Title card for Superjail!
|Created by||Christy Karacas
|Developed by||Augenblick Studios|
|Voices of||David Wain
|Opening theme||Rubber Bullets" by 10cc (pilot only)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||31 (30 main series + 1 pilot) (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Christy Karacas
Chris McCulloch (consulting)
|Running time||11 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Williams Street
Augenblick Studios (2007-2008)
Titmouse, Inc. (2011-present)
|Original channel||Adult Swim|
|Picture format||4:3 SDTV (pilot only)
May 13, 2007
September 28, 2008 – present
Superjail! is an American animated television series produced by Augenblick Studios the first season and Titmouse, Inc. the second and third season. The series follows the events that take place in an unusual prison. The pilot episode aired on television on May 13, 2007, and its first season began on September 28, 2008. Superjail! is characterized by its psychedelic shifts in setting and plot and extreme graphic violence, which give the series a TV-MA-V (for graphic violence and bloodshed) rating. These elements are depicted through highly elaborate animated sequences, which have been described as "baroque and complicated and hard to take in at a single viewing". A fourth season was confirmed on David Wain's Twitter.
Setting and premise 
The majority of Superjail! is set inside the eponymous prison. Externally, Superjail is built inside a volcano which is itself located in a larger volcano. Internally, it seems to constitute its own reality, where the fabric of time and space is extremely fluid and changes at the whim of the Warden. Superjail's inmate population is stated by Jared to be in excess of 70,000, although the show's creators mention that the jail processes "billions of inmates".
Superjail itself is a magical jail, in which just about anything can happen. As stated in "Ladies Night", Superjail is located in dimension 5612, meaning that Superjail is indeed not located anywhere near Earth. It has also been hinted that the titular prison is sentient. Superjail can be seen differently in the eyes of everyone; in the episode "Burn Stoolie Burn" it is revealed that if one looks at Superjail with respect they will be able to see all of its true beauty.
In the first season, each episode begins with a linear story revolving around an irresponsible scheme concocted by the Warden to satisfy some whim. The episode builds up in both violence and surrealism into a climactic, psychedelic blood bath during which dozens of inmates are brutally or gruesomely murdered, either by one another or some external force. Some episode plots have no resolutions at all, with the story simply stopping when events have reached their most chaotic. Regardless, the status quo is always restored by the next episode unless the episode is a multi-part one.
Beginning with the second season, the creators modified the format of the series to focus more on character development and story, as imagined by a revised writing staff. The second season premiere "Best Friends Forever" demonstrated an immediate break from the first season's template, focusing the episode on Jailbot and Jacknife as opposed to the Warden, setting half of the episode outside of the prison, and lacking an extended murder sequence in the climax.
A third season of ten episodes was announced by Adult Swim in May 2012. The third season premiered on September 30, 2012. This season focused on keeping the story-driven aspects of the second season, while attempting to reflect season one episodes in a sense that at the end of every episode a barrage of scenes featuring over the top violence and complex visuals would take place.
Originally a series with little continuity Superjail! episodes began to develop a backstory over time. Starting with the "Time Police" episodes, it was revealed that the Warden had a rough upbringing, and as episodes go along it is revealed that he was abused by his father, the Prison Mogul, on multiple occasions. He ended up killing his own father inadvertently which could very well be the cause of his disturbed state of mind. In the episode "Superfail" it is revealed that the Prison Mogul had even forced the Warden himself to kill a dog when he was a child as a result of the child Warden showing the guard pup love by giving it a cookie, rendering it "useless". Many details about the rest of the cast are revealed over the course of the series as well, including Alice's past job at a real prison and attempting to get a sex change to attract its warden before being fired. She was then given a job at the eponymous jail. Jared's various addictions to just about everything are displayed in numerous episodes as well. Eventually he wound up working for the mafia before getting taken to Superjail and given a chance at redemption.
Background characters became more prominent as the series progressed, and many one-off characters wind up making comebacks or even cameos. Initially the Mistress and her Ultraprison were going to be only one-shot characters, however, developed into semi-regular characters and became a rival on par with the likes of Lord Stingray, even going so far as to team up with him during the season three premier "Stingstress".
Theme Song 
The theme song for the show is "Comin' Home" sung by the group Cheeseburger. An acoustic version (also sung by Cheeseburger) can be heard as the opening to the episode Time Police Part 2. The song is used in every episode except for two: the pilot Bunny Love, and The Budding of the Warbuxx. Bunny Love opens with "Rubber Bullets" by 10cc, and The Budding of the Warbuxx has no opening song.
