost: Coast to Coast came close to Sealab 2021 in terms of acting, storyline, and choice of characters. I guess they picked a lot from Sealab which set the stage a standard for farce shows like this. The vocal performance of Space Ghost is very close to that of Sealab 2021. They are both very engaging and will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire show. Back then I would follow everything to the level of talking along with them.

I loved Sealab since it was released back then in 2000, now that we are in the year of Sealab 2021, I suggest we give it some respect and watch some episodes from back then. As things turn out, it seems my love for Sealab is forever! Let us take a journey back in time to the history of Sealab 2021 and why it is still so popular now.

Background History of Sealab 2021 and why it is Still Popular
I figured it must be the name that is making it popular and hit the top of search engines today. On Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc., we all have the tendency of searching things using the year in order to find the latest content.

Surprisingly, by virtue of its name, Sealab 2021 has been the latest and ahead of its time since its release 20 years ago. Actually, for the last 21 years, it is only this year that Sealab 2021 will theoretically turn one year old! This is just awesome and it is the creativity of the highest order. I applaud the guys who did come up with the name, plot and everything. Anyway, let’s dig into the background story of the show Sealab 2021.

So, What is Sealab 2021?

As a result of the Collaboration between Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, Sealab 2021 was born. Sealab 2021 is an American adult animated TV series. Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s late-night programming block, aired the episode in the United States. The Show’s first three episodes aired on Cartoon Network in December 2000, before the Adult Swim block was officially launched in September 2001.
The final episode aired in April 2005. Asie from Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Havey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Sealab 2021 is one of four original Williams Street series that debuted in the year 2000 before Adult Swim was officially developed.

The animation, like Adult Swim’s Space Ghost: Coast to Coast combined stock footage from a 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon, in this case the short-lived, environmentally themed Sealab 2020, with fresh animation. The show was a humorous spoof of the original Sealab series as well as the typical traditions of 1970s animated children’s shows.

While several of the original series’ creators were initially opposed to the reuse of their characters, production on the series continued. It was later produced by 70/30 Productions. Sealab 2021 had four seasons with one pilot that was unaired. Each Season was made up of 13 episodes:

  • Season 1: Had 13 Episodes and was first aired in December 2000 and last aired in May 2002
  • Season 2: Had 13 Episodes and was first aired in May 2002 and last aired in November 2003
  • Season 3: Had 13 Episodes and was first aired in November 2003 and last aired in July 2004
  • Season 4: Had 13 Episodes and was first aired in November 2004 and last aired in April 2005
Sealab 2021 Production
The show's founders and writers, Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, came up with the idea for the show in 1995 while working as production assistants for Cartoon Network, where they got their start. In the mid-1990s, the duo created their own show, High Noon Toons, a 3-hour programming block of cartoons hosted by cowboy hand puppets.

Matt and Adam were frequently inebriated while working on the show, and were once chastised for setting fire to one of the prop sets. They discovered a cassette of the show Sealab 2020 and prepared fresh dialogue for it. Cartoon Network rejected the show because they didn't think it was funny. Five years after leaving Cartoon Network, the two returned to the original recording, this time forcing the characters to do anything they wanted. The show was purchased by Cartoon Network about the same time when Adult Swim was founded. The original "pitch pilot" is included as an extra feature on the Season 1 DVD.

There is very no continuity or continuous plot in the series' episodes. For example, at the end of numerous episodes, the entire installation is destroyed, and staff members are frequently killed in horrifying ways, only to return in the next episode.

Certain running gags, such as the "Grizzlebee's" restaurant chain, a parody of Applebee's and Bennigan's, Sharko, the half-man, half-tentacle monster "from the network," and Prescott, the half-man, half-tentacle monster "from the network." It features several references to 1980s–2000s pop culture and uses other 1970s cartoons outside the one on which it is based, such as 1973's Butch Cassidy for the on-screen appearances of the Sealab writers and various one-off appearances of other characters.

Sealab 2021 Characters

Captain Hazel "Hank" Murphy

The voice behind Hank was Harry Goz. Hank is the crew's putative leader, though his qualifications and even his grasp on reality are dubious. He is frequently observed lounging on the bridge, ignoring his responsibilities. Murphy spends his time engaging in frauds and immature antics, as well as producing difficulties for the crew to handle. "7211," an exact reproduction of the original Sealab 2020 show, is the only episode in which Murphy acts responsibly throughout.

Captain Murphy is a satire of Sealab 2020's Captain Mike Murphy. Murphy, in general, is incapable to the point of ineptitude. On more than one occasion, it has been suggested that Murphy has gone nuts as a result of his time spent underwater. However, the crew either doesn't notice or doesn't care, and they frequently obey his commands, even if they will directly lead to the deaths of the crew.

Murphy is a practicing Alvian with a great phobia of doppelgängers and, in particular, flashlights, the latter of which has no name. Murphy was written out of the show following the death of Harry Goz by having him leave Sealab to fight in the "Great Spice Wars." Murphy is supposed to be the leader of the Rebel forces in this conflict, however, the cause for this or its impact on the war is never explored. In memory of this voice actor, a recap montage of Murphy's events was played in the final episode. He did, however, eventually appear in Archer, where he was voiced by Jon Hamm and made his debut in the two-part episode "Sea Tunt."

