Aaron McGruder

Aaron Vincent McGruder[1] (born May 29, 1974)[2] is an American writer, lecturer,[3] producer, screenwriter and cartoonist best known for writing and drawing The Boondocks, a Universal Press Syndicate comic strip[4][5] and its animated TV series adaptation for which he was the creator, executive producer, and head writer.[6]

Aaron McGruder
Aaron McGruder, at the 2002 Hackers on Planet Earth hacker con
Aaron McGruder, at the 2002 Hackers on Planet Earth hacker con
BornMay 29, 1974 (age 44)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
OccupationWriter, cartoonist, public speaker
GenreComic strips, television screenwriter
Notable worksThe Boondocks

Early life and education

Aaron McGruder was born in Chicago, Illinois.[2] When Aaron was six years old, his family moved to Columbia, Maryland, after his father accepted a job with the National Transportation Safety Board. McGruder has an older brother.

MacGruder attended a Jesuit school from grades seven to nine, followed by public high school at Oakland Mills High School and the University of Maryland, from which he graduated[7] with a degree in African American Studies.


The Boondocks and related work

The Boondocks began in 1996 as a webcomic on Hitlist.com, one of the first online music websites.[8] At the time, he was also a DJ on The Soul Controllers Mix Show on WMUC. The Boondocks also briefly appeared as a comic strip in the University of Maryland's newspaper The Diamondback during Jayson Blair's tenure as editor-in-chief.[9][8] McGruder signed a deal with the Universal Press Syndicate and in April 1999, the strip began appearing in 160 newspapers.[9]

The comic strip's main characters are two young African-American brothers, Huey (named after Huey P. Newton) and his younger brother and wannabe gangsta, Riley,[4] from inner-city Chicago who are relocated to live with their grandfather in a sedate suburb. In six months, the comic strip was being distributed to more than 200 publications.[5] Five The Boondocks collections have been published: All The Rage, Public Enemy #2, A Right To Be Hostile, Fresh for '01: You Suckaz, and Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspaper. An animated television series adaptation of the strip proved successful on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

McGruder expressed interest in 2013 about filming a movie featuring The Boondocks TV series supporting character Uncle Ruckus. Gary Anthony Williams would reprise his role. McGruder set a goal of $200,000 for startup donations at uncleruckusmovie.com between January 30 through March 1, 2013, but the campaign ended with 2,667 backers and $129,963.[10]

In March 2014, The Boondocks was revived for a new season, but without McGruder's involvement as its showrunner.[11] The first episode of this final season was first broadcast on April 21, 2014.[12]

Other work

Among his other projects have been the Super Deluxe variety comedy series The Super Rumble Mix Show. McGruder also developed Black Jesus, another comedy series broadcast on Adult Swim, part of Cartoon Network.[11]

With Reginald Hudlin, McGruder co-authored a graphic novel, Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel (2004), about African Americans in East St. Louis during an election.[1] The book's illustrations were drawn by cartoonist Kyle Baker.

McGruder has developed into a public speaker on political and cultural issues.[5][13][14][3]

In 2010, McGruder worked as screenwriter in the final treatment of the feature film Red Tails, released in early 2012. Its story is based on the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American combat pilots during World War II.[15]

In August 2017, it was announced that McGruder, along with producer Will Packer, will develop a series for Amazon Video called Black America which will be based on an alternative history where emancipated black Americans receive three Southern states as reparations for slavery.[16][17] The series' announcement was reportedly seen as a response to HBO's alternative history series Confederate, whose plot entails a history where the Confederacy won the Civil War.[18]


McGruder's strip was a veritable lightning rod for criticism since it debuted in 1999, with newspapers consigning it to editorial sections, or suspending the run of the strip altogether. Favored targets of The Boondocks include BET, Condoleezza Rice, Whitney Houston, Bill Cosby, Vivica A. Fox, and black conservative commentator Larry Elder.

