ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE (1993-1996)
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Mark Riddles (ranked it)
I feel kind of blessed to have had a show like Rocko's Modern Life when I was younger. Sure I would of been happy with Looney Toons, and Spongebob seems like a decent enough successor, but Rocko to me was the perfect cartoon. It had the right amount of slapstick, satire, and sight gags. The cartoon is amazingly well written for a time where something like Cow and Chicken would be good enough for kids. Not that I have something against Cow and Chicken, but it never tried to step out of the boundaries of just being a silly cartoon show for kids. The cartoons on Nickelodeon all had this kind of extra insight. Even Rugrats had some real moments that showed the human condition. Remember how you tuned out whenever the adults talked on that show? Well, they were actually having adult conversations believe it or not.
Then, the recycling episode came. Nickelodeon had this Earth Day thing and one of the things it touted was a ROCKO EPISODE THAT DEALS WITH RECYCLING. I expected for it to turn the whole notion of it's head and actual somehow suggest that recycling was bad. Instead we got a crappy musical based episode on how great it is. It was soul-crushing to me to see something so cool be so lame. The show began to fade right after than and it was soon cancelled. I'm going to talk more about that fateful summer in a later entry. Regardless, I can't hold a show against one episode. It seems the creator Joel Murray, after getting away with so much on his cartoon finally felt indebted to Nickelodeon to do something on the up and up. I don't even hate recycling. I'm not fucking Penn Gillette.
Jixby Phillips (ranked it 40):
Itís a fucking shame this isnít on DVD. The first couple seasons are so good. By the end of the series it lost itís edge. I remember being a kid and being shocked by occasionally seeing BLOOD. BLOOD, on a Nicktoon! Like remember when the guy was lifting weights, and his arms tear off, and they are full of RED JUICY MEAT. I canít wrap my head around how they got away with that.
I forget how much this show influenced my own cartoon style when I was a kid. I loved how everything looked in this show. The way houses and rooms and stuff looked was just gorgeous to me. ďGorgeous!Ē (Luke Maxwell, age 10, watching Rockoís Modern Life). I never realized this, but the early comics I drew (ĎReckless Randy and Friends) were basically Rockoís Modern Life rip-offs with a little Beavis and Butt-head thrown in. They were all about guys in their early 20s living in a house together and stuff going wrong because of the trappings of modern living. Thatís basically what Rocko is.
London Arbuckle (ranked it 16)
Man, I'm shocked at how well this show holds up! I'm also shocked that it's basically just wall-to-wall sex jokes! Ren & Stimpy's the one that had the REP for rude humor but the Rocko dudes really cornered the market on putting naughty jokes on a kid's network! I'm also shocked at how high I wound up ranking this! You think something that's just a bunch a bunch of innuendo in a children's cartoon would stink, but this doesn't. I really like how this show, especially in the first season, just blatantly comes off like it was made by a bunch of young dudes who probably never got along with their parents and are just working off their frustrations at life in making this show. Okay, maybe that's a lot of shows. I guess maybe it just feels like that because it's a children's cartoon that's not about kids. I don't know, let's stop talking about this.
COMMENTS FROM THE PEANUT GALLERY
SAFE FOR WORK DRAWING:
DUMB BOOTLEG T-SHIRTS FOR TRENDY COLLEGE STUDENT
IMDB TRIVIA (found by Mr. Adventure!)
Rocko's Modern Life was given a different title in production: "Small Wallaby Hawaiian Shirt." This naming format was abandoned when Carlos Alazraqui alpha-rolled Tom Kenny in a late evening brainstorming session. Tom Kenny eventually had later successes with the very same naming format, causing an irrepairable rift between the two.
WHERE TO WATCH ROCKO'S MODERN LIFE
If you subscribe to the third teir of cable, you might get the Nicktoons Channel, which I think shows it on occasion. It's not on DVD, but you can get Season one on DVD-R from amazon. It's probably a rip-off, though.