Saturday, July 14, 2012

Old School Lane's Nickelodeon Tribute: Ren and Stimpy

When discussing about classic Nickelodeon cartoons, everyone has their own opinion on which were the best and which were the worst. But the one that immediately comes to mind as one of their absolute favorites is actually one of the first original cartoons, Ren and Stimpy.

The cartoon about a crazy, bad tempered, scrawny chihuahua named Ren and a lovable, stupid, disgusting cat named Stimpy living together and getting themselves into insane scenarios. Some of these scenarios could be from joining the army, getting jobs as firedogs, reading bedtime stories that remind me of a crazed up version of Fractured Fairy Tales, or inventing a happy helmet. You never know what kind of crazy situations they would get themselves into. It was always fun to see that in every episode.

The main reason why kids loved it so much was because of all the gross humor that it had. If Double Dare started the gross, slimy reputation of Nickelodeon shows, Ren and Stimpy multiplied it by a million. In one episode, Stimpy is looking for his fart that he raised as his own son.

There are also moments in which you would see Stimpy's cat litter covered with stink lines to emphasize how smelly it was. There were also moments in the show in which you would get a close-up look into the characters and you would see hair, zits, sweat, bulging eyes, and discolored cheeks. It was always disturbing to look at at times.

Not to mention, the adult humor that would ride off of kids' heads the first time they would see it. Looking at this show again years later, I can't believe some of the jokes they would get away with. You can never do this for kids' shows today. Oh, the times that we used to live in.

The voices of Ren and Stimpy were John Krifauski, the creator of Ren and Stimpy, and Billy West. This was one of Billy's first voice acting roles before he would be known for other animated shows like Futurama. The voice of Stimpy was inspired by Larry Fine from The Three Stooges.

Not to mention all the merchandise that came out of the show. You have the fake ones like Log, Powdered Toast, and Sugary Frosted Milk. West would also voice the announcer voice for the fake merchandise.

Then you have the real ones like the video games and the dolls. I remember wanting a Stimpy doll when I first went to Nickelodeon Studios as a kid. I begged my mom to get it, but she said next time. That next time never happened. Nowadays, those Stimpy and Ren dolls are worth a lot on eBay, but I know that I will get one someday. If I can get the original He-Man action figure still in its box, then I can get a Ren and Stimpy doll.

The show was very unique and groundbreaking for its time of putting out gross, adult humor for kids. It was one of the most popular cartoons in the 90's. Other cartoons would copy off from Ren and Stimpy such as Rocko's Modern Life, Aaahh! Real Monsters, Beavis and Butthead, South Park, and so much more. Ren and Stimpy set the bar for kids' shows for adults. 20 years later, Ren and Stimpy is still odd, gross, and funny to look at. This show has actually gotten better with age with today's kids looking at it and still having just as much fun to watch as kids watching it when it first came out in 1991. I highly recommend watching this show if you haven't seen it. This is truly one of the shows that started the Nickelodeon era.

That's all for now. Hope to see you at Old School Lane.


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