Carl Brutananadilewski, one of Aqua Teen Hunger Force’s main characters, bears the unfortunate title of the Aqua Teens’ neighbor. This role has subjected him to immense and immeasurable grief over several years.
With his greasy mullet, perma-stubble, and often shirtless, gold-chained persona, Carl is the everyman living next to an unpredictable, sentient fast food trio.
Who Is Carl Brutananadilewski?
Carl is far from a typical hero. His days usually consist of watching television, grilling, or attempting to entertain the latest lady friend. Yet his role within the series’ plotlines often propels the story forward, with his house or person frequently suffering some bizarre, unexpected consequences due to the misadventures of the Aqua Teens.
Voiced by: Dave Willis
Birth Date: February 19, 1961
Abilities: Considerably strong
The Carl Philosophy
Among Carl’s defining traits, his unflappability in the face of absurdity shines brightest. Living next to a sentient milkshake, a box of fries, and a wad of meat could rattle anyone’s sanity. However, Carl, for the most part, seems to take these strange happenings in stride, dealing with the fallout of their ridiculous adventures with an enviable level of stability.
Carl also lends a refreshing reality check amidst the rampant surrealism of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. While the Aqua Teens regularly deal with intergalactic threats, anthropomorphic villains, or outlandish occurrences, Carl often highlights the absurdity of the situations with his dry, cutting humor.
Carl Brutananadilewski, the son of a former military man turned factory worker, experienced a childhood marked by stark poverty and the absence of his mother. At just eight years old, his father compelled him to toil alongside him at the insulation factory.
A glimpse into Carl’s past in the episode “Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future” reveals a 1968 Christmas where Carl received only a carpet sample for a gift, presumably boiled and eaten for Christmas dinner, with a tree adorned with empty beer cans.
Given that Carl reestablishes contact with his mother in her later years at a Veteran’s Hospital, he likely lived under his father’s care following his parents’ divorce. This difficult upbringing, marked by profound neglect and poverty, provides insight into Carl’s subsequent habits and personality traits.
Carl’s Enduring Grief
Serving as the Aqua Teens’ neighbor has subjected Carl to untold grief. His property is continually destroyed, his pool invaded, and his safety often jeopardized. It’s a running gag within the series that Carl’s predicaments result from the indirect or direct actions of the Aqua Teens, illustrating the unfortunate consequences of being their neighbor.
Yet, Carl persists, enduring a gritty resilience that transforms him from an unfortunate bystander to a symbol of perseverance in the face of relentless absurdity.
This makes him an unassuming, but important, cornerstone of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, adding a layer of groundedness to the outlandish world the show inhabits.
From Comic Relief to Tragic Figure
Initially, Carl Brutananadilewski might appear to function as comic relief, a character whose misfortunes provide a dose of humor in an otherwise surreal universe. However, a deeper dive into his character reveals something more. The continual cycle of destruction and disruption in his life, combined with his bleak outlook, subtly transform Carl into a tragic figure, adding an unexpected layer to his role within the show.
Take a look at Carl’s love life for instance. His interactions with women usually end in disaster, from his attempt at dating a sex doll that tries to destroy him, to attracting the attention of an intergalactic siren who literally sucks the life out of him.
Despite his outward confidence, these disastrous encounters suggest a loneliness and longing for companionship that adds a poignant undercurrent to Carl’s character.
Carl Brutananadilewski is known for his quick temper, crude manners, biting sarcasm, and an often disheveled appearance. His favorite pastimes reflect his less-than-refined persona; he’s a sports enthusiast, particularly fond of the NFL’s New York Giants, an avid consumer of pornography, and takes pleasure in solo sexual activities.
He has a soft spot for classic rock, with bands like Foreigner, Loverboy, Judas Priest, Krokus, Bryan Adams, and Boston making his favorites list. The song “More Than a Feeling” by Boston holds a special place in his heart.
Despite typically shying away from religious discussions, Carl has identified himself as a Catholic during an episode of “Carl’s Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week.”
