Tom Goes To The Mayor
Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim
Adult Swim on Cartoon Network
30 11 minute episodes on 3 DVDs
Warner Home Video 2007

Tom Goes To The Mayor is an Adult Swim The Cartoon Network show and thus a love it or hate it animated feature. Problem is I still do not know if its very weird animation technique and violent gags are something I hate or do not love. Though I was unable to watch in one sitting more than two or three of the ten episodes each of the 3 DVDs of the Tom Goes To The Mayor set contains, I did kind sort of enjoy this series when I played two or three shows from time to time. I also know this DVD set is going in the box in the closet where all the stuff I am not going to watch again ends up.

Nobody will ever accuse Tom Goes to the Mayor of being groundbreaking animation. Its characters, Tom, the Mayor, and others are basically unidimensional paper dolls that looked like they were cut from an architect’s blue prints. Even guest stars like Jeff Goldblum -Toodle Day, DVD 1- Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Louie Anderson, Judd Hirsch, Janeane Garofalo, Gary Shandling, Paul Reubens, Todd Barry, and David Cross get the treatment. The best cut-out version of the guest stars is Fred Willard’s in Vice-Mayor. You’d have a hard time recognizing Sarah Silverman as the Pipe Camp counselor.

What really brings the Adult Swim Cartoon Network series down is there seems to have been little effort made to have the characters’ expressions match their words or emotions.  Even the puppets from shows like Thunderbirds had better and more accurate expressions. The background is also basic drawings on which the dolls are pasted and moved about sort of.  There are some live bits thrown in here and there and even those actors are a few drama classes short of an acting talent.

The premise for each 11-minute episode of this Adult Swim Cartoon Network series is new guy in town Tom Peters pitches a weird idea to put the town on the map to the town’s mayor who then pitches it to the three member town council. The ideas are silly, impractical, sick, and bizarre, such as setting bear traps all over town to protect Jefferton’s kids, and always lead to disaster.

For a cartoon like Tom Goes To The Mayor to work both the writing and the voice-overs have to be excellent. I am not convinced Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim made the best choice by doing the voice work. This is a show where you can hear how much real actors bring to other cartoons: the characters here are not really good actors.

The weakness of this cartoon / animated series is the shows start from a weird premise but have not much else to back it up (this is often the case for Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network). For example Pipe Camp on DVD 2 of Tom Goes To The Mayor, is about Tom wanting to start a summer camp to make his kids healthier and being sponsored by the local pipe and tobacco store: if you can’t figure out what happens next…. The Christmas episode, Rats Off To Ya, is kind of lame; usually most shows go all out for their Christmas show but not here: Tom gets what he thinks is a cool idea for a get rich quick t-shirt and has his idea stolen. That’s it that’s all. In fact, there are none of the 30 shows here that stand out.

The 30 episode 3 DVD Tom Goes To The Mayor set is something fans of the series will add to their collection and show to their friends who then might or might not go and get their own.  Even the most hard core fans of the show will quickly learn to skip the audio commentary track.

Extras include the original Tom Goes to the Mayor and Tom Goes to the Mayor Returns, a behind the scenes feature, deleted scenes, promos, and so on.


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