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The Ren & Stimpy Show

Posted on Feb 7, 2014 by in Blog | 0 comments

Ren & Stimpy Title Card

Ren & Stimpy Title Card

The Ren & Stimpy Show, a breath of fresh air for its production values took us back to the classic age of animation. Created by Canadian born animator John Kricfalusi, best known as John K made its debut on Nicktoons alongside the Rugrats and Doug on August 11, 1991. Against all odds the show enjoyed a five year run and a cult following, it became the forerunner for such shows as Beavis and Butt-head and South Park because of its controversial nature featuring weird humor, sex and violence. Due to this there were numerous fights with the Standards and Practices department ultimately leading to John K’s firing. After the firing Ren & Stimpy went downhill in this reviewers opinion although there were still some good episodes without John K. In 2003 the show saw a brief revival on the Spike channel. During this revival John K. was allowed to be more adult. The show was called Ren & Stimpy “Adult Party Cartoon”. John K’s background includes work at Filmation and Hanna Barbera Studios. He then went on to The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse for CBS under Ralph Bakshi and The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil for ABC where he met many of the people who worked with him later on Ren & Stimpy. John K created Ren & Stimpy sometime around 1978 just for fun while attending Sheridan College. The inspiration for Ren came from a 1946 postcard shoing a sweater wearing Chihuahua at a woman’s feet. Stimpy was inspired by a character in a Tweety Bird cartoon entitled A Gruesome Twosome. The cat’s in the cartoon had the same kind of big noses as Stimpy. From 1991 to 1993 the show was produced by Spümcø, a studio which he formed with Jim Smith, Bob Camp and Lynne Naylor. At Spümcø they went to work on Ren & Stimpy for Nickelodeon as the pitch for the show was well received by Vanessa Coffey, a Nickelodeon producer. Coffey gave Kricfalusi and staff total creative freedom which was ultimately taken away after a, now banned (due to excessive violence) episode “Man’s Best Friend”. Besides this John K. had trouble meeting deadlines and, being true to his creativity, did not take orders well from the television station. He was fired in September of 1992 and Nickelodeon’s new animation studio “Games Animation”, later known as Nickelodeon Animation Studios took over production.

Ren Höek in Man's Best Friend

Ren Höek in Man’s Best Friend

The show brought animation production values back to the days of classic animation drawing on the talents of respected animators such as Bob Clampett and Tex Avery. John K’s favorite episodes were produced by Spümcø alongside Carbunkle Cartoons, another Canadian studio headed by Bob Jaques and Kelly Armstrong. Carbunkle is known by animation professionals as having produced some of the best animation since the Golden Age. They also worked with Kricfalusi on Ren & Stimpy “Adult Party Cartoon” and “The Ripping Friends”.

Stimpy with Muddy Mudskipper

Stimpy with Muddy Mudskipper

The Cast of Characters

Ren Höek

Ren, the emaciated, crotchety, crazy, asthma-hound Chihuahua, is mean and totally greedy. It would seem his purpose in life is to make Stimpy’s life as miserable as his own. He is constantly criticizing him calling him, You Eeeediot and hurting him at every turn. He squeezes Stimpy’s neck in an attempt to Keeel him. He threatens to pull his arms out of its sockets or to gouge out his eyes. The sound of Ren’s laugh is pure evil. Like many great cartoons Ren is voiced by his creator in the originals. When John K. was fired Billy West took over but he didn’t do anywhere near as good a job as Kricfalusi.

Stimpson J. Cat (Stimpy)

Stimpy is fat, stupid and as kind as can be giving Ren nothing but unconditional love. Stimpy is so stupid that you can see his tiny brain in Svën Höek, it’s the size of a peanut. Some of Stimpy’s favorite things are Gritty Kitty Litter, for which he won a poem writing contest, and the Muddy Mudskipper show, which he made an appearance on as part of his winnings. Although he is an Eeeddiiiottt, he is a good cook and an inventor. He was voiced by Billy West and was an imitation of Larry Fine of the Three Stooges.

Muddy Mudskipper

Muddy has his own show which is Stimpy’s favorite cartoon show. True to life, he appears to be a really nice guy until you meet him. Then you see he is a typical snotty star. He’s mean, grouchy and greedy calling everyone he meets a lousy bum. His voice is provided by Harris Peet.

Powdered Toast Man

Powdered Toast Man

Powdered Toast Man

Powdered Toast Man is a superhero. He is also the spokesperson for the product powdered toast. He appeared in two episodes and a slew of commercials. He is voiced by the incomparable Gary Owens of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In fame.

Mr. Horse

It would seem that this characters main purpose was to say the catch phrase “No sir, I don’t like it”. He appeared in numerous episodes and always played a different role. He was a crazed man hiding from the FBI, a spokesperson for the United Nations, a judge at a dog show and a tester for Gritty Kitty Litter. His voice is provided by John K until the firing at which time he was taken over by Billy West.

Haggis McHaggis

Haggis McHaggis had a popular cartoon show but Ren & Stimpy took over that role. He was only in the Games Animation episodes and he became one of the most frequent incidental characters. He is voiced by Alan Young.

Wilbur Cobb

Wilbur is Stimpy’s favorite cartoonist. He made his first appearance in the 1994 episode Stimpy’s Cartoon Show and made a lot of recurring appearances from that point on becoming quite popular in the later episodes. His voice was provided by Jack Carter.

