(Surprisingly, this image is from facebook.com.)
Here is a cartoon that has gained so much popularity despite the fact that it only aired on Nickelodeon for two short seasons. Invader Zim was a cartoon created by Jhonen Vasquez (aka Chance Scolex) in 2001, and it was filled with dark humor that many of my friends and myself have deeply enjoyed.
(This image is from fanpop.com.)
The story is about an alien from outer space named Zim. His race is attempting to conquer the galaxy and he wants to prove to his rulers, "the Almighty Tallest" that he can conquer a planet. Zim was actually banished beforehand due to his destructive behavior the last time he was given a chance to conquer a world, but Zim quit being banished. In order to get rid of Zim once and for all, the Almighty Tallest trick Zim into going on a secret mission to conquer a planet in the furthest reaches of space. They hope Zim will just die wondering in space.
(This image is from http://papi3rh3rz.deviantart.com/art/DIB-125150229, but it doesn't exist anymore.)
Surprisingly, Zim ends up landing on Earth. From then on, the story just gets ridiculous if it hadn't already.
There is a good amount of funny characters that help make this cartoon really funny. Zim has a robot servant named Grr, but since he is busted up, he remains completely stupid. There is Dib, the class reject who is obsessed with revealing Zim as an alien. There is Gaz, Dib's sister who is always angry at everything and is probably the smartest character on the show. There are plenty of other characters who appear in the show. Most of them just show how dark and twisted or how dumb and ignorant the world is.
The final episode was a hilarious Christmas episode that hinted at more episodes, but they were never made. Perhaps Nickelodeon pulled the show for a lot of the dark humor. I have heard rumors that Jhonen Vasquez quit because Nickelodeon wanted to restrict what could be shown on the show. Jhonen Vasquez's humor can actually get much darker than Invader Zim. Jhonen Vasquez is also well known for his comic series Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. I have not read the series myself, but I have heard that it can get really dark, morbid, and filled with rude language, but it is still really funny. I think I will read it eventually.
It is a shame Invader Zim didn't continue. More cartoons on TV today would be a lot funny if they were more like this one. This cartoon had great punchlines and timing. The animation was also very good and helped a lot with the humor.