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For the episode of the television series 30 Rock, see The Problem Solvers.
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The Problem Solverz
The Problem Solverz logotype.svg
Genre Comedy
Mystery
Created by Ben Jones
Written by
  • Eric Kaplan
  • Michael Yank
  • Dave Tennant
  • Ryan Levin
Directed by Ben Jones
Voices of
Narrated by John DiMaggio (Season 1 only)
Composer(s) Ben Jones
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Ben Jones
Producer(s) Nate Funaro
Running time 11 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network
Original release April 4, 2011 (2011-04-04) – March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)

The Problem Solverz is an American animated television series that aired on Cartoon Network. Created by Ben Jones, it follows Alfe, Roba, and Horace, a group of detectives in their troubled town, Farboro.

The aforementioned characters were designed while Jones attended college in the 1990s; he later founded the art collective Paper Rad with Jessica and Jacob Ciocci. The characters were featured in Jones' and the collective's animations and comics before the creator pitched a pilot to Adult Swim featuring the trio. The network's executives referred Jones to Cartoon Network, who commissioned a series featuring the same characters. The series was produced in Adobe Flash, with around fifteen animators employed at Cartoon Network Studios and the co-production of Mirari Films.

The Problem Solverz was first aired on April 4, 2011. The first season consisted of eighteen episodes, concluding on September 29, 2011. A second and final season was released exclusively on Netflix in 2013.

Plot

Main characters of The Problem Solverz
From left to right: Horace, Alfe, and Roba, the main characters of the series

The series follows the eponymous detectives Alfe (Ben Jones), Roba (also Jones), and Horace (Kyle Kaplan). The trio take up solving, and sometimes creating, the numerous problems that plague their town, Farboro. To their aid is Tux Dog (John DiMaggio), an extremely wealthy dog who helps the Solverz in some of their cases but is just as often the source of their problems.

Alfe (pronounced Alfé) is a large, fluffy, man–dog–anteater found and raised by Horace when both were young. He loves devouring large quantities of food, especially pizza and hamburgers, and acts impulsively during missions. Roba, Horace's twin brother and cyborg, is the smartest member of the group, but he suffers from insecurity and anxiety. Horace is the calm and collected leader of the team, usually applying common sense with his detective work and caring after Alfe.

Voice cast

  • Pamela Adlon – Mr. Creame, Sweetie Creame, Danny, Danny's Mom
  • James Avery – Go-Seeki Ninja Master, Ninja Master's Dad Head
  • Eric Bauza – Dork Face, Ale, Alfred
  • Matt Berry – Drill Sergeant
  • Wayne Brady – Uncle Chocofus
  • Tia Carrere – Tara
  • Andrew Daly [S1-2] and Rob Paulsen [S3-] – Miss May
  • Grey DeLisle – Candace, Luka
  • John DiMaggio – Narrator (S01 only), Teacher, The Mewmeoh, Tux Dog, Badcat (in "Puffy Puppiez"), Jerry, Gary
  • Michael Dorn – Yamir
  • Rich Fulcher – Lidget
  • Nika Futterman – Stratch
  • Mark Hamill – Buddy Huxton, Badcat (in "Badcat")
  • Amy Hill – Mrs. Konishi
  • Ben Jones – Alfe, Roba, Balloon Professor, Professor Sugarfish, Rusty Pedals
  • Kyle Kaplan - Horace
  • Tom Kenny – Bionic Zombies, The Android-geist
  • Liz Lee – Additionals (S02E27 only)
  • Vanessa Marshall – Emily, Yogi, Trudy H.
  • Daran Norris – J.B. McTooth
  • Chris Parnell – The Mayor, Eternitron
  • Bronson Pinchot – AI (Master Artificial Intelligence)
  • Kevin Michael Richardson – Wendigo
  • Horatio Sanz – Ralphe
  • Paul Scheer – Tony Marv, Fungsten
  • Alia Shawkat – Laura
  • Kath Soucie – Spiralina
  • George Takei – Howard Konishi
  • Jill Talley – Nina, Alpha Alien, Dolls' Kid Owner
  • Brian Tee – Captain, Granite, Mini Master
  • Kari Wahlgren – Katrina Rad
  • Jason Walden – Tommy, JZ, Glam Metal Vampirez
  • Jaleel White – K-999

