Secret Mountain Fort Awesome
The phrase "Secret Mountain Fort Awesome" in a bold, black and raggedy typeface
Created byPeter Browngardt
Story by
  • Peter Browngardt
  • David P. Smith
  • Dave Tennant
  • Fred Belford
Creative directorChris Reccardi
Voices of
ComposerMike Conte
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26
Executive producersPeter Browngardt
David P. Smith
Brian A. Miller
Jennifer Pelphrey
Curtis Lelash
Rob Sorcher
Nick Weidenfeld
Conrad Montgomery
ProducerPernelle Hayes
Running time11 minutes
Production companyCartoon Network Studios
Original networkCartoon Network (2011–12)
iTunes (2012)
Original releaseAugust 1, 2011 (2011-08-01) –
March 29, 2012 (2012-03-29)
Uncle Grandpa
The Cartoonstitute

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome is an American animated television series created by Peter Browngardt for Cartoon Network that debuted in 2011. The show revolves around a fraternity of five monsters who unleash wild stunts upon the public from their eponymous underground mountain fort.

The series is loosely based on the antagonists that appeared in Browngardt's animated short, Uncle Grandpa, which Browngardt created for The Cartoonstitute. It employs Mike Conte of the heavy metal band Early Man as composer. The show's raunchy, surrealist humor was heavily indebt to the underground comix scene, and drew a mixed to negative reception, though it received praise for its art direction.

The show premiered as a sneak peek on August 1, 2011, and had a formal premiere on September 26, 2011. Designers Robertryan Cory and Chris Tsirgiotis both won awards for "Outstanding Individual in Animation" at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony. The Uncle Grandpa short that Browngardt had produced was eventually adapted as a full series of the same name, which he felt was a more lighthearted adaptation for children.

The series last aired on television on February 17, 2012, with the remaining episodes being released on iTunes from March 8 to 29, 2012.


The main characters of the show; clockwise from left: Slog, Festro, the Fart, Gweelok and Dingle
The main characters of the show; clockwise from left: Slog, Festro, the Fart, Gweelok and Dingle

A race of monsters known as the Disgustoids are banished from society due to their unruly behavior and grotesque appearances. From their sentient and eponymous subterranean mountain fort, they unleash crazy stunts on the public. Their leader, a purple tusked creature depicted wearing a pair of underwear named Festro (voiced by Peter Browngardt), is a macho party animal willing to do anything to help out his group, even when his help is less than desired. Dingle (also voiced by Browngardt), a scrawny, blue dog-like monster, who acts as their faithful pet, intelligible only to the group. Slog (voiced by Steve Little), a furred proboscis monkey-like monster, is likewise blindly loyal, but lacks critical judgement skills—the more hazardous something is, the more likely he will be to follow it. Gweelok (voiced by Paul Rugg), an acned ball of mucus, has a demanding attitude and an obsession with technology. The Fart (voiced by Pat Duke), a giant monster made of buttocks who flatulates when touched—is the most sensitive and levelheaded of the group.


At their 2011 upfront, Cartoon Network announced Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, along with various other series.[1] Billed as a comedy,[2] the show was created by Peter Browngardt and based on his animated short Uncle Grandpa,[3] which garnered praise, a cult following and an Emmy Award nomination.[4] Both were produced at Cartoon Network Studios.[5] Before landing his own show, Browngardt had worked at Augenblick Studios and MTV, as well as on individual programs, such as Futurama, The Venture Bros., Chowder, and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Browngardt's work on Chowder began when its creator C.H. Greenblatt looked through one of his pitch bibles that he left at the studio.[6]

The show borrows elements and its design style from his Uncle Grandpa short, which was pitched to the network as a pilot in 2006. According to Browngardt, Cartoon Network executives were unsure about having a series centered on the title character, and felt the monster characters from the pilot had more potential. Character designer Robertryan Cory and David P. Smith (a director and storyboard artist on Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls) were brought on board to help shape the project's development, and the series was animated by the Chinese animation studios Hong Ying Animation (a studio that previously animated Chowder) and Sichuan Top Animation Company.

