The Show to Add to Your Binge List
When you can’t decide between ‘Rick & Morty’ or ‘Supernatural,’ stream ‘Mike Tyson Mysteries’ to fulfill all your wacky TV cravings.
By Olivia Buzzacco, Bowling Green State University
Who would want to watch a cartoon about a boxing legend?
Back in 2014, Adult Swim said the answer was you, you do, and launched the hysterical show “Mike Tyson Mysteries.”
Oddly enough, “Mike Tyson Mysteries” isn’t the first boxer cartoon ever made. Back in 1977, the legendary Muhammad Ali voiced himself in the cartoon “I Am the Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali.” Unfortunately for Ali, the show only lasted 13 episodes. Fortunately for Mike Tyson, “Mike Tyson Mysteries” has already flown through three seasons, and fans are certain there will be more to come. I mean, there better be.
If you miss your childhood days of watching “Scooby-Doo,” and are a cartoon-junkie like myself, “Mike Tyson Mysteries” is definitely the show for you. The show follows Mike Tyson and his dysfunctional Mystery Team, composed of his adopted daughter Yung Hee—a ghost who serves as Tyson’s life coach and conscience—Marquess of Queensberry, and an alcoholic man-turned-pigeon called Pigeon (or Richard, as he used to go by when he was human). In each 11-minute episode, the team comically works together to solve a mystery, or at times, not really solve anything. “Mike Tyson Mysteries” is an absolute blessing from Warner Bros. and Adult Swim, and a godsend to the cartoon world. Reasons to watch the show? It’s hilarious, stupid and exactly what you need. But here’s six more just in case.
1. Celebrity Features
I wish I could say the celebrities voice themselves, but alas, they do not. In fact, only one episode features stars on the show; Snoop Dogg and his team of cohorts form a rival mystery team called Snoop Dogg’s Unsolved Situations.
Nevertheless, the famous icons present in the show are an absolute riot. In the pilot episode, the team is taken to the ranch of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy. Other episodes feature talk show host Charlie Rose, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Bobby Fischer’s brain inside a machine and many more. You often find the celebrity features in wild scenarios and presented in odd ways (like McCarthy as a centaur, for instance), which adds to the lovely absurdity of the show.
2. The Mystery Team Will Leave You Dying on the Floor
Perhaps the most dynamic feature of the show is the group that makes up Mike Tyson’s Mystery Team. As stated before, excluding Tyson, the team is comprised of three different and hilarious members, and you’ll love each one no matter how much you may want to hate them.
Yung Hee is the youngest member of the team, a smart but homely girl who was left on Tyson’s doorstep as a baby. Tyson adopted her as his daughter, and Yung Hee is always trying to keep her father in line and down-to-earth, while constantly keeping her distance from Pigeon and his advances. While she’s a bit more serious than the others on the team, Yung Hee definitely has her moments, like when she discovers Pigeon was drop dead gorgeous when he was human, and quickly develops a crush on him.
Marquess of Queensbury (called “Marcus” by his cohort) is said to be the ghost of John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensbury (who formed the foundation of modern boxing). Flamboyant, an on-again-off-again smoker and straight-up vodka drinker in the morning, Marquess is definitely one to adore. Perhaps my favorite on the show, there is never a dull Marquess moment. Whether he’s trying to keep Pigeon under control, pushing Yung Hee to be more fashionable or screaming about the end of the world when Pigeon has sex with a ghost, Marquess will always have you laughing uncontrollably.
Pigeon is, well, a pigeon, who was once human but is said to have been turned into a pigeon by his ex-wife. He is obscene, cruel, a womanizer and everything else you wouldn’t expect from a measly bird. The idea of having a pigeon on board with the team came from Tyson’s actual life—he raises over 1,500 pigeons. Pigeon has no chill and is too forward with everyone. He even confronts one of the team’s clients about his wife being a sex addict. Pigeon doesn’t give a shit about solving mysteries unless they involve porn.
3. The Mysteries Are Ridiculous
When first watching the show, you might expect the mysteries to be very “Scooby-Doo”-esque, but they are far from it. The mysteries range from “Help me write the ending of my novel” to “Should we put our father in a nursing home?” to “What happened to Gregg Popovich?”
With each mystery comes terribly entertaining results, from Tyson accidentally killing someone to discovering the Earth has a penis. The episodes end on an awkward and abrupt note before breaking into a lovely trumpet diddy that contrasts the mood of what just happened. It’s the perfect combination of hilarity and seriousness.
4. Sometimes, the Mysteries Aren’t Mysteries at All
This makes the show even more pointless, but the kind of pointless you want to keep seeing. For instance, Tyson is asked to go to Afghanistan to give an inspiring speech to the troops, so he decides to take his team with him to perform improv instead.
As a result, his manager, Deezy, is left to take over an actual mystery that audiences would want to see the Mystery Team solve themselves. Alternatively, in a “House Hunters” spoof episode, the team helps a couple choose a house to buy, ending in disastrous results. And one of my favorites—when Tyson goes to the moon because he believes he needs to be alone in order to prevent him from killing any more astronauts.
5. The Use of the Supernatural
Right away, viewers are taken into another world with the use of a talking pigeon and a ghost, but of course, “Mike Tyson Mysteries” isn’t the first time these sorts of elements have been used in a show. It’s a common theme in cartoons like “Family Guy,” “American Dad” and “Rick and Morty.”
While not as extreme as “Rick and Morty,” “Mike Tyson Mysteries” adds a nice element of the supernatural to some of its episodes, which in turn increases the absurdity of the mysteries and the world itself. You’ll run into a gnome, a werewolf, aliens posing as sex-addicts, a Yeti and a vampire in this show, and you won’t think anything of it.
6. Mike Tyson Himself
Watching “Mike Tyson Mysteries” is the perfect way to witness Tyson in a new light. He may be stupid, but in the end he always saves the day. Sort of.
Perhaps what makes his character so great is the fact that he voices himself, and as a friend of mine put it, “He sounds like he’s reading off of the script for the first time.” The gem in each episode is definitely the end credits, as each one shows the actual Tyson, donned in his character’s blue track suit, talking about something related to the episode.
So thank you, Mike Tyson, for gracing us with your wickedly stupid but hilarious show. Please don’t ever stop cranking out episodes.