Episodes

Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired Network
Pilot 2008 Adult Swim
Shorts 2 2006 (2006) 2007 (2007) Direct-to-video
1 18 April 4, 2011 (2011-04-04) September 29, 2011 (2011-09-29) Cartoon Network
2 8 March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30) Netflix

Shorts

The main Problem Solverz characters first appeared in an animated short entitled, "Alfe: Gone Cabin Carzy" [sic]. The short was created and produced by the art collective Paper Rad, and was written by Ben Jones. This short was included on their DVD Trash Talking, published by Load Records in 2006.

The second Paper Rad animated short, "Problem Solvers", was released on a stand-alone DVD in 2008 as a bonus for the seventh volume of The Ganzfeld, a periodical book series written by Dan Nadel. Although it does not include the main Problem Solverz characters, it introduces the problem solving concept which Jones would use as the basis of his homonymous Cartoon Network series.

Title Written and storyboarded by Original air date
"Alfe: Gone Cabin Carzy" Ben Jones (as Paper Rad) 2006 (2006)
Horace is convinced that there is radiation outside since they have not gone out for 5 days.
Note: A prototype of Alfe's cousin Ralphe appears in this short. He also appears in two The Problem Solverz episodes, "Glam-Vampire Hunterz" and "Zazz Boyz Are Zazzing It Up".
"Problem Solvers" Ben Jones (as Paper Rad) 2007 (2007)

The short describes the adventures of six original characters: Dewey, T Bubbles, Pandemonia, Riviera, Buck, and D-O-G. It's composed of three segments ("Intro", "Dewey's Bike Ride", and "D-O-G's Song"), and from only two episodes:

  • Case #1220: "My Script"
  • Case #1211: "Give Pizza a Chance"

Note: D-O-G, Dewey, and Buck are the only characters of the short that made cameo appearances in The Problem Solverz.

Pilot

The pilot episode "Neon Knome" was produced in 2008 by PFFFR and Williams Street for Adult Swim, and then released in 2010 on their official website as part of the "Big, Über, Network, Sampling" programming block.

Title Written and directed by Original release date
"Neon Knome" Ben Jones 2008 (2008)
Horace, Alfe and Roba try to destroy a giant rollerblade appeared on their yard, but eventually end up getting lost in the forest.

Season 1 (2011)

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Written by Storyboarded by Original air date Prod.
code
US viewers
(millions)
1 1 "Time Twister" Eric Kaplan Ben Jones April 4, 2011 (2011-04-04) 102 1.138

The Problem Solverz encounter on the city's amusement park "Time Twister", a time-travelling rollercoaster that ages people. They solve the problem of people and seal the rollercoaster, but Alfe later uses it to satisfy his pizza cravings by traveling back in time and getting a slice of pizza, and ends up causing the appearance prehistoric animals to cause chaos in the city plus he turns into a baby. To put an end to this mess, the Solverz on the advice of Tux Dog must reverse the process destroying Time Twister through its core of Eternitron, a giant clock time monster. The trio achieves this through the many Alfe's clones collected by the same rollercoaster.
Note: One of the scenes in which Alfe captures his clone is taken from the segment "D-O-G's Song" of the Paper Rad's 2008 short Problem Solvers.