In an interview with Cartoon Brew, Browngardt called the process of pitching his pilot an "amazing learning experience" because it allowed him to propose an idea to the network and see "how it can manipulate and change while you're working on it".[3] On the show, animation veteran Chris Reccardi served as creative director, whilst Sue Mondt (who had previously art directed Cartoon Network's Camp Lazlo) handled art direction and Robert Alvarez with Larry Leichliter directed the animation.[7] Browngardt depicted the production schedule as "really tight", which called for them to manage their time and to pick their battles with the network.[6]

Referring to his encounters with the network regarding content, Browngardt learned to let go and find the "right balance", as well as to ask himself, "Is my grandma going to notice this?"[6] For the music, Mike Conte of the heavy metal band Early Man was employed as composer. The score, which incorporates heavy metal elements and "lots of riffage",[8] was originally added to the animatics as a rough draft. Browngardt found that it harmonized with the imagery and what he envisioned for the design.[3] Conte noted Browngardt's inspirations from Garbage Pail Kids and Don Martin of Mad magazine, but called the result "definitely its own thing".[8]

Voice cast

Main article: List of Secret Mountain Fort Awesome and Uncle Grandpa characters

Broadcast and reception

Secret Mountain premiered on August 1, 2011, on Cartoon Network as part of a sneak preview;[9] this broadcast was seen by 1.8 million viewers.[10] It premiered formally on September 26 as part of their Monday night programming block,[5] where it was seen by 1.3 million viewers, marking a slight decrease from the previous broadcast.[11] The show was moved to Fridays upon its second-season premiere on December 30, 2011.[12] Following the premiere of the eighth episode of the season on February 17, 2012, the show was pulled from broadcast. The network released the remaining eight episodes through iTunes a month later, from March 8 to March 29, thus concluding the show.[13]

The series was universally panned by critics. Many critics were complimentary in regards to the series' art style. In his website Lineboil, Aaron Simpson compared it to Garbage Pail Kids and the works of Don Martin, two elements of his childhood.[14] Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew called Robertryan Cory's character designs "impressive" and "distinctively styled", though he felt the art style's complexity made the limited animation quality suffer as a result.[15] Abby Koenig of Houston Press compared its "ridiculous" nature to the film Little Monsters, and proposed that Howie Mandel (featured in the latter work) guest voice a monster on the show.[16] Shannon O'Leary of Publishers Weekly wrote that the show, along with others on the network such as Adventure Time and Superjail!, bore resemblance to the aesthetics of established independent comics artists.[17] Meanwhile, Jason Krell of io9 considered it a failure despite its influences from Adventure Time, which made way for many successful original series on the network.[18]

The episode "Nightmare Sauce" received multiple accolades, including at the 2012 Annecy International Animated Film Festival for "Best TV Production" (of which Browngardt was the recipient[19]), and at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, where Cory and Chris Tsirgiotis were awarded "Outstanding Individual in Animation".[20] Cory also won at the 39th Annie Awards for "Character Design in a Television Production", while Tsirgiotis, Sue Mondt, Daniel Elson and Mark Bodnar were collectively awarded "Production Design in a Television Production".[21] At the 40th Annie Awards, Thaddeus Paul Couldron was nominated for "Character Design in an Animated Television or Other Broadcast Venue Production" for his work on the episode "Secret Mountain Uncle Grandpa".[22]

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
110August 1, 2011 (2011-08-01)December 16, 2011 (2011-12-16)Cartoon Network
2168December 30, 2011 (2011-12-30)February 17, 2012 (2012-02-17)
8March 8, 2012 (2012-03-08)March 29, 2012 (2012-03-29)iTunes


Season 1 (2011)

