Tonight: Adult Swim's weird carnival comes to Boulder

Adult Swim has always been Cartoon Network's flawless answer to the demand of nostalgic man-children everywhere to be served bizarre, absurdist deconstructions of the entertainments they liked when they were actual children (look at the website and tell me that's not what they do), but in the past, those entertainments have generally been limited to cartoons. Tonight, that changes. Behold: The Ragbag of Jollification, Adult Swim's weird carnival-tour of college towns across America. "It's just a way to bring fans a fun, unique and free experience and an attempt to buy their love," says Stacy Moscatelli, Adult Swim's director of marketing -- and it is basically a marketing ploy. But as far as marketing ploys go, it's a pretty brilliant one.

Somewhere between the innocent fairs of your youth and the sinister carnival of your most terrifying dreams, the Ragbag of Jollification will offer up a heaping helping of merchandising with generous sides of free shit and genuine fun times -- like games that are sort of like midway games but weirder. For example, "Oh Yell No -- yell as loud as you can while competing with a fellow yeller," says Moscatelli. Or there's "Babies Vs. Old People, which is destined to become a new classic -- you stand on a Segway and use a slingshot to propel babies to knock down old people." Ah, if only all games could somehow factor in Segways and knocking down old people. There's also something called "Black Hole Fun" and an owl that tells fortunes.

This is all free, by the way.

Speaking of free shit, Adult Swim has a boatload of stuff to give away: everything from merchandise-themed laptop cases to merchandise-themed plush toys to merchandise-themed T-shirts. Get this, though: Even though it's all merchandise-themed, the T-shirts are screen-printed on-site -- you pick the style, color, size, design and where you want it -- which, in the world of merchandising tie-ins is pretty much as legit as it comes. Plus, there will be the pop-psychedelia of Wavves.

Consider our love bought, Moscatelli.

The fun starts tonight at 6 p.m. Buffalo Plaza, on the CU-Boulder campus, between Folsom Stadium and the Batch Fieldhouse, and lasts until 11. And like the parent who abandoned you and stunted your emotional growth to the point where your only coping mechanism is to try to recapture your stolen childhood by watching cartoons, Adult Swim is buying.

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