McGruder has often attacked Elder in the comic strip as well as the television series. In response, Elder published an opinion piece in which he created the "McGruder," an award for statements made by black public figures that Elder considers "dumb," "vulgar," and/or "offensive."[19]

McGruder said in a 2002 keynote address[13] at the July 12–14, 2002 H2K2 conference that he believed that President George W. Bush was involved with the September 11 attacks:

Outside of the world of whackos and conspiracy theorists and all of that, very few people in the mainstream have been willing to say what I'm about to say, which is, I really and truthfully believe that George W. Bush is somehow involved, either directly or indirectly, in the attacks on New York City on September 11.[20]

He visited Cuba, meeting Fidel Castro[3] with California Rep. Barbara Lee.[9] Later, during a 2003 reception hosted by The Nation, McGruder offended many attendees by defiantly expressing his support for Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential bid. McGruder endured heckling and walkouts as he defended his commitment to left-wing causes, including, he claimed, calling Condoleezza Rice a "mass-murderer" to her face during the 2002 NAACP Image Awards.[9] In 2009, it was reported by the Richmond, Indiana publication Palladium Item that he had told a Martin Luther King Day audience at Earlham College in Indiana that then-President-elect Barack Obama was not black.[14] McGruder released a statement insisting he was misquoted, while maintaining he remained "cautiously pessimistic" about Obama's presidency.[14]

A long-standing feud with Black Entertainment Television provided McGruder with material both for his strip and the animated series. Two episodes of the second season of The Boondocks, "The Hunger Strike" and "The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show", were never broadcast in the United States due to possible legal action against Cartoon Network's parent company Time Warner by Viacom (BET's parent company, also the owners of Cartoon Network rival Nickelodeon and Comedy Central) because of satirization of BET; however, they resurfaced for television airplay weeks later in Canada and were included in the DVD release. (The episodes depict BET as an evil media empire plotting the destruction of black people.[21])

Personal life

By 2005[3] and as of 2013, McGruder was residing in Los Angeles[1][3] with his three dogs: Remix, Retro, and Hooligan.[22]


  1. ^ a b c "McGruder, Aaron 1974". encyclopedia.com. Gale. 2009. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Aaron McGruder". Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale. 2009. (Registration required (help)). Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e McGruder, Aaron (2005-11-03). "Aaron McGruder". The A.V. Club. Interviewed by Interview by Nathan Rabin. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Younge, Gary (December 22, 2005). "Strip Tease". Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
  5. ^ a b c Astor, David (October 9, 1999). "'Boondocks' Artist Still Living on the Edge of Controversy: Aaron McGruder Comes to Canada to Talk about His High-Profile Comic". Editor & Publisher. republished excerpt online at Questia.com.
  6. ^ "The Boondocks (1995)". IMDb.com. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  7. ^ "Outstanding Young Alumnus Award". University of Maryland Alumni Association. 2016-05-25. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  8. ^ a b "The Boondocks" (PDF). UClick.com. Andrews McMeel Universal. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d McGrath, Ben (April 19, 2004). "The Radical: Why do editors keep throwing 'The Boondocks' off the funnies page?". The New Yorker.
  10. ^ "The Uncle Ruckus Movie by Aaron McGruder". Kickstarter.com.
  11. ^ a b Moore, Frazier (April 18, 2014). "'The Boondocks' Back For Final 'Offensive' Season". AP.org. Associated Press. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  12. ^ "The Boondocks (2005) Episode List: Season 4". IMDb.com. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Speakers and Panels". H2K2.net. 2002. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  14. ^ a b c Rose, Kim (January 22, 2009). "'Boondocks' Creator Explains Obama Comment". BET.com. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  15. ^ Larnick, Eric (January 20, 2012). "Aaron McGruder, 'Boondocks' Creator, on Writing 'Red Tails' and Working With George Lucas After Making Fun of Him". Moviefone.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
  16. ^ "'Boondocks' Creator Preps Alt-History Drama 'Black America'".
  17. ^ Izadi, Elahe. "Another Civil War alternate history comes to TV — but with black independence and reparations".
  18. ^ "Alt-History Drama 'Black America' Reveals Premise in Response to 'Confederate' News". August 1, 2017.
  19. ^ Gray, Jonathan; Jones, Jeffrey; Thompson, Ethan (April 2009). Satire TV: Politics and Comedy in the Post-Network Era. New York University Press. p. 271.
  20. ^ McGruder, Aaron (July 13, 2002). "Keynote address, H2K2" (MP3). Event occurs at 21:08 – 21:51. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  21. ^ Braxton, Greg (June 4, 2008). "'Boondocks' to BET: !*%#!". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  22. ^ "The Uncle Ruckus Movie by Aaron McGruder". Kickstarter.com. 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2016.

External links

A Huey Freeman Christmas

"A Huey Freeman Christmas" is the seventh episode of the first season of the American animated television series The Boondocks. It was first broadcast on Adult Swim in the United States on December 18, 2005. In the episode, protagonist Huey Freeman seizes complete creative control of his elementary school's annual Christmas play, but runs into trouble with administration when he wishes to portray Jesus as black. Meanwhile, Riley Freeman rekindles an old grudge he has against Santa Claus.