No. in
No. in
Title Written and storyboarded by Story by Original air date Prod.
U.S. viewers
(in millions)
11"Teleport-A-Potty"Audie HarrisonDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithAugust 1, 2011 (2011-08-01)1021.815[23]
When Gweelok builds a teleport-a-potty, Festro and the monsters search for a place where pizza grows on trees. But when Festro went to go "boom boom" and flushed the teleport-a-potty, the monsters get stuck in another universe where they have to defeat an evil villain named Helmethead in order to reclaim the toilet of the land.
22"Monster Cops"Clay Morrow, Chris Reccardi, Noel Belknap, and Brett VaronDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithSeptember 26, 2011 (2011-09-26)101[24]1.343[25]
The Disgustoids disguise themselves as cops so they can walk on the surface, but whilst The Fart wants to follow the duties of a cop, all Festro, Gweelok, Dingle, and Slog want to do is pump up the jams.
33"Secret Mountain Fort Love"Clay Morrow, Noel Belknap, and Brett VaronDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithOctober 3, 2011 (2011-10-03)103[26]1.580[27]
The Disgustoids are delighted when Secret Mountain Fort Awesome comes to life and starts wrecking havok on the surface world, but when Fort falls in love with another mountain, Festro tries to break up the relationship, but ends up having to repair his broken heart.
44"The Bet"Mike SternDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithOctober 10, 2011 (2011-10-10)202[26]1.567[28]
The monsters bet Gweelok that if he used the Internet within 24 hours, he would have to stop using it at all times so he can hang out with them forever and ever.
55"Nightmare Sauce"Audie HarrisonDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithOctober 17, 2011 (2011-10-17)203[26]1.355[29]
Gweelok invents a special sauce to help Festro get rid of his nightmares, but after Festro overdoses on the batch, it causes his bad dreams to run amok in the real world.
66"What It Do, Nephew"Brett VaronDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithNovember 4, 2011 (2011-11-04)201[26]N/A
When Festro's nephews pay a visit to the fort, they turn out to be complete wimps, so the gang teaches them how to be "rude crude dudes with attitude", but their efforts go too far.
77"The 6th Disgustoid"Audie HarrisonDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithNovember 11, 2011 (2011-11-11)206[30]N/A
After giving all the gang's money to a deposed prince from Nawibawabi, Gweelok needs to find money to pay the fort rent. The Disgustoids try to find a new roommate, but it turns out that she is the prince from Nawibawabi.
88"Secret Mountain Fart Awesome"Ian Jones-QuarteyDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithNovember 18, 2011 (2011-11-18)204[30]0.970
The bros make 1,000 The Fart clones after looking through his diary of juicy secrets, so they try to get rid of them before the real Fart finds out.
99"The Broken Chair"Mike SternDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithDecember 9, 2011 (2011-12-09)207[31]N/A
When Festro's favourite chair is destroyed, he tries to find out who did it.
"'Secret' Mountain"
Ian Jones-QuarteyDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithDecember 16, 2011 (2011-12-16)208[31]N/A
The Disgustoids discover that their newly repaired Megavision has the ability to see into the future.

Season 2 (2011–12)

No. in
No. in
Title Written and storyboarded by Story by Original air date Prod.
111"Party Slog"Chris Reccardi, Brett Varon, Clay Morrow, and Noel BelknapDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithDecember 30, 2011 (2011-12-30)104[31]
Every time the Disgustoids have a party, Slog turns into "Party Slog" which annoys the bros, but when trouble strikes they need him to do so.
122"Road Trippin'"Greg MillerDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithJanuary 6, 2012 (2012-01-06)205[31]
The Disgustoids go on a road trip.
133"Dingle Come Home"Brett VaronDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithJanuary 13, 2012 (2012-01-13)105[31]
When Dingle abandons his friends they try to get him to come home.
144"Colonel Monster's Monster Time Pizza Palace"Audie HarrisonDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithJanuary 20, 2012 (2012-01-20)213[31]
When Festro finds out about a place called "Colonel Monster's Monster Time Pizza Palace" he goes there only to get trapped by the people who go there.
155"President The Fart"Mike SternDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithJanuary 27, 2012 (2012-01-27)214[31]
The Fart is elected as the Disgustoids' new leader when everyone tires of being bossed around by Festro.
166"Secret Mountain Uncle Grandpa"Pete Browngardt and Audie HarrisonDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithFebruary 3, 2012 (2012-02-03)215[31]
Uncle Grandpa shows up at a lame birthday party and tries to make it cool.
Note: This is one of the Season 2 episodes of Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, but was another pilot for a new spin-off series called Uncle Grandpa.
177"Festro Gets Glasses"Stephen DeStefanoDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithFebruary 10, 2012 (2012-02-10)209[32]
Festro gets glasses so he can look smarter, but he thinks wearing glasses means "smort".
188"Funstro"Greg Miller and Chad CoyleDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithFebruary 17, 2012 (2012-02-17)107[32]
Festro experiences a personality change after getting an aching tooth pulled out.
Guest star: Dee Snider as The Tooth Fairy.
Note: The Fart performs a spoken word rendition of the Mr. Belvedere theme song. this is the last episode to air on Cartoon Network
199"Labyrinth"Ian Jones-QuarteyDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithMarch 8, 2012 (2012-03-08) (iTunes)216[32]
When Gweelok wishes that Jerry, the Goblin King, would come take his annoying friends away, he realizes how much he misses them and has to enter the twisted world of the Labyrinth to rescue them. This is the first time that Gweelok has legs for dancing.
2010"Gweelok Cracks"Brett Varon, Greg Miller, and Chris ReccardiDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithMarch 8, 2012 (2012-03-08) (iTunes)110[32]
Gweelok is excited to meet his science idol, but grows more and more frustrated when he starts taking an interest in Festro.
2111"Stealing the Sun"Greg Miller and Chad CoyleDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithMarch 15, 2012 (2012-03-15) (iTunes)108
When the Disgustoids steal the sun and bring it underground, all the elderly people follow.
2212"5 Disgustoids and a Baby"Pete Browngardt and Greg MillerDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithMarch 15, 2012 (2012-03-15) (iTunes)106
Festro learns the joys and horrors of parenting when Dingle steals Ham Sandwich (from Uncle Grandpa) and gives him to him for his birthday.
2313"Family Lies"Brett VaronDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithMarch 22, 2012 (2012-03-22) (iTunes)210
While travelling to Dingle's family reunion, numerous setbacks keep Dingle and The Fart from making it, until The Fart realizes that Dingle is sabotaging their trip.
2414"Wrestlemaniacs"Chris Reccardi and Audie HarrisonDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithMarch 22, 2012 (2012-03-22) (iTunes)109
Festro and The Fart take up wrestling and become hugely popular, all in the name of a single french fry.
2515"Just for Kicks"Audie HarrisonDave Tennant, Fred Belford, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithMarch 29, 2012 (2012-03-29) (iTunes)211
Festro goes on a quest to Alaska for some Velcro shoes.
2616"Secret Mountain Fort Werebaby"Brett VaronDave Tennant, Pete Browngardt, and David P. SmithMarch 29, 2012 (2012-03-29) (iTunes)212
When a werebaby bites all of the Disgustoids but Slog, they start turning cute, so Slog must find a way to cure their affliction and make them disgusting again.


