FOX’s free streaming service Tubi hosted an exclusive event on December 6 at the Fred Segal in Los Angeles, California to honor the platform’s animated ode to smokers new and old—The Freak Brothers.
Most members of the epic voice cast attended, including Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live), John Goodman (The Connors), Blake Anderson (Workaholics) and Andrea Savage (Veep), Phil LaMarr (Futurama) and Danny Gendron.
The Freak Brothers is the story of three fictional characters who regularly venture out on escapades that inevitably involve pot. It’s the tale of Freewheelin’ Franklin Freek (Woody Harrelson), Fat Freddy Freekowtski (Goodman), Phineas T. Phreakers (Davidson) and their cat Kitty (Tiffany Haddish).
The series debuted on Tubi on November 14, 2021, after it was resurrected from the original comic series by artist Gilbert Shelton that debuted in the late ‘60s and into the ‘70s, amid a wave of hippie writers and artists who tested the legal boundaries of publishing.
To showcase this modern interpretation, the Fred Segal store has been transformed into The Freak Brothers universe, bringing the animated series to life—complete with gigantic cartoon mushrooms under fluorescent light and faux pot plants aplenty. Running through January 15, the immersive pop-up experience at the Fred Segal is open to the public.
High Times was on-scene as Anderson and Davidson hotboxed the room. I couldn’t help but notice a High Times back issue with the Freak Brothers on the cover, chilling on the glass coffee table in front of them. I did a little digging, and found out it was the November 1990 issue—one of multiple times that the Freak Brothers graced the cover of the magazine.
“Really the two characters are just an extension of me and Adam [Devine]. So, it’s kind of cool being in the booth and recording [our voice roles]. It’s improv and all of that. It’s pretty cool.”
– Blake Anderson
The juxtaposition of the old and new timelines is a testament to changing customs surrounding cannabis. After smoking a magical strain of weed in 1969, the Freak Brothers are transported 50 years into the future to 2020, bringing their counterculture lifestyle to the modern world. Legal cannabis is everywhere.
Things get funny when they confront current-day smokers. Blake Anderson and Adam Devine—two-thirds of the Workaholics trio—play Chuck and Charlie, stoners who live in the present day.
“They’re really stoners of modern times,” Anderson told High Times. “They’re really working the system. They know that weed is legal—weirdly. So they’re in a whole different realm from The Freak Brothers.”
A culture clash is the result—and some of it includes a pinch of reality. Today, you can practically take a hit from a pen inside a store, instead of hiding in the woods.
“Really the two characters are just an extension of me and Adam [Devine]. So, it’s kind of cool being in the booth and recording [our voice roles]. It’s improv and all of that. It’s pretty cool. I’m here representing both of us.”
The voice cast includes some of the top Hollywood veterans—many of whom grew up reading the original underground hippie comics. Goodman plays Fat Freddy, the kind-hearted ginger stoner who in the comics, usually loses money or gets burned for weed. Goodman said that he has been collecting The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comics by Gilbert Shelton for some time, which prepared him for creating the voice of Freddy. He went more into detail about it at the New York Comic Con last year.
When asked if the comics’ lasting power will be accepted by younger generations, Goodman is optimistic. “I hope so,” Goodman told High Times. “I wouldn’t have believed it” continues to impact readers as much as it did then today, he explained. “I still have a bunch of the comic books at home. I leaf through them every once in a while.”
“I still have a bunch of the comic books at home. I leaf through them every once in a while.”
– John Goodman
The generational differences are especially evident in the way cannabis has become commercialized and how the plant was mostly removed from its taboo status, circa the Nixon era, when the comics were first popular, and when Goodman was reading them. “It was back then in the 70s—there were a lot of [drugs],” he said with a grin.
Goodman voiced the experienced monster Sulley in Monsters Inc. alongside Billy Crystal—paving the way for his new cartoon role as Freddy. Freddy’s voice is his new work of art, and he’s ready to share it with a new audience. “I hope it does” reach a new generation, Goodman said. “It would sure be nice.”
New Episodes of The Freak Brothers drop every Sunday on Tubi through December 26. Visit the Fred Segal on 8500 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles for an immersive Freak Brothers experience now through Saturday, January 15, where you can grab a selfie in front of towering mushrooms and faux fields of pot.
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