In an interview, creator Christy Karacas said influences for the show include Tex Avery, Child art, Bob Clampett, Vince Collins ("Malice in Wonderland"), Sally Cruikshank, Dave and Max Fleischer, The Itchy & Scratchy Show, Looney Tunes, Mad, The Muppets, Yellow Submarine, Outsider art, Gary Panter, Pee-wee's Playhouse, Schoolhouse Rock!, Earthworm Jim, Dr. Seuss, and Underground comix.
- The Warden (David Wain) - the proprietor of Superjail. A tall and thin man clad in a purple tailcoat and top hat, gloves, red cummerbund, and yellow-tinted glasses, the Warden has been described as a "sadistic Willy Wonka". Although he possesses an ever-cheerful and optimistic demeanor, he is a warped individual due to his upbringing by a strict father who was the previous warden. As a result, Warden devised Superjail as a means for expressing himself, regularly endangering the lives of Superjail prisoners—often intentionally. Rather than handling any administrative tasks, he spends most of his time lusting after chief guard Alice, or indulging his own bizarre fantasies. In one episode depicting an alternate future, the Warden ruthlessly subjugates the entire human race, turning the whole world into a single prison state.
- Jared (Teddy Cohn) - Superjail's large-headed, long-moustached, uptight accountant, and the Warden's primary assistant; he handles most of the jail's administrative duties. He was first taken to Superjail as a prisoner for unknowingly working for the mafia, and got his job when he impressed the Warden with his intelligence. He is in recovery for, according to the show's creators, every addiction possible, including alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, sex addiction, and compulsive eating.
- Alice (Christy Karacas) - the hulking, muscular head guard of Superjail, who is transgendered and regularly engages in sadomasochistic rituals with the prisoners (not always with their consent), though she rebuffs the Warden's constant advances. She was originally a male guard at a normal prison who got a sex change when she fell in love with that prison's warden. However, she was fired as a result of the prison's warden ultimately turning out to be homosexual and deeming her a monster, but was hired by the Warden shortly after. While Alice is apparently taking hormone therapy (to the point that she has grown breasts), becomes angered when anyone refers to her as male, and publicly considers herself a woman, the season two finale directly states that she has not yet undergone genital reconstruction surgery (the show also makes a point of showing off Alice's still-present male genitalia as a running gag -artistically portrayed as a prominent bulge under her clothing -on a constant basis).
- Jailbot - a tombstone-shaped levitating robot that the Warden made to perform tasks in and around Superjail. He was created by the Warden himself, and kills innocents without mercy while capturing Jacknife during the show's opening sequence, and inmates at other times. In the episode "Jailbot 2.0", the Warden claims that Jailbot single-handedly built the vast prison, but flashbacks suggest that Jailbot is really the latest in a series of similar robots. He is mute, with a dot matrix screen that displays a simple expressive face. Despite his ruthlessness, Jailbot also possesses a childlike personality, protecting the Warden from any harm and watching out for the welfare of young children who come across his path, however, he can be cold and ruthless to children who are mean to him; Christy Karacas described him as a "red headed stepchild... seeking approval." He has even shown compassion for Jacknife, releasing him and allowing his escape in "Best Friends Forever".
- The Doctor - the resident physician of Superjail. He regularly experiments on the inmates in grotesque ways, and has a German accent, but at times says words in French. It was revealed in 'Vacation' that he fought in World War II.
- The Twins (Richard Mather) - green-blooded, blond, identical twin aliens with European-sounding accents who inhabit a laboratory underneath Superjail and wear outfits resembling those worn by the Sandmen in Logan's Run. They took a year abroad trip to Earth and then decided to stay, to their father's chagrin. Their on-screen appearances are accompanied by techno music. The Twins use their alien powers—including teleportation and shrinking—to interfere with the Warden's plans for their amusement. Although their plots often result in mass death and destruction, the Twins do not appear to harbor any malice towards either the Warden or the prisoners.
- Jacknife (Christy Karacas) - a low-level criminal who appears in the openings of most episodes, getting captured by Jailbot; his journey to Superjail makes up the opening credits sequence. He is often depicted escaping the jail during the murder sequences in the first season. He never speaks and communicates only by way of animalistic grunts and shrieks. He is labeled by Jared to be Superjail's most vile inmate due to his upbringing and lack of any form of morality. During the events of Oedipus Mess, Jacknife is revealed to have sired a son with one of Ultra-Prison's inmates. Having recognizing the child as his, Jacknife escaped with Warden creating a 1,000 clones of Jacknife that run amok world wide until all but the original are killed off. In the Season 3 premiere a female version of Jacknife causes chaos at a male strip club suggesting that Jacknife either has a sister or a wife.