Main article: Uncle Grandpa

After Secret Mountain Fort Awesome got panned by critics, The Cartoonstitute's original Uncle Grandpa short that Browngardt produced was adapted as a full series of the same name.[3] A preview was shown as part of Cartoon Network's shorts development initiative.[33] The series revolves around the title character, who is simultaneously the grandfather and uncle of everyone in the world.[34] Browngardt explained that while the new series would retain some aspects of Secret Mountain, it would be a more lighthearted adaption for children. He ultimately expressed that he wanted "more variety in the music and be able to go [sic] sort of a happier place, though it does go dark and heavy at times".[3]


  1. ^ Andreeva 2011.
  2. ^ TV Guide (a).
  3. ^ a b c d e Amidi 2013.
  4. ^ Zahed 2011, p. 45; Television Academy.
  5. ^ a b Milligan 2011.
  6. ^ a b c Zahed 2011, p. 45.
  7. ^ Turner Broadcasting System 2011–12.
  8. ^ a b Neilstein 2011.
  9. ^ Constant Contact 2011.
  10. ^ The Futon Critic 2011a.
  11. ^ The Futon Critic 2011b.
  12. ^ TV Guide (b).
  13. ^ iTunes Store.
  14. ^ Simpson 2011.
  15. ^ Amidi 2011.
  16. ^ Koenig 2012.
  17. ^ O'Leary 2012.
  18. ^ Krell 2014.
  19. ^ Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
  20. ^ Television Academy 2012, p. 10.
  21. ^ Annie Awards 2011, pp. 16, 39.
  22. ^ Annie Awards 2013.
  23. ^ Futon Critic Staff, The (August 4, 2011). "Monday's Cable Ratings: "Pawn Stars" Takes Demos, "The Closer" Wins Total Viewers". Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  24. ^ "Cartoon Network September 2011 Premiere Info". ToonZone. August 27, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  25. ^ Futon Critic Staff, The (September 27, 2011). "Monday's Cable Ratings: "MNF" Keeps ESPN Unstoppable". Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  26. ^ a b c d "Cartoon Network October 2011 Premiere Info". ToonZone. September 27, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  27. ^ "Monday's Cable Ratings: "MNF" Gets It Done for ESPN". The Futon Critic. October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
  28. ^ "Monday's Cable Ratings: "MNF" Posts Second Largest Audience of Season". The Futon Critic. October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  29. ^ Futon Critic Staff, The (October 18, 2011). "Monday's Cable Ratings: "MNF" Goes Untouched for ESPN". Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  30. ^ a b "Cartoon Network November 2011 Premiere Info". ToonZone. October 29, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h "Cartoon Network January 2012 Premiere Info". ToonZone. December 28, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  32. ^ a b c d "Cartoon Network February 2012 Premiere Info". ToonZone. January 28, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  33. ^ Next Generation of Animation - Behind The Scenes | Geek Week | Cartoon Network - YouTube
  34. ^ McLean 2012.

Works cited