True to his unrefined demeanor, Carl Brutananadilewski is known for his frequent visits to his favorite strip club, “Melon Shakers,” and enlisting the company of prostitutes. As an alcoholic, he often overindulges in canned beer, leading to unconscious spells on his living room floor.
A memorable episode titled “The Intervention” saw him arrested for DWI, leading to a Taser encounter with a police officer and a mandatory alcohol ignition interlock device installed in his car. However, he skirts the rule by having Meatwad blow into the tube when he drives to Melon Shakers.
Carl & Frylock
Carl, among the Aqua Teens, favors Frylock despite early irritations. From Season 3, he engages more with them. In the episode “Intervention”, Frylock bails Carl out for a D.U.I, refusing to fly him to Melonshakers due to Carl’s recklessness.
After finding Carl and Meatwad drunk, Frylock initiates an intervention, aiding Carl’s sobriety. In “Party All the Time”, Carl sympathizes with Frylock’s cancer but quickly inquires about his death date.
Carl & Master Shake
Carl dislikes Master Shake the most among the Aqua Teens; their relationship is marked more by hostility than friendship. Shake’s continual disrespect, including property invasion, vandalism, humiliation, and taunting, exacerbates their strained relationship. Carl retaliates by occasionally threatening Shake.
Although they occasionally socialize, Carl’s rapport with Shake doesn’t improve much over the seasons. In ‘Bookie,’ Carl relishes the chance to harm Shake on Meatwad’s order, underlining his antipathy. Despite their mutual dislike, they have brief friendly moments.
In ‘The Dudies,’ Carl aids Shake in becoming ‘cool,’ and in ‘Revenge of the Trees,’ they enjoy a Labor Day party together. However, in ‘Freda,’ Carl’s lust doesn’t justify killing Shake.
Meatwad & Carl
Among the three Aqua Teens, Carl shows the least concern for Meatwad, yet he spends the most time with him. The ‘Super Bowl’ episode demonstrates Carl’s willingness to exploit Meatwad for personal benefit.
Early episodes reveal Carl’s aversion to physical contact with Meatwad due to the ensuing mess. Nonetheless, Carl treats Meatwad more kindly than the others. He often defends Meatwad against Shake’s bullying.
Assault/Battery: In “Unremarkable Voyage”, Carl tricks Shake into hitting himself with a baseball bat while he, Frylock, and Meatwad are inside Shake’s brain. In “Space Conflict From Beyond Pluto,” he uses a tire iron to attack Shake inside an escape pod.
Drunk Driving: In the episode “Intervention,” Carl faces arrest for drunk driving.
Eco-Terrorism: During “Revenge of the Trees,” Carl and Shake dispose of a large fry oil container in the forest.
Murder: In the “Deleted Scenes” episode, Carl fires a shotgun at Shake.
Resisting Arrest: In the “Lasagna” episode, Carl attempts to outrun an electric fence while under house arrest, all to get Shake’s lasagna.
Threat: In “Ezekial,” Carl issues a threat to shoot Ezekial with a shotgun if he returns to his house.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force – Best of Carl
Space Ghost Coast to Coast
The character of Carl was initially conceived for Space Ghost Coast to Coast, where he was to be named Dominic and act as Space Ghost’s neighbor. His scene in the “King Dead” episode was ultimately cut. Among all characters, Carl holds the record for the highest number of deaths in the show. Despite being a main character, he has appeared in the fewest episodes. The episode “Larry Miller Hair System” reveals Carl is highly insecure about his small penis size.
Carl’s car, 2 Wycked, mirrors Matt Maiellaro’s vehicle, created using Photoshop paint tools like all show backgrounds and props. Dual Core’s debut album, Zero One, includes a single named “2 Wycked,” inspired by Carl. While there’s an episode named after Carl, the official DVD release titles it “Spacegate World.”
Grand Theft Auto V
Carl provides a voice cameo in Grand Theft Auto V, featuring as an angry caller on FlyLo FM radio station. He has appeared in advertisements for Carl’s Jr. and Slim Jim, and also promoted Deadpool 2 alongside Meatwad. Carl’s character draws some inspiration from South Park’s Kenny McCormick. Both are adult cartoon characters with a love for women and a recurring death trope.