Dexter's Laboratory "Rude Removal" (found episode; 1997)
|Dexter's Laboratory "Rude Removal"|
|Title card originally released by Adult Swim.|
|Date found||22 Jan 2013|
|Found by||Adult Swim|
Created in 1997 was an episode of Dexter's Laboratory entitled "Rude Removal". The episode, which sees one of Dexter's inventions separating both himself and Dee Dee into respective rude and polite versions of themselves, resulting in a tirade of swearing (albeit censored) was originally intended for airing, but was pulled after Cartoon Network got cold feet, fearing a backlash due to the amount bad language present. Incidentally, the episode ended up being screened at several conventions in the late 1990s (sometimes even, allegedly, in uncensored form), before shrinking into obscurity for over a decade, finally to receive a mass release by Adult Swim in early 2013.
Before "Rude Removal"’s relatively recent unearthing, many dismissed it as fake, until 2010, when Frederator's Fred Seibert (who served as president of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons from 1992 to 1996, 1996 being the year in which Dexter's Laboratory premiered) confirmed its existence (and the fact that it was pulled by Cartoon Network shortly before it was set to air) via his Tumblr page, after consulting Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of the show) during a senior animation class, in which the episode's existence was brought into question by a student ("Rude Removal", by that point, having become a holy grail of sorts to fans of the series). Roughly two years later, cartoonist Craig McCracken, who worked on Dexter's Laboratory as art director and storyboard artist for seasons 1 through 4, also attested to the episode's existence via his DeviantArt account. Shortly thereafter, in September of 2012, Tartakovsky conducted an IAmA session on Reddit (to promote his then-upcoming, animated feature film directorial effort, Hotel Transylvania), in which a comment regarding "Rude Removal" quickly gained traction, rising to become one of the thread's top comments. After giving a first-hand account much the same as both Seibert's and McCracken's, when asked if the episode would ever find its way online, he replied "it might", also stating that he would bring it with him to his next public appearance.
In the weeks following Tartakovsky's IAmA session, Adult Swim, realising the increasing amount of public interest in "Rude Removal", began airing bumps suggesting that they were going to attempt to acquire the episode and have it aired on TV. After a handful of bumps regarding the episode, Adult Swim went quiet on the issue, until the 1st of December, when they sent out a tweet asking if there was still interest in the episode. Following an overwhelmingly positive fan response, Adult Swim aired a follow-up bump the next day stating that they had succeeded in obtaining a copy and were in negotiations to get it put online "in the next week or so", advising users to "remind us to tell Jeff to put it up" by using the Twitter hashtag #tellJeff.
Weeks passed with no word from Adult Swim whatsoever; people started becoming bitter, some suggesting that Adult Swim never actually had the episode in the first place and that the whole thing was nothing more than a cruel publicity stunt. However, on the 21st of January, 2013, Adult Swim quashed doubts by tweeting a picture of the episode's title card, along with the notification that the episode was to be uploaded the afternoon of the following day. Keeping to their word, Adult Swim uploaded a high definition rip of "Rude Removal" to their YouTube account (in censored form) on the 22nd of January, 2013 at around 1:00PM Atlanta time (Atlanta being the location of Adult Swim's Williams Street headquarters), along with a tweet simply stating "With love, from Adult Swim.", also containing a link to said YouTube video (albeit embedded on a page via Adult Swim's official website).
The episode's unearthing was very well received by the vast majority of people and while some expressed disappointment at the fact that it was censored, Adult Swim's efforts were met with mass praise. Curiously, the episode was removed from Adult Swim's YouTube channel just a few weeks after it had been uploaded, with no explanation, although by that time, many mirrors had popped up, one of which is still live and can be seen below.
- United States Copyright Office entry for "Rude Removal"; 14 Oct 1999. Last retrieved 13 Oct 2014.
- Archive of a fan's testimonial, in which he claims to have seen the episode at Comic-Con (in uncensored form), via archive.today; 22 May 2007. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.
- Fred Seibert's Tumblr post confirming the existence of "Rude Removal"; 26 Oct 2010. Last retrieved 13 Oct 2014.
- Screenshot of Craig McCracken's DeviantArt post on the episode; 2012. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.
- Genndy Tartakovsky's Reddit IAmA; Sep 2012. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.
- Adult Swim's first tweet regarding the episode; 01 Dec 2012. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.
- Adult Swim's tweet containing the episode's title card; 21 Jan 2013. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.
- Adult Swim's final tweet regarding the episode, in which a streaming link to it was provided; 22 Jan 2013. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.
- Adult Swim's first bump regarding the episode, via YouTube; 07 Oct 2012. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.
- Adult Swim's second bump regarding the episode, via YouTube; 21 Oct 2012. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.
- Adult Swim's third and final bump regarding the episode, via YouTube; 02 Dec 2012. Last retrieved 17 Oct 2014.