Aqua Teen Hunger Force "Boston" (found unfinished episode of animated series; 2008)
One of the LED devices that sparked panic in Boston in 2007.
Date found: 31 Jan '15
Found by: ATHF Never Forget
On January 31, 2007, what is now known as the 2007 Boston bomb scare took place; LED Mooninite signs (Mooninites being characters from Adult Swim's animated series Aqua Teen Hunger Force aka ATHF) that had been placed around Boston as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign by Interference, Inc. (a company who specializes in such forms of advertising) and spearheaded by Interference's John aka VJ AIWAZ and Boston artist Peter Berdovsky aka Zebbler for the then-upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters caused panic and controversy after being mistakenly identified as improvised explosive devices by both the Boston Fire Department and the Boston Police Department. The incident led to Turner Broadcasting and Interference being required to pay a combined 2 million dollars in damages, plus the resignation of Cartoon Network general manager and executive vice president Jim Samples.
In response to the incident, an episode of ATHF titled "Boston" (intended as Season 5's opening episode) was produced, although it was never aired due to Adult Swim's fear of inciting any further backlash regarding the incident. Since the episode's creation, it has only been publicly discussed on a few rare occasions by ATHF creators Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro; aside from said discussions, the only other official acknowledgement of "Boston"'s existence was in an episode listing that appeared on Adult Swim's now-defunct ATHF website, where its description was given simply as a question mark. The episode is said to have gone through several re-writes and edits (due to intervention from Adult Swim, who were on the fence regarding the episode throughout its entire production period), resulting in the existence of a total of 3 different versions of "Boston", all of which were ultimately rejected; scant more information on the episode has been divulged and when asked whether or not it was ever going to receive a release, Willis replied "Yes, as soon as Boston gives us back our money." implying that there are no plans for the episode to ever see the light of day.
Notably, following the release of "Rude Removal" (the infamous unaired episode of Dexter's Laboratory), which came to fruition largely as a result of fan interest, campaigning and word of mouth, a campaign was organised by Pan-Pizza (a prevalent online animation commentator who had previously campaigned, via petitions and the like, to have "Rude Removal" released), though unfortunately, Adult Swim gave no response of any kind.
On January 31, 2015, exactly 8 years to the day of the bomb scare, a somewhat incomplete version of "Boston" leaked onto YouTube. It went virtually undiscovered until early April when several news websites reported on the incident. While the original upload has since been removed from YouTube, other YouTube users have re-uploaded the episode, and several mirrors of the episode are available on various file-hosting websites.
Dave Willis later said about the leak: "...it wasn't my fault, and whoever leaked it is a dick. Whatever that was, it was half-done, if that. We had a GREAT script - and we were going to complete it for this run of 10 eps - but then weren't allowed to finish it. And then this leaked. I was hoping we could always have one completed episode that no one was ever going to get to see, and then 40 years from now, Betty White's emaciated titanium exoskeleton could open the Williams Street vaults to view the lost episode on TV Land. It would have been fitting. But the internet won't let you have nice things."
- Pan-Pizza's Midnight Society video on "Boston," released as a part of his campaign to unearth the lost episode, via YouTube; 21 Dec 2012. Last retrieved 28 Oct 2014.
- Wikipedia article on the 2007 Boston bomb scare. Last retrieved 28 Oct 2014.
- Archive of a Starpulse interview with Dave Willis, in which "Boston" is briefly discussed, via WebCite; 15 Dec 2008. Last retrieved 28 Oct 2014.
- Comic Book Resources interview with Matt Maiellaro, in which "Boston" is discussed; 27 Jan 2012. Last retrieved 28 Oct 2014.
- Reddit AMA with Dave Willis. Last retrieved June 21, 2015.