"A Huey Freeman Christmas" was directed by Seung Eun Kim and the script was written by series creator Aaron McGruder.

Adelaide Productions

Adelaide Productions is a television animation division of Sony Pictures Television that was founded on April 12, 1993, by Columbia Pictures Television and was incorporated seven days later. It has also been titled Columbia TriStar Animation and Columbia TriStar Children's Television.

As of 2015, Adelaide Productions has been dormant of making animated TV shows, and had not made any new ones since 2009, but its status is still listed as "active".

Black Jesus (TV series)

Black Jesus is an American sitcom created by Aaron McGruder and Mike Clattenburg that airs on Adult Swim. The series stars Gerald "Slink" Johnson, Charlie Murphy, Corey Holcomb, Kali Hawk, King Bach, and Andra Fuller. The series premiered on August 7, 2014. On December 10, 2014, the series was renewed for a second season. The second season premiered on September 18, 2015. It has been renewed for a third season, but it is unknown when it will be released.

Boondocks (disambiguation)

Boondocks are remote, usually brushy areas. It may also refer to:

The Boondocks (comic strip), a comic strip by Aaron McGruder

The Boondocks (TV series), a television series based on the aforementioned comic strip

The Boondocks (band), an Estonian rock band

"Boondocks" (song), a 2005 song by Little Big Town

The Boondock Saints, a 1999 action crime drama film

Boondox (born 1985), rapper

"Down in the Boondocks" (song), a 1965 song by Billy Joe Royal

Boondock, a settlement on the fictional planet Tertius in the 1973 science fiction novel Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein and subsequent books featuring Lazarus Long

Boondocks Road, a road in Texas

Huey Freeman

Huey Freeman is one of the main protagonists and hero in The Boondocks syndicated comic strip written by Aaron McGruder, as well as the animated TV series of the same name. Politically sapient and borderline militant, Huey, being a self-described revolutionary left-wing radical, regularly reflects upon current events as well as the plight of African-Americans as it relates to a greater American society. As presented by his logical and rational personality, Huey's character has often been described as "misanthropic" and "cynical". He's named after Huey P. Newton, one of the co-founders and leaders of the Black Panther Party. He is voiced by Regina King.Huey, who grew up with his little brother Riley (also voiced by Regina King) on the West Side of Chicago, was moved along with his brother to the peaceful, predominantly white suburb of Woodcrest, Baltimore by their grandfather Robert Jebediah Freeman. It is strongly suggested that Huey's and Riley's birth parents are deceased.

List of The Boondocks episodes

The Boondocks is an American adult animated sitcom on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. Created by Aaron McGruder, based upon McGruder's comic strip of the same name, the series premiered on November 6, 2005. The show begins with a black family, the Freemans, settling into the fictional, peaceful, and mostly white suburb of Woodcrest from Chicago's South Side. The perspective offered by this mixture of cultures, lifestyles, social classes, stereotypes, viewpoints and races provides for much of the series' satire, comedy, and conflict.

The Boondocks ended on June 23, 2014 with a total of 55 episodes over the course of the show's four seasons. The season two episodes "The Hunger Strike" and "The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show" were never aired in the United States and first aired on Teletoon in Canada. The season three episodes "The Story of Jimmy Rebel" and "Pause" were pulled from general rotation and no longer air in reruns.

The series also airs in syndication outside the United States and has been released on various DVD sets and other forms of home media.

Neil Swaab

Neil Swaab (born 2 January 1978 in Detroit, Michigan) is a New York based artist, designer, writer, and educator. His illustrations and comics have appeared in numerous publications in the US as well as abroad in Germany, Prague, and Italy and Russia.

Swaab's most famous work is Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles, which deals with a pill-popping, foul-mouthed teddy bear. The comics frequently deal with sex, addiction, intoxication, psychosis, molestation, cross-dressing, self-hate and misanthropy. This weekly comic strip currently runs online as well as in The New York Press, Real Detroit Weekly, Internazionale (in Italian), and New Times Broward-Palm Beach.The strip is also available online and collected in two books:

Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles Vol. 1, 2002. ISBN 978-0-9722182-0-7

Attitude Featuring: Neil Swaab, Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles (AKA Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles Vol. 2), 2005.In 2004, Swaab was interviewed in the book Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists, edited by award-winning syndicated editorial cartoonist Ted Rall. Attitude 2 included other cartoonists such as Alison Bechdel, David Rees and Aaron McGruder.

Swaab is currently an instructor at Parsons School of Design in the Illustration program, and has worked on Adult Swim cartoon Superjail!.

