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Adult Swim SMALLS Animator Sam Lanier Discusses "DAP: Going Out"

Brooklyn-based comedian & animator Sam Lanier spoke with Bleeding Cool about how his SMALLS animated short, "DAP: Going Out," came about.

Adult Swim's SMALLS, humorously entertaining bite-sized animated comedy shorts from a variety of comedians, writers, and animators, is celebrating its 5th anniversary this month by releasing a new series of animated goodies. The first new SMALLS short for this month is titled "DAP: Going Out," currently streaming on Adult Swim's YouTube channel. Created by Brooklyn-based comedian and animator Sam Lanier (Adult Swim Simple Town), the short follows roommates stuck in an extended period of adolescence/ post-graduate years, scared about having kids, and still living with roommates that extends longer than you'd like it to as they try to go clubbing.  Bleeding Cool sat down for a chin wag with Lanier about this new episode and how he got involved with Adult Swim.

Adult Swim SMALLS Kicks Off 5th Anniversary WIth 'Dap Going
Sam Lanier DAP Going Out courtesy of Adult Swim

How did you get involved with Adult Swim? 

Sam Lanier: I'm part of this Comedy group called Simple Town, and we've been making sketches and films and shorts together ever since college. Dave Hughes [Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Off the Air] reached out to us, gosh, probably. Back in 2017, and said he liked our work and asked us if we wanted to put something on Off the Air, which was the pre-dated Adult Swim SMALL. So we did that, and then we made some stuff for SMALLS when the program was getting on its feet. Then over the course of the pandemic, I learned how to animate. I was making these short animations and thought maybe Dave would be interested in this. I sent it to him, and he liked it, and he said, "Great, let's put this on the air and see if people take to it." From there, he kind of just kept asking me to make more in small iterations. 

The first episode of this season of SMALLS is "DAP: Going Out." Where do these sketches come from? Are they taken from real life?

Sam Lanier: (It is a) series of these roommates that live in Brooklyn, and all of the images are taken directly from my apartment. They live in my apartment. It's based on my experience living with my own friends as an adult in New York City. The kind of strange, patheticness of being an adult and having to share a small space with a lot of other people and the ridiculousness of that and the funny interactions that come about from that. It was kind of drawn together from a couple of different things. Getting ready for the club was inspired by our all drinking in the living room, getting ready. Felipe would come out in various forms of insane outfits, things that people on TikTok wear, and ask, "What do you guys think of this?" and have kind of muted or mixed reactions from us. Then, the idea of just being in line for a club or a line that you think is for a club, and then it ends up being for like a charter school, just was funny to me that these people are so pathetic and not in the know that they don't even know where the club is. They just see a line, and they assume it's for a club. Just hit home the kind of the sort of low-statuses of these characters. 

Tell us a little about your comedy group. Does everybody else in the group contribute to Adult Swim? 

Sam Lanier:  They do have their own little stories. Simple Town is the name of our art comedy group. Please go check them out. If you read this, I think we're pretty good, and we're up and coming. We have our own SMALLS on Adult Swim called Quartet. Everyone within that group has also their own comedy practice. Felipe (Di Poi) makes animations on his own, and you can see various places. Will (Niedmann) and Caroline (Yost), they're both writers and editors and performers in their own right. Both together and separately, we kind of have a little comedy empire. (Do you live in the New York area? Simple Town has a monthly comedy show at Union Hall in Park Slope. The next one is on the 26th of April. Come out and enjoy the show.)

SMALLS elevates up-and-coming talent in the animation and comedy spheres and is celebrating its 5th anniversary by rolling out new episodes for the next 6 weeks: "DAP: Going Out" is currently streaming, followed by April 15th "Thoron the Conqueror" created by Sean Godsey & Nic Collins; April 22nd "Duchess of Nothing" created by Kelly Cooper; April 29th "Little Edy" created by Felipe Di Poi; May 6th "DAP: The Oven" created by Sam Lanier; and May 13the "Gassy's Gas 'n Stuff" created by Sarah Schmidt.

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Jimmy LeszczynskiAbout Jimmy Leszczynski

Jimmy Leszczynski has been blurring the line between comics and reality at SDCC every year since 1994, and was a nerd long before Lewis, Gilbert, and the Tri Lamdas made it cool. Middle aged father of 2 that REFUSES to grow up, lifelong Bat-Fan, and he thinks he's pretty funny.
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