Ask Alfe: Ask Alfe Instruction.
2 2 "Videogamez" Michael Yank Nick Bertonazzi April 11, 2011 (2011-04-11) 103 1.262

Horace hinders a mission by being addicted to a video game, "Tomb of Nefertiti", given to him by Famitaro's owner Mr. Konishi, to kill its rogue AI. Horace himself continuing to play for 8 days, becoming hypnotized in the process until after the universe is threatened by the same video game enemies. To stop the invasion Alfe and Roba, with the help of a special cable given to them by Tux Dog, enter the game but must return before Horace completely turns into a virtual human block. Once finding him immediately the trio must pass the last three levels and then defeat the AI at the final level.
Note: Tomb of Nefertiti is also the only The Problem Solverz game on the official Cartoon Network website. www.cartoonnetwork.com/games/theproblemsolverz/tombofnefertiti/index.html (Includes Badges)


Ask Alfe: What should I do if I have trouble falling asleep?
3 3 "K-999 and Da Little Explorerz" Michael Yank Nick Bertonazzi April 18, 2011 (2011-04-18) 104 1.152

The Problem Solverz team up with K-999, a robot dog to stop a Girl Scout-aided alien invasion.


Ask Alfe: My hair gets so tangled up!
4 4 "Awesome Banditz" Michael Yank Nick Bertonazzi April 25, 2011 (2011-04-25) 105 1.148

The Problem Solverz are involved, thanks to the Police Captain of the city's huge mall, in an underground elevator racing, world from which they capture a group of thieves place experts in this race, called the "Elevator Banditz". To capture Alfe and Roba go undercover, and to do dress up and look like them.


Ask Alfe: I'm not sneaky enough.
5 5 "Funny Facez" Michael Yank Leo Riley May 2, 2011 (2011-05-02) 106 1.277

The work of a funny-face artists named Tony Marv, which Roba is a biggest fan, is stolen due to someone who leaked the photos of him in his program for the next show. His assistant Buddy Huxton presents the Problem Solverz, who asked them to solve this problem, finding the culprit. At the beginning Roba and Horace are still in doubt to solve it due to Alfe, that under the effect of "Taco crazy" think they know you already know everything with a rangefinder taco, and doing even suspect that a loser funny-faces artist named Fungsten has not leaked the photos. But then discover that real culprit is still at large when the taco truck sign blocking the view. At the end the trio back to Buddy Huxton which, however, admits: he leaked that photos to postpone tonight's show of Tony, and in order to avenge him for his trauma as a child.


Ask Alfe: What can I do at the beach?
6 6 "Hide and Seek Ninjaz" Michael Yank Nick Bertonazzi May 9, 2011 (2011-05-09) 107 1.424

Alfe, Roba and Horace find some Go-Seeki Hide and Seek Ninjaz in whom kidnap a little girl of the Hido Clan's mom.


Ask Alfe: I'm totally stumped!
7 7 "The Mayan Ice Cream Caper" Eric Kaplan Ben Jones May 16, 2011 (2011-05-16) 101 1.647

The Problem Solverz are called upon to stop an ice-cream factory from being destroyed by its owner.
Note 1: Before of the official debut of The Problem Solverz on Cartoon Network, a preview of this episode was shown on the official Paper Rad YouTube channel.
Note 2: The opening theme in this episode is to Neon Knome, the Adult Swim's pilot.