Red Tails

Red Tails is a 2012 American war film directed by Anthony Hemingway in his feature film directorial debut, and starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) servicemen during World War II. The characters in the film are fictional, although based on real individuals. The film was produced by Lucasfilm and released by 20th Century Fox. This was Cuba Gooding Jr.'s first theatrically released film in five years since his starring role in 2007's Daddy Day Camp.

John Ridley wrote the screenplay, based on a story created by him in collaboration with George Lucas. Additional material was shot the following year with executive producer George Lucas as director and Aaron McGruder as writer of the reshoots. It was filmed in March and July 2009. Red Tails was a personal project for Lucas, one that he had originally conceived in 1988. It was the first Lucasfilm production since the 1994 film Radioland Murders that was not associated with the Indiana Jones or Star Wars franchises. Terrence Howard had previously portrayed a Tuskegee pilot in Hart's War, and Cuba Gooding Jr. had previously starred in The Tuskegee Airmen, an HBO made-for-television film about the same group of pilots.

Riley Freeman

Riley Freeman is a character from the syndicated comic strip The Boondocks written by Aaron McGruder and its TV series adaptation. He often refers to himself as "Riley Escobar," and in season two of the TV series, he also refers to himself as "Young Reezy." He is Huey's younger brother who aspires to be like the rap artists and the gangsters that he admires.Riley, who grew up on the West Side of Chicago, was moved along with his brother to the peaceful, white suburb of Woodcrest in Baltimore, Maryland by their granddad. Riley is eight. In some episodes, Riley and Huey would have a single storyline and in others, the two would each have their own in a single episode. Riley, like Huey, is voiced by Regina King. It is strongly suggested that Huey and Riley's birth parents are deceased.

Simon Feil

Simon Feil is an American actor. He appears on the Fox show Gotham episode 1.16, portraying a Board Member of Wayne Enterprises, in House of Cards episode 1.7 as the VP's Chief of Staff, in episode 5.8 of Nurse Jackie and, in Elementary, episode 2.3. His first major film appearance was in Julie & Julia, where he played a G.I. in Julia Child's course at the Cordon Bleu. He also appeared in The Dawn Chorus, which screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, in which he portrayed a member of an Orthodox Jewish choir that had been in a plane crash and returns to the scene of the accident every year to commemorate the event.

Feil also appeared off-Broadway in the cult hit Boozy-The Life, Death, and Subsequent Vilification of Le Corbusier and, More Importantly, Robert Moses produced by Les Freres Corbusier, which sold out its off-off Broadway run at the Ohio Theater prior to opening night in 2005.Other work includes a print campaign in New York City for Manhattan Mini Storage in which he portrayed a gay doctor, hosting a promotional tour as "Rick" for Trivial Pursuit's 1990s Edition which hit 8 cities in 2003 with celebrities from the 1990s such as Naomi Judd, Carnie Wilson, Josie Bissett and Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. In 2007, Feil appeared in a national commercial for Klondike ice cream, playing one of NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne's pit-crew who is stunned when Kahne stops mid-race to thank the crew for a job well-done.

In January 2008, he began voicing "Negrology" spots for "The Super Rumble Mix Show", an online comedy variety series for Super Deluxe produced by Aaron McGruder and starring John Witherspoon and Gary Anthony Williams. Over the Summer and Fall of 2009, he voiced radio spots for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's re-election campaign.

The Boondocks (TV series)

The Boondocks is an American adult animated sitcom on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim. Created by Aaron McGruder, based upon his comic strip of the same name, the series premiered on November 6, 2005. The show begins with a dysfunctional black family, the Freemans, settling into the fictional, friendly and overall white suburb of Woodcrest. The perspective offered by this mixture of cultures, lifestyles, social classes, stereotypes, viewpoints and racialized identities provides for much of the series' satire, comedy, and conflict.

The Boondocks ended its run on June 23, 2014, with a total of 55 episodes over the course of the show's four seasons. The fourth and final season was produced without any involvement from McGruder. The series also airs in syndication outside the United States and has been released on various DVD sets and other forms of home media.