- Gary and Bird - Gary is a silent, bespectacled man obviously based on Robert Franklin Stroud, the Birdman of Alcatraz. However, Gary is mostly a servant to Bird, a small female canary, who appears to be the unofficial "boss" of all the prisoners in Superjail until Lord Stingray got imprisoned. In the episode Uh Oh, It's Magic, Gary uses his ventriloquism to throw his voice into the Warden's puppet Prison Peedee to stage a break out. But the plan is foiled prior to Gary's vocal cords being surgically removed and discarded. However, having a will of its own, Gary's voice box (Dana Snyder) possessed a rat and built a rat army by the events of Planet Radio where he teamed up with Stingray to lead a full uprising against the Warden using pirated radio. But the coup failed and the rat is killed while Gary's voice box ended up in the discarded Prison Peedee puppet and far from accepting defeat.
- Paul Guaye and Jean Baptiste Le Ghei (both Christopher McCulloch) - Two homosexual inmates that can be seen in nearly every episode. They were the leaders of the rival "Purple Pythons" and "Double Rainbow" gangs in Superjail, which parodies the 1961 musical West Side Story. They fell in love as a result and eventually got married.
- Ash (Christopher McCulloch) - A severely burned pyrokinetic pyromaniac prisoner. His burns come from a fire caused by his father, a drunk, dropping a cigarette in a movie theater.
- Lord Stingray (Eric Bauza) - A stereotypical supervillain character, akin to Cobra Commander, and main antagonist of the show. After being defeated by his army-themed enemies, he crash-landed on Superjail Island and tried to take it over, but ended up being imprisoned. He has been a thorn in the Warden's side ever since.
- The Mistress (Sally Donovan) - The female warden of Ultra-Prison (a women's prison). She had a brief one-night stand with the Warden while under the effects of Spanish Fly. The season 2 finale, she takes control of Superjail and engaged in a relationship with Lord Stingray in the season 3 episode, "Stingstress". But after a make out with Alice, the Mistress returns Superjail to the Warden while she begins a new life-style as a hippie.
DVD releases 
|DVD name||Release date||Ep #||Features|
|Season One ||February 23, 2010||11||All episodes in Season One, the music video "Comin' Home", the animatics for episodes 1,9,10, and the pilot. All featured in 2.0 Stereo and closed captioning. Dialogue remains censored in the feature episodes despite the label on the DVD stating otherwise.|
|Season Two ||March 13, 2012||10||Episode commentary, Cheeseburger concert footage, Cheeseburger animated music video, animation tests, animatics for episodes 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 10, "Introstring" of the episode openings. Dialogue and footage are uncensored.|
|Season Three ||July 23, 2013||10||Animatics, rough cuts, "Introstring" featurette.|
- Gough, Paul J. "Three Series Take Dip in Adult Swim." The Hollywood Reporter. April 27, 2007.. Retrieved 01 January 2009.
- Dodero, Camille. "Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington Was on Super Jail Last Night." Sound of the City Blog. Village Voice. November 24, 2008.. Retrieved 01 January 2009.
- Lloyd, Robert (September 27, 2008). "Animation for adult eyes only". The Los Angeles Times. pp. E–15. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
- Reynolds, Mike (April 26, 2007). "Adult Swim to Test Friday Waters". Multichannel News. Retrieved 2009-05-21.009.
- Wain, David (2013-04-27). "Twitter / davidwain". Twitter. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
- Going Back to 'Superjail!'
- Minovitz, Ethan (May 25, 2012). "AS Announces Largest Programming Schedule Ever". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- "Superjail Super Interview". 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Adult Swim Announces 2007 Programming Slate at New York Upfront". 2008-04-26. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- Colfax, Ty (2009-02-27). "'Superjail' Creators". Attack of the Show. G4 TV. Retrieved 3.2.2009.
- "Superjail Season One DVD release". November 5, 2009.
- "Superjail Season 2 DVD Release Date and Cover Art". November 17, 2011.
- "Superjail Season Three DVD and Cover Art". April 3, 2013.
- Superjail! at Adult Swim
- Superjail! at the Internet Movie Database
- Superjail! at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Superjail! at TV.com
- Superjail! Augenblick Studios
- Christy Karacas Exclusive Interview at Staytoonedin