“Smiling Friends” (2020) is an adult animated television series following employees of a small company dedicated to bringing happiness to a bizarre yet colorful world. This Australian-American series is created by Zach Hadel and co-creator Michael Cusack for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. The first episode “Desmond’s Big Day Out” aired on April 1, 2020, as part of Cartoon Network’s annual April Fools Day event alongside another work of Michael Cusack’s, “YOLO: Crystal Fantasy.”
According to the “Smiling Friends” wiki, “Smiling Friends features eponymous small company Smiling Friends Inc.’s duty to bring happiness to its clients, leading to the various misadventures of workers Charlie, Pim, Alan, and Glep.”
The animation style, vibe, and comedy are similar to TV shows like “South Park,” “Family Guy,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” “Robot Chicken,” and “Rick and Morty.” Creator Zach Hadel and co-creator Michael Cusack were influenced and inspired by the shows they grew up watching like “Futurama” and “The Simpsons.”
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key characters of the show.
Who Are the Main Characters of “Smiling Friends?”
Zach Hadel plays a number of roles, including Mr. Frog Fan, Mr. Peanut, Salt, The Century Egg, and Charlie’s Grandma, but we see more of his prominent roles in the following characters:
Charlie Dompler is one of the two main protagonists of “Smiling Friends,” alongside Pim. He is a yellow critter with a large nose and big lips that helps out at Smiling Friends Inc. He has small black, beady eyes and a podgy build. Charlie’s personality is laid-back, calm, and nonchalant. He often speaks in a monotone voice and tends to be rational and pessimistic. Sometimes Charlie escalates situations like in the “Frowning Friends” episode when he tries to wrestle a gun off of DJ Spit. He often fights with Pim over semantics with one fight escalating to Charlie’s death in the episode “Charlie Dies and Doesn’t Come Back.” However, Pim remains his best friend, regardless of how often they bicker.
Glep is one of the series’ deuteragonists along with Alan. He is a small green critter with small arms and legs. His eyes are below his mouth and instead of intestines, he has a small black hole where his organs would be. He speaks in a quick gibberish language that the majority of the main cast can understand. However, others outside of the main cast can’t understand Glep. Glep wears a purple, wizard-style hat except in “Frowning Friends”, when he wears the rival company’s security uniform. He also dresses up as Ronald Reagan in “A Silly Halloween Special.” Glep is lazy, with a wide range of emotions. Though easily irritated, Glep is amicable with Pim and Charlie.
This species of small critters have one goal: murder! Despite questionable intelligence, Bliblies infest Smiling Friends Inc. headquarters when Alan is searching for his cheese. This incident gave Desmond purpose and he founded his Desmond’s Bliblie Control company to take care of the pests.
Boss Baby is always hungry. The son of The Boss, they appear briefly in “Desmond’s Big Day Out” and “Frowning Friends.” Boss Baby is a pink critter with closed eyes, a bulging forehead, lips like a bird, and visible veins on his neck. Boss Baby wears similar clothing to his father, The Boss.
DJ Spit is an aspiring singer/songwriter that briefly appears in “Frowning Friends.” He produces music, is prone to paranoia, and hates “people messing with his head.” He exhibits antisocial behavior.
Just like the name implies, she’s Desmond’s mom. She appears as a minor character in “Desmond’s Big Day Out.”
Gnarly and Grim are the two main antagonists in the “Frowning Friends” episode. Gnarly has a full head of hair and a beard.
According to the Wiki, “Mip was the main antagonist of the episode “Enchanted Forest.” He was a forest dwarf who inhabited the Enchanted Forest.”
Ronald Reagan served as a US President from 1981 to 1989. Within “Smiling Friends,” he’s a supporting character summoned by The Boss to help think of solutions after Frowning Friends is opened.
Satan is the main antagonist of the episode “Charlie Dies and Doesn’t Come Back.”