The Boondocks (comic strip)

The Boondocks was a daily syndicated comic strip written and originally drawn by Aaron McGruder that ran from 1996 to 2006. Created by McGruder in 1996 for Hitlist.com, an early online music website, it was printed in the monthly hip hop magazine The Source in 1997. As it gained popularity, the comic strip was picked up by the Universal Press Syndicate and made its national debut on April 19, 1999. A popular and controversial strip, The Boondocks satirizes African American culture and American politics as seen through the eyes of young, black radical Huey Freeman. McGruder's syndicate said it was among the biggest launches the company ever had.McGruder sold the television and film rights for the strip to Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Boondocks animated TV series premiered on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block on November 6, 2005. McGruder launched an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign for a live action movie featuring The Boondocks character Uncle Ruckus in 2013. On February 6, 2019, McGruder revived the comic strip on Instagram, which were made with the help of former supervising director of The Boondocks TV series, Seung Eun Kim.

The Boondocks (season 1)

The first season of the animated television series, The Boondocks originally aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. Season one started on November 6, 2005 with "The Garden Party" and ended with "The Passion of Reverend Ruckus" on March 19, 2006, with a total of fifteen episodes.

All fifteen episodes from season one were released completely uncensored on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on July 25, 2006. The first season is also available on the iTunes Store and has been made available for on demand streaming on Hulu (originally shown on Netflix).

The Boondocks (season 2)

The second season of the animated television series, The Boondocks originally aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. Season two started on October 8, 2007 with "...Or Die Trying" and ended with "The Story of Gangstalicious 2" on February 4, 2008.

Although fifteen episodes were produced for season two, only thirteen aired in the United States. "The Hunger Strike" and "The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show" never aired in the U.S due to legal reasons. Although these episodes were never aired in U.S., they were aired in Canada and Latin America; and were also released on DVD and iTunes.

All fifteen episodes from season two were released completely uncensored on a three-disc DVD set in the United States on June 10, 2008. The second season is also available on iTunes and has been made available for on demand streaming on Netflix.

The Boondocks (season 4)

The fourth and final season of the animated television series, The Boondocks aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim. Season four premiered on April 21, 2014 with "Pretty Boy Flizzy", and ended with "The New Black" on June 23, 2014 with a total of ten episodes. This season was produced without any involvement from series creator Aaron McGruder.

The Fried Chicken Flu

"The Fried Chicken Flu" is the 13th episode of the third season of the American animated television series The Boondocks. It first aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's programming block Adult Swim on August 1, 2010 and on Centric on November 15, 2010. In the episode, the Freemans must survive in a post-apocalyptic world after a virus originating from fried chicken erupts across the country.

The episode was written by Aaron McGruder and directed by Sung Dae Kang. The episode's plot makes references to the 2009 flu pandemic, as well as a controversial Kentucky Fried Chicken-Oprah Winfrey promotion for the former's then-new Kentucky Grilled Chicken products. The episode features Marion Ross guest-starring as Ms. Von Hausen, a resident of Woodcrest. The episode received mixed reviews from critics, who compared its overall quality to an episode from the show's first season.

The Hunger Strike

"The Hunger Strike" is a second-season episode of the Adult Swim animated television series The Boondocks. It was set to premiere on January 7, 2008, between "The Story of Thugnificent" and "Attack of the Killer Kung-Fu Wolf Bitch", but has not aired in the United States. In Canada, the episode was aired on March 16, 2008, on the network Teletoon, with a disclaimer stating that "the views in this program do not reflect that of Teletoon Canada or its parent companies". The episode also aired globally elsewhere, and has appeared on Netflix streaming in Canada. According to Aaron McGruder on an introduction video for the episode found on the DVD set, this episode was originally set to be titled "BET Sucks".

Uncle Ruckus

Uncle Ruckus (born July 4 1939)(also known as Ruckus, no relation) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Boondocks. He is voiced by Gary Anthony Williams and first appeared on television in the show's pilot "The Garden Party" on November 6, 2005. Ruckus was created and designed by cartoonist Aaron McGruder, and enjoyed great success after appearing in the comic strip of the same name.Ruckus had a turbulent childhood, raised under the abusive guise of Mister Ruckus. After being kicked out of home as a teenager, he traveled to Woodcrest, where he works several odd jobs. Ruckus embodies many old-American working class stereotypes: he is crude, hot-tempered, obese, rule-neglecting, clumsy, ignorant, and idiotic. He is also greatly internally racist, repeatedly proclaiming his love for the white race, and even identifies as Caucasian, saying he suffers from "re-vitiligo".

Despite this, Ruckus maintains a close relationship with Robert Freeman, and yearns for social acceptance. Despite the blue-collar routine of his life, he has had a number of remarkable experiences, including acting as a recording artist.

Upon his debut, Ruckus is widely considered to be one of the show's best characters, with consistent praise directed towards his humor, wit, and ingenuity.

The Boondocks

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