As Hamburger a zebra morey , Mom a golden puffer , Hot Steve a foxface rabbitfish , and nine other tropical fish glide past fluorescent coral, four disembodied voices provide snarky commentary on offbeat topics ranging from rock stars with dad bods to disgusting YouTube videos of popped pimples or the ongoing debate over whether to divide the fish. Even more random viewers chime in via phone, Skype, or chat. To add dramatic tension, the fish play games. The most popular is Coinquest, where gold coins are superimposed on the screen, and each time a fish swims past one, it earns or loses points. Cohosts Max Simonet and Andrew Choe offer play-by-play, while Dave Bonawits handles callers and keeps score and Matt Harrigan mans music and sound effects. Adult Swim—a nine-and-a-half-hour block on the Cartoon Network—has delivered absurdist and avant-garde programming, such as the animated Rick and Morty and talk-show parody the Eric Andre Show , for the last 16 years. Blending games, podcasts, and variety shows, all with the low-budget and lo-fi feel of public-access television, these live productions are built around mundane themes like lottery tickets, blind dates via Skype, and drawing lessons. The network aims to attract to year-olds, its core demographic, where that group is increasingly spending its time—logged on to watch news videos, professional videogamers streaming Fortnite battles, and Instagram stories. There was basically no budget.
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Yet it has an appeal almost impossible to describe, given its ultra-low concept. What exactly is FishCenter? It appeared last fall, more or less, as a way for the Adult Swim staffers to entertain themselves. There was no real promotion, no real audience, and at that point it was strictly web-only. Soon, though, the commentators developed games for the fish to play, adding a weekly competition element, with whichever fish winning the most points being named King of the Tank. After this, in February, Adult Swim decided to play daily highlights on the network proper, and quickly after, a small cult began to grow around it, its social media presence growing in thousands of fans over the next few months. Call-ins became a staple of the show, and new games were invented to play with fans. Running jokes were made out of completely everyday events to reward longtime viewers. So, naturally, when a fan-favorite crayfish named David Anderson was to be fed to the zebra moray eel named Hamburger, it was spun as a Mayweather-Pacquiao-esque Fight of the Century, played up for weeks. This is meant as a compliment.
It premiered on the official website of Adult Swim in September ; it started airing on the network proper in February FishCenter Live is presented as a weekday call-in talk show narrating over footage of tropical fish swimming around in a fish tank. An original incarnation of the show involved a straight video feed of the fish tank, without narration. Commentary and a phone number for call-in segments were later added. Initially, callers were mostly other Adult Swim employees; when the competition portion was added, the hosts saw an increase of outside callers. Due to Sir Squirt's death the second place fish for the Winter season, being Hamburger, was declared the Super King representative. New episodes are presented on weekdays. These airings are condensed versions of the live version, consisting of minute highlights from each day. In the first week of its televised broadcast, the show garnered 2.