The last Television broadcast of a new “Rick and Morty” episode was the season 2 finale “The Wedding Squanchers” back in October 2015, two months after Adult Swim had already renewed the show for a third season. It ended with (SPOILER!) alcoholic mad scientist Rick turning himself in to the Galactic Federation and getting locked up in an intergalactic prison planet, and the Smith family returning to a completely unrecognisable Federation-occupied Earth, set to “Hurt” by alt-rock band Nine Inch Nails.

Then, after the credits, Mr. Poopy Butthole appeared, watching the season 2 finale, and told the audience it would return in “a year and a half.” Now, exactly eighteen months later after months of anticipation and speculation and delays, the season 3 premiere episode of “Rick and Morty” appeared on the Adult Swim website out of the blue last night, and it’s been receiving stellar reviews from fans and critics alike.

The episode aired on a loop on Adult Swim all day

Ironically, “Rick and Morty” fans were so taken aback by the sudden premiere that (given its date) they thought it was an April Fool’s joke. Co-creator Dan Harmon of “Community” fame tweeted to fans that the season 3 premiere would air “on a loop,” which was then confirmed by the official @RickandMorty account, which sent out a tweet saying the first episode of the third season would be “airing NOW thru MIDNIGHT (ET/PT) and ONLINE” on 1 April.

Fans were on edge and agitated watching the new episode, fearing that even as they were watching it, it was too good to be true. They kept anticipating Rick stopping the episode halfway through to announce it as an April Fool’s prank, but lo and behold, he never did, and it was in fact the episode they’ve been waiting a year and a half for.

The season premiere was just a one-off, and the rest of “Rick and Morty” season 3 will air sometime in the summer (so the premiere date is still actually unconfirmed).

The fans’ scepticism is understandable, given how Adult Swim promised fans an official scene from the third season of “Rick and Morty” back in February and when fans eagerly clicked play, they were greeted with the Rickrolling meme.

So, as a nice reward, they got the genuine, bona fide season 3 premiere a few months ahead of its actual airdate. The episode is no longer available on the Adult Swim website, but some illegal streamers copied it onto theirs. If you haven't seen it, the brilliant and hilarious first two seasons are available to watch on Netflix.