Michael Cusack also plays a number of roles, including Pim’s dad, Bliblie, Demon, Fairies, Ketchup, Pepper, Pim’s sister, Pim’s mum, Rex, and Warren Buffet, but we see more of him shine through in the following characters:
Pim is one of the two protagonists of “Smiling Friends” along with Charlie. He is a short, chubby critter with pink skin. Pim is king and loves to help cheer others up. He has big scribbled pupils and a single exposed nerve ending on his head. Pim wears a white button shirt, indigo shirt, and black shoes. Pim is joyful, happy, and loves to show gratitude by kissing people. Pim looks up to his superior, The Boss, and is willing to do whatever he can to please him. In “Desmond’s Big Day Out,” it’s revealed that Pim comes from a very dysfunctional family environment.
Alan is one of two deuteragonists. Glep is the other. Alan is a red critter with a tall, long, thin body and limbs on a slouchy, oblong body. Like Glep, Alan’s face is often only seen in profile. He only wears a blue necktie. Although in “Frowning Friends,” he dons the Frowning Friends security uniform and in “A Silly Halloween Special” he is dressed in the Joker’s clown outfit. Alan is uptight, deadpan, and a neat freak. He loves cheese which causes problems for the gang in “Desmond’s Big Day Out.”
Grim is one of the main antagonists of “Frowning Friends” alongside Gnarly. He is an employee of Frowning Friends Inc. Grim is short and pink with three nerve endings on his head.
Mr. Frog is a bipedal frog in brown shorts with his own show, “The Mr. Frog Show.” He is selfish, impulsive, violent, and selfish. He is a heavy drug user, some of which are supplied by Charlie. When Charlie and Pim force Mr. Frog to quit cold turkey, he becomes seriously ill. He loves to watch Jimmy Fallon on YouTube.
Recurring “Smiling Friends” Characters
David Dore as:
- Party Bro
- Forest Demon
Mick Lauer as:
- Guy at the Gym
- Crazy Cup
Erica Lindbeck as:
- Jennifer “Shrimpina” the Barista
- The Princess
Chris O’Neill as:
- Mr. Frog Auditionee
Hans van Harken as:
- Jimmy Fallon
- Hell Faces
Rodrigo Huerta as:
- Guy In Line
- Jacob the Goblin
Joshua Tomar as:
- Grandpa Glep
Harry Partridge as:
- Smormu Announcer
- 3D Squelton
Guest “Smiling Friends” Characters
- Mike Stoklasa as Desmond
- Finn Wolfhard as Man Living in Wall and various Bliblies
- Nick Wolfhard as Graham Nelly and various Bliblies
- Tom Fulp as Alpha
- Jane Badler as Celebrity Show Host
- David Firth as Shrimp; featured in the episode “Shrimp’s Odyssey”
- Dylan “Chills” as Patron
- Jason Paige as Dream Singer
- Perry Caravello as Simon S. Salty; featured in the episode “Who Violently Murdered Simon S. Salty”
- Monica Franco as Charlie’s girlfriend
- Jim Knobeloch as Mystery Show Host
- Clyde Boraine as Policeman
- Lyle Burruss as Mr. Man
- Gilbert Gottfried as God
- James Rolfe as himself
Where Can You Watch “Smiling Friends?”
“Smiling Friends” is available to stream now on Prime Video, VUDU, Adult Swim, Spectrum TV, Apple TV, or HBO Max on your Roku device.
Will There Be a “Smiling Friends” Season 2?
“Smiling Friends” was confirmed for a second season on Adult Swim in February 2022. According to IMDB, season two of “Smiling Friends” will be airing in 2022. Season one is already available for streaming. The first episode, “Desmond’s Big Day Out,” where the employees of Smiling Friends Inc. attempt to make a woman’s unhappy son smile, first aired on January 9th, 2022, to critical and fan acclaim. The dark comedy, made by Zach Hadel (AKA psychicpebbles) and Michael Cusack has proved to be popular, even ranking number one among certain demographics.
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