Adult Swim premiered an animated special called Smiling Friends on April 1, 2020 and what followed was an onslaught of viewers who desperately needed more. The Cartoon Network block of late night shows has been known to draw in lovers of the weird and kitschy, and with the funky animation and warped sense of humor throughout Smiling Friends, it was right on the money for a particular brand of weird.
The cast is made up of voice actors and real life actors, some of whom fans might recognize, and it's all the more reason for the show to be picked up for more. At least, according to fans, who have flooded Adult Swim’s Twitter feed about the show with requests for the network to pick up Smiling Friends for an entire season. The premise is that the main characters work for a company where their job is to cheer people up for a living.
It hits with a touch of wholesomeness and an Adult Swim vibe that makes it perfect for the midnight watch crowd. And now, people want more. So while they wait with bated breath for Adult Swim to take a blatant hint, they might be curious about who they are rooting for. That is, who is in the cast of what might be the next big animated show to hit Adult Swim.
So, who is in the Smiling Friends cast?
Michael Cusack not only voices a smattering of characters, including Pim, Alan, and Pim’s sister, but he also created the animated special. Animated shorts seem to be his thing, though. He also created the animated short Bushworld Adventures and worked on the animated movie Shrek Retold. He started out doing viral shorts on YouTube, but animation seems to be where he hit his stride.
As a co-creator behind Smiling Friends, Zach Hadel is also the voice behind Charlie, Glep, Boss Baby, and Desmond’s mom, and he's one of the voices of Bliblie. In the past, he has also written for the animated shows JonTron and Hellbenders. He also has a YouTube channel full of original animated videos and more than 1 million subscribers. For some fans of the Smiling Friends special, that’s where they know him from and the Adult Swim show was a long time coming.
Tom Fulp voices Alpha in Smiling Friends but outside of the show, he does a lot more behind the scenes work. He’s the founder of Newgrounds, a website dedicated to flash games and movies. So it should come as no surprise that he has also worked on video games in the past. And, if Smiling Friends gets a series order on Adult Swim, he could continue his voice work.
Although Nick Wolfhard might be more famous right now for his famous brother, Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, he got into acting first. He voices Graham Nelly and Bliblie (along with some of the other cast members) on Smiling Friends, but he was working in short films and lending his voice to roles since before Finn had burst onto the scene as Mike Wheeler. And he, too, is a member of the Netflix family as Jack Sullivan in The Last Kids on Earth.
Finn Wolfhard is arguably most well known for his roles in Stranger Things, It, and the 2020 horror movie The Turning. But before he decided to lend his voice to the characters of Bliblie and Man Living in Wall on Smiling Friends, he had already done voice work in the 2019 animated version of The Addams Family and the Netflix cartoon Carmen Sandiego. He definitely gets around.
Unlike some of his more famous Smiling Friends co-stars, David Dore doesn't have much of a rap sheet when it comes to acting, voice or otherwise. According to his IMDb profile, his role as Party Bro in Smiling Friends is his only one to date. He might have taken it on as a favor to the show’s creators, or he’s just starting out in the business. Either way, don't feel bad if his voice isn't as recognizable as some of the others.
Although he isn't widely known as a mainstream animator, Marc M. is known well for his role as the creator of Sick Animation, a website dedicated to obscure animations and cartoons, some of which verge on the straight up offensive to some. On Smiling Friends, he voices The Boss, and while it's unclear if he will continue on the show if it’s picked up as a series, he’s not a bad person to have around during the animation process.
Mike Stoklasa has experience as a writer, director, and actor, mostly in animation. On Smiling Friends, he voices Desmond. He also founded RedLetterMedia, an independent film production company and seems pretty busy outside of his stint on the Adult Swim special. Because of his experience in all things independent, there’s no reason to suggest Mike wouldn't also be into working on Smiling Friends more, should it get picked up as a regular series.
For now, Smiling Friends is still a standalone animation special that Adult Swim aired, which garnered thousands of overnight fans and counting. If those same fans keep inundating Twitter with their call for more episodes, maybe Adult Swim will take a hint. Until then, you’ll just have to watch the special on repeat.
Smiling Friends is available for streaming on the Adult Swim website and app.