Ren and Stimpy
The Ren and Stimpy Show, otherwise commonly known as simply Ren and Stimpy or Ren & Stimpy, was an animated cartoon show created by John Kricfalusi which ran on Nickelodeon from August 11, 1991 until sometime in 1996. It was revived in some measure by TNN in 2003.
Ren Hoek was supposed to be a Chihuahua dog whose accent was vaguely somewhere between Spanish and German. Everything about his design was rather vague and exaggerated. No two poses suggested the same physical dimensions. His character was subject to bipolar extremes of boredom, plotting and calculating, or outright outbursts of rage or euphoric excitement. Some of his gestures are reminiscent of the styles of much earlier Tex Avery or DePatie-Freleng shorts.
Stimpson J. Cat was the stupid one--or as Ren often put it, the "eeediot!" His childlike demeanor and low intelligence enabled him to put up with Ren's antics and made him smile at just about everything. Whenever he did get excited about some idea, he was bound to drag Ren into it kicking and screaming.
The Ren and Stimpy Show was an early-90's reaction to mass-produced shows of the previous two decades which tended to be either spin-offs of earlier ideas (70's) or marketing gimmicks for toy lines (80's). In its departure from "innocence"--that is, the absence of physical violence and suggestive humor--it went quite a bit toward the other extreme. Early episodes featured some social satire, but after Nickelodeon took over production, the emphasis shifted primarily toward sight-gags involving mutilation, naughty references to bodily functions, and nudity. Precedent for some of this could possibly be traced back to Hanna-Barbera, Fred Quimby, and Tex Avery shorts from the 1940's but, then as now, the edgy humor was directed toward older audiences. The overall feel of the show was like a sitcom, with some occasional moments which seemed oddly inert. This particular feature could also be seen in such contemporary shows as The Simpsons and Taz-Mania.
Marvel Comics licensed Ren and Stimpy for a comic book, the first issue of which was released in December 1992. It was written by John Slott and drawn by Mike Kazaleh (better known for The Adventures of Captain Jack) and ran until July 1996.
Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon, a spin-off of the show, aired in 2003, which contained significantly more vulgar and inappropriate content than the original series. However, it was short-lived, after airing for only 6 episodes, it was cancelled.
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