George Liquor

George Liquor

George Liquor

George Liquor is the evil master of Ren & Stimpy and the main character in two episodes, the 1992 episode entitled Dog Show and the infamous banned episode Man’s Best Friend. George also made a cameo appearance in The Boy Who Cried Rat. George went on to star in his own series, the Flash cartoon show The Goddamn George Liquor Program. He was voiced by Michael Pataki. Like I said upfront the Ren & Stimpy show was a breath of fresh air. It brought back great, even incredible animation production values. John K is a true artist and his fights with Nickelodeon prove that. Nick didn’t like the amount of time it took for each episode. What they failed to understand is that greatness takes time. The humor was also amazing. Borrowing from greats such as Ralph Bakshi, Tex Avery and Bob Clampett the humor was at times surreal and at times gross. The satire was clever and always riotous featuring some of the best writers, animation and character designers in animation history.

Log

Log from Blammo

Ren & Stimpy have come to be known amongst the best duos in the history of cartoons. They rate with such staples as Tom & Jerry, Bugs & Daffy, Yogi & Boo Boo, and let’s not forget another Nickelodeon great SpongeBob & Patrick. They also hosted a slew of great incidental characters such as Powdered Toast Man and Mr. Horse. They featured great original music too with a variety of styles including rockabilly, folk, pop, jazz, classical and jingles. Not to mention a slew of great voice actors like Frank Zappa, Randy Quaid, Gilbert Gottfried, Rosie O’Donnell, Dom DeLuise, Phil Hartman, Mark Hamil, Alan Young, Frank Gorshin, Tommy Davidson, Gary Owens and, of course, John K and Billy West themselves. The shows are so entertaining that they can be watched over and over again without losing their greatness. They appeal is to all ages. Mom and Dad can enjoy the show on their level while the children can enjoy it on another level. All you need to enjoy this show is a sense of humor. The traditional classic cartoon had the feel of all the great shorts, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, Mickey Mouse and Popeye. Yet they had a twist, they were totally original. These characters had human qualities. They went to the bathroom and got sick. The show was also very influential giving way to such original cartoons as SpongeBob SquarePants, even influencing Disney for the characters Timon and Pumba. The originality didn’t stop there though, John K explored the idea of having his own original commercials advertising fake products such as Log, Sugar Sod Pops, Powdered Toast, Dog Water, Sugar Frosted Milk and Cheese Fist. These self-contained commercials proved to be some of the funniest segments of the show.


 

Filmography with Links where Possible
Big House Blues
Stimpy’s Big Day
The Big Shot!”
Robin Höek
Nurse Stimpy
Space Madness
The Boy Who Cried Rat!
“The Littlest Giant”
“Fire Dogs”
Marooned
“Untamed World”
Black Hole
Stimpy’s Invention
In the Army
Powdered Toast Man
Ren’s Toothache
Out West
Rubber Nipple Salesmen
Svën Höek
Haunted House
“Mad Dog Höek”
Big Baby Scam
“Dog Show” Part 1Part 2
“Son of Stimpy”
“Monkey See, Monkey Don’t” Part 1Part 2
“Fake Dad”
“The Great Outdoors”
“The Cat That Laid the Golden Hairball”
“Stimpy’s Fan Club”
“A Visit to Anthony”
“The Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen”
“Man’s Best Friend”
“To Salve and Salve Not”
“A Yard Too Far”
“Circus Midgets”
“No Pants Today”
“Ren’s Pecs”
“An Abe Divided”
“Stimpy’s Cartoon Show”
“Jimminy Lummox”
“Bass Masters”
“Road Apples”
“Ren’s Retirement”
“Jerry the Bellybutton Elf”
“Hard Times for Haggis”
“Eat My Cookies”
“Ren’s Bitter Half”
“Lair of the Lummox”
“Hermit Ren”
“House of Next Tuesday”
“A Friend in Your Face!”
“Blazing Entrails”
“Lumber Jerks”
“Prehistoric Stimpy”
“Farm Hands”
“Magical Golden Singing Cheeses”
“A Hard Day’s Luck”
“I Love Chicken”
“Powdered Toast Man vs. Waffle Woman”
“It’s a Dog’s Life”
“Egg Yölkeo”
“Double Header”
“The Scotsman in Space”
“Pixie King”
“Aloha Höek”
“Insomniac Ren”
“My Shiny Friend”
“Cheese Rush Days”
“Wiener Barons”
“Galoot Wranglers”
“Ren Needs Help!”
“Ol’ Blue Nose”
“Stupid Sidekick Union”
“Superstitious Stimpy”
“Travelogue”
“Space Dogged”
“Feud for Sale”
“Hair of the Cat”
“City Hicks”
“Stimpy’s Pet”
“Ren’s Brain”
“Bellhops”
“Dog Tags”
“I Was a Teenage Stimpy”
“Who’s Stupid Now?”
“School Mates”
“Dinner Party”
“Big Flakes”
“Pen Pals”
“Terminal Stimpy”
“Reverend Jack”
“A Scooter for Yaksmas”
“Sammy and Me”
“The Last Temptation”
The Ren & Stimpy “Adult Party Cartoon”
“Man’s Best Friend/Big House Blues”
“Onward and Upward”
“Ren Seeks Help”
“Fire Dogs 2″
“Naked Beach Frenzy”
“Altruists”
“Stimpy’s Pregnant”
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