Ask Alfe: From this episode onward, no Ask Alfe segments appear.
8 8 "Badcat" Michael Yank Casey Leonard May 23, 2011 (2011-05-23) 108 1.274
Tux Dog gets over his head and tried to stop Badcat himself. The Problem Solverz promise the mayor to solve this problem. They enter Badcat's hideout, but Alfe and Roba refused because of their disguise. Horace insults the senses into them.
9 9 "Fauxboro" Michael Yank Casey Leonard May 30, 2011 (2011-05-30) 109 1.508
The town of Farboro is getting a little stranger every minute; Alfe's drums sound weird, the root beer tastes bad, and the people of Farboro declare no more problems. Worse, they were replaced by Bionic Zombies! If the gang doesn't stop them, they're toast! At the end they discover that everything is a gimmick of Tux Dog.
10 10 "Magic Clock" Michael Yank Casey Leonard June 6, 2011 (2011-06-06) 110 1.498
Alfe, Roba and Horace try to get back a stolen clock, followed by hardcore fan Katrina Rad turns on them, because she wants to use the clock to date Roba.
11 11 "Breakfast Wars" Michael Yank Casey Leonard June 13, 2011 (2011-06-13) 112 1.588
Alfe, Roba and Horace try to find more cereal for a sugar-crazed kid.
12 12 "Zoo Cops" Michael Yank Casey Leonard June 20, 2011 (2011-06-20) 111 1.290
The Problem Solverz try to help the zoo to capture Dork Face. But things goes bad when agent Lidget betrays the Problem Solverz, Dork Face sends them into a different world. Now Horace, Alfe and Roba have to get out in Flatland in time.
13 13 "Hamburger Cavez" Michael Yank Casey Leonard August 25, 2011 (2011-08-25) 114 1.125
Horace and Roba force Alfe to go on a camping trip. Alfe, in a "mad-for-hamburgers" phase, wanders off looking for some, and stumbles upon an old cave and accidentally releases and gets possessed by a man eating spirit named Wendigo.
Note: Stylized versions of Mordecai and Rigby are briefly shown.
14 14 "Puffy Puppiez" Dave Tennant Casey Leonard September 1, 2011 (2011-09-01) 115 1.055
When Roba vows to take care of Miss May's puppies (much to the dismay of Alfe and Horace), things get complicated as the puppies destroy the trio's furniture and sends Roba spiraling into a craze. Meanwhile, Badcat (voiced in this episode by John DiMaggio) returns to exterminate and put all dogs in a "dog jail". Later, Alfe enter in bike contest for save the dogs from Badcat's evil minions.
15 15 "Glam-Vampire Hunterz" Dave Tennant Casey Leonard September 8, 2011 (2011-09-08) 116 1.191
Alfe, Roba & Horace try to stop a group of metal rock vampires from taking over Farboro. Later, Ralphe (Alfe's cousin and mentor) stops by for a visit and claims to know the secret method of destroying the Glam Metal Vampirez. In the end they find that Ralphe might not be all that he had claimed to be.
16 16 "Problem Solverz Academy" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard September 15, 2011 (2011-09-15) 117 1.280
Tux Dog sends the trio back to school to get better at solving problems. Roba becomes the "cool guy" and Horace finds out how tough it is to be the super dork. Later, Tux Dog sends K-999 too for training in the Problem Solverz Academy.
17 17 "Mermaid Raid" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) 118 1.184
Alfe pretends to be afraid of water, which prevents the Problem Solverz from answering a mermaid's distress call.
18 18 "Tux Dog's Island" Michael Yank Leo Riley September 29, 2011 (2011-09-29) 113 1.072
The trio goes on a vacation to an island resort sent by Tux Dog. But Horace thinks the island is too perfect, and tries to find a problem to solve.

Season 2 (2013)

Eight episodes were produced for Season 2 and were released through Netflix on March 30, 2013. This marks the only season of the show to never be aired on television.

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Written by Storyboarded by Original release date
19 1 "Making of The Problem Solverz Video Game" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)
When Mr. Konishi (from "Videogamez") is kicked out by his wife, the Solverz decide to take him in.
20 2 "Alfe Is Da Boss" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)
Alfe gains authority over the house and becomes corrupt beyond repair shortly after.
21 3 "Roba Has Dreadlocks" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)
Roba becomes a hippie after he runs out of his precious hand sanitizer.
22 4 "Alfe Has a Baby" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)
The Problem Solverz must care after the daughter of Alfe's Uncle Chocofus.
23 5 "Zazz Boyz Are Zazzing It Up" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)
Alfe and Roba form their own band, much to the chagrin of Horace when he is thrown out of the band due to his terrible vocal skills.
24 6 "Yogurt Nights" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)
Alfe catches Roba and Horace attending a support group for Fur Monsters.
25 7 "Super Close TV Watching" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)
The trio decide to join a league when Horace demonstrates his professional soccer skills.
26 8 "Alfe's Gonna Run Away" Ryan Levin Casey Leonard March 30, 2013 (2013-03-30)
After being disciplined by Roba and Horace too many times, Alfe decides to leave the gang in search of more 'awesome' places.
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