Campy Cartoons

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who says cartoons are just for kids? Certainly not 28-year-old Nick Weidenfeld, who spends his days deciding which cartoons to put on the air for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

His niche is different from what is shown during prime time. For readers who don't watch the Cartoon Network between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., the shows include "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," featuring a wad of meat, a milk shake and fries. It quickly became a cult classic for high school teenagers to people Nick's age.

"The audience is people [who] are interested in television that they can't see elsewhere," Weidenfeld says.

Which they certainly can't. Another popular show is titled "Robot Chicken." Seriously.

Weidenfeld's love of laughing at the absurd came from growing up as a kid in Georgetown. He thought it was silly that there seemed to be two cities, one for blacks and one for whites separated by geographic lines. It made no sense to him when Georgetown turned down an opportunity to have a Metro station built because area residents worried it would draw crime from other parts of the city.

And then there are the politicians. He describes them as people "with almost zero sense of humor."

"There are people who move there with a very non-funny agenda," says Weidenfeld, who now lives in Atlanta.

Still, he has some love for his hometown. "If it weren't for D.C. you wouldn't have [Stephen] Colbert. . . . You wouldn't have Jon Stewart."

And, Weidenfeld is quick to point out, there is a part of the city separate from politics that has produced popular comedian Dave Chappelle.

Weidenfeld will return to his home town to help judge the comedy short video competition. Wads of meat not necessary to win!

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