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Shows may have sexual themes, frank sexual discussion, nudity, strong language, and graphic violence; in other words, programs that would be deemed inappropriate if aired during the day on Cartoon Network, when children would be watching.
While the network features comedic and dramatic programs of all types, many of its programs are aesthetically experimental, transgressive, improvised, and surrealist in nature.
Thus, Adult Swim has become a source of conflict, with some saying that it is too controversial, while others noting that its ability to question the norm brings a level of surrealism and experimentalism that is welcome.
Adult Swim has contracted with various studios known for their productions in absurd and shock comedy. The block grew out of Cartoon Network's previous attempts at airing content appropriate for teenagers and young adults who might be watching the channel after 11 pm (ET/PT).
The network began experimenting with its late night programming by airing anthology shows like Toon Heads, The Bob Clampett Show, The Tex Avery Show, Late Night Black and White, and O, Canada, which all presented uncensored classic cartoon shorts, as well as blocks such as Toonami Midnight Run.