Captain Bellerophon "Tornado" Shanks

Photo Courtesy: TV Tropes
He was voiced by Michael Goz. Tornado is a former football coach and health and hygiene instructor who was fired for slapping (or throat punching) a kid. Despite having no prior experience, he responded to Sealab's help wanted to post and was appointed as the new skipper.

Shanks is from Texas and is the youngest of several brothers, all of whom were named after Greek mythological heroes and all of whom died on or near a bridge in Shanks' hometown. Shanks' personality bears a resemblance to Captain Murphy, being portrayed by Harry Goz's son, after dropping his Southern accent late in the series (claiming that some viewers thought he was gay).

Shanks, on the other hand, is far more self-aware than Murphy, freely commenting on the strange goings-on aboard Sealab and even the fact that he is on a television show. Shanks goes along with anything the rest of the team advises, typically with disastrous effects, because he has no experience or understanding of what he is doing. Captain Shanks made his first appearance in the season three episode "Tornado Shanks."

Lieutenant Jodene Sparks
Voiced by the lively Bill Lobley. Jodene is the radio operator for the station, and he is often seen sitting with his headsets on. Lieutenant Sparks from Sealab 2020 is a parody of Sparks. Sparks generally uses the radio for his own reasons, even disconnecting crucial communications that interrupt him. He generally travels around on his office chair, owing to his laziness, despite the fact that it has been reported that he is disabled. Sparks is a convicted felon serving time at Sealab but continuing to run a black-market distillery and engage in a number of other illicit activities.

He occasionally serves as a sounding board for the team, particularly Murphy. However, he is frequently the source of issues aboard Sealab, including the destruction of the space station. He is a claustrophobic Malkin, the show's version of a Wiccan. Sparks' desire for money has manifested itself in a number of plots, including the murder of the crew in order to collect on life insurance policies, the development of Stimutacs in order to "make an assload of money," and his countless underhanded agreements with Paddy O'Reilly and the different Daves. In an early episode, he was shown to be the "Overlord," a criminal mastermind with a hollowed-out volcano fortress and an army of minions. He adores hentai with themes of forced obedience and humiliation, as revealed in Episode 46. Commander is his rank.

Debbie "White Debbie" DuPree
She was voiced by the lovely and sweet-voiced Kate Miller. Debbie is a marine biologist and one of only two adult females on the base. As a parody of Gail from Sealab 2020, she is a blonde who is frequently the object of the males on Sealab's sexual attention.

She has a continuing sexual relationship with Doctor Quinn, and the ups and downs of their relationship, as well as its impact on the rest of the crew, are depicted in multiple stories. When she's on the outs with Quinn, the other guys, especially Stormy, try to win her over.

Debbie's mood swings are a continual source of concern for the team, as she alternates between being the single voice of reason and a shrieking madman. Debbie adopted the moniker "White Debbie" at the request of Doctor Quinn, who thought it was unfair that Debbie Love was known as "Black Debbie" while Debbie Dupree was simply Debbie. Nonetheless, just a few members of the crew refer to her as such. Lieutenant Commander is his rank.

Dr. Quentin Q. Quinn
Was voiced by Brett Butler. The science officer is called Dr. Quinn. He is an African-American who, like Ed from Sealab 2020, is extraordinarily clever, with an IQ of 260 and Ph.D.s in various scientific subjects, of which he is not shy about reminding the other characters. Quinn, unlike the rest of the other characters, grew up in exorbitant poverty and worked his way to the top.

Most of the crew regards him as a haughty killjoy. Quinn is frequently the only responsible member of the crew and the single voice of reason. This has caused the rest of the crew to shirk their responsibilities even more, as they trust "Quinn will manage it." Quinn, despite his intelligence, is exceedingly vain and prone to rage outbursts when he is not acknowledged.

Quinn frequently seeks to prevent Murphy's dubious ideas from being carried out, leading Murphy to distrust Quinn. Murphy, on the other hand, is well aware that he and the station rely entirely on Quinn, even going so far as to snake his vacation to ensure that he does not leave the station. Quinn is currently involved in a sexual relationship with Debbie Dupree. He stated in the first episode that he inhabits a mechanical body of his own invention. Lieutenant Commander is his rank.
Other Characters

  • Derek "Stormy" Waters (Voiced by Ellis Henican)
  • Marco Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Voiced by Erik Estrada)
  • Hesh Hepplewhite (Voiced by MC Chris)
  • Debbie "Black Debbie" Allison Love (Voiced by Angela Gibbs)
  • Dr. Ilad Virjay (Voiced by Adam Reed)
  • Dolphin Boy
  • Sharko (Voiced by Matt Thompson)
Final Thoughts

If there is one TV show that I think deserves a re-run it is the Sealab. I can’t wait to see it come back to the screens. Plus, the fact that this is the year 2021....what the hell are they waiting for? This is the time cast was supposed to take advantage of the year and bring back Sealab to life.

Also, with the developments in the movie and cartoon industry, what was considered bad or dirty jokes back then is now normal and something that society can actually handle. This basically means that if this show was to come back, it would fit in and it would be the most awesome of all CN shows.

What do you remember about Sealab 2021?

Do you also, like me, wish that Sealab 2021 made a comeback?
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