Happy 20th Anniversary, Ren & Stimpy!

Ren and Stimpy

On this day, twenty years ago–August 11, 1991–Nickelodeon debuted The Ren and Stimpy Show, and animation hasn’t been the same ever since. The show, created by John Kricfalusi and produced by Spumco, reinvented the idea of television animation. Its incalculable influence on the animation art form and industry remains present and highly visible to this day. Share your memories of the show and how it influenced you.


  • http://brokenghost.blogspot.com Robert Iza

    Ren & Stimpy has always been a great influence and inspiration for me as an animator and artist. A distinct cartoon that will always be a joy to watch! Thanks John!

    • http://www.totald.blogspot.com Darlie Brewster

      When Chris Sauve brought back the first episode he had done with John I laughed my head off ! I turned to him and said “It will never make it to TV” Dogs coughing up fur balls , licking toilets ? Who knew Fox was going to unleash it uncut and without that god awful Standards and Practice nonsense destroying everything creative. Now with the internet we are free from censorship in regular programming but back then everything was raped by NBC ABC CBS censorship. It was a milestone. We still watch them from time to time . More to come from John K we hope.

  • Abu

    This was one of those shows that EVERYONE was talking about at that time. If you were flipping channels and caught it, you said ‘what is this!?’ It felt retro, looked fresh and had intense gross out close ups that kids AND adults loved.

    At first there were only a handful of episodes but what episodes! It looked like nothing else on TV at the time, it was funny and, for a time, changed the way cartoons were made.

    Happy anniversary!

    P.S. Thanks to John K. Please make more cartoons!

  • Keegan

    The cartoon that revolutionized the industry… many people take this show for granted.

    Thank you John for this show! Happy Birthday Ren & Stimpy!

  • Celia

    I watched “Space Madness” with my father one night in ’91 (it also aired on MTV), and he declared it as awful. I on the other hand, was hooked, and tuned in every week in secret, on a small TV in my basement. Watching “Ren and Stimpy” never felt right, and I still love the show for that reason.

  • http://www.degrandland.com David DeGrand

    This is the show that made me want to be a cartoonist, and one of those things that came at exactly the right time to make the right impression on pop culture. Still seems as fresh and funny today as it did 20 years ago, and still as influential.

  • pizzaforeveryone

    to my younger self, ren and stimpy was a scary show to watch. bizarre, unfettered, and incorrigible. and there were always these strange jokes–jokes I knew I was too young to understand. the cartoon made me feel weird and grossed out my parents.

    in short, wonderful.

  • http://arschblog.blogspot.com Steffi-Alien

    My all time favourite show!!!<3

    Ren & Stimpy are special to me not only because this is a fantastic and very inspiring Cartoon, also it totally changed my life since I saw it!

    I started to learn English, went to Canada to meet the Creator and his great family and co workers of the new R&S episodes, met lots of new friends, learned a lot about cartoons and even got the chance to work for 2 years in Animation!=)

    I saw R&S the first time when we made holidays in Netherlands in 1994/95(?).

    The first day we arrived we checked for fun what type of shows they watch in TV. We stopped at a kid's channel(I think it called "Kindernet") and at that moment we were in the middle of the "Powdered Toast Man" episode. It was so funny that everyone(even my Mom's crumby and cartoon hating BF was laughing!)!
    The crazy thing was, the moment R&S appeared, a weird but great feeling went through me! It was like I found something really amazing!
    I didn't know the name of the show(because we only saw a part of it), but since that day I couldn't forget it and kept searching till I found it again!
    In Germany they showed that show much later(1996), but since then I am a huge fan of that show!!!:)

    Happy 20th anniversary!!! And a huge hug and thank you to everyone that worked on this fantastic Cartoon!!!!!!:D

  • JP

    Wouldn’t this mean that all the original Nicktoons (including Doug and Rugrats) also turn 20 today? I seem to remember them all premiering in order (Doug first, then Rugrats, and finally R&S) on a Sunday morning back in ’91.

  • http://www.bunnykidextreme.blogspot.com Ben McDermott

    Ren and Stimpy and other works of SPUMCO have influenced me to be what i am for my cartoon ideas

  • http://www.freakishkid.com Freakish Kid

    I remember when i first saw Ren and Stimpy, I was sick and tired of the dire, awful syndicated shows that dominated the airwaves. The second I saw the first episode it just felt different. And today it still has the same feeling. Great art, great characters and funny stories (who’d have thought it was that simple execs!)

    It was an inspiration to me and still is. So many great cartoons around that time (Rocko’s Modern Life was another). 20 years in the blink of a, puffy, crust covered eye!

    Happy Birfday R&S Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!

  • Sarah

    I must have been 16 or 17, visiting friends house and sitting on the floor with a can of Coca-Cola, the couple of us watching an episode… It was I belive the one with the search for the missing fart or the escaped fart…

    By the time the episode was over I was rolling on the floor with laughter. I have not seen any other episode since than, YES, just that one, but the memory of that show and those unusual characters stayed with me forever.
    Funny – yes, very funny. Original and brave I must say, but having said that I never really cared for R&S show in any special way since than. Ever. Later when I entered the biz or even while in school the influence has been overwhelming. Imitation galore style wise of course. This kind of spooked me… having so many drones copy and emulate the style with no real substance and so much fan boy mentality made me question everything and subconciously park that show in the ‘stay away from that’ corner of the mind. In any case that one episode was GREAT, and I am sure there are plenty alike. One day I will try to rewatch some episodes on DVD to perhaps revisit
    what I was perhaps missing. You might say: Dude, what have you been watching than?? Not much TV animation really, because after growing up watching this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCOwl8FvJtg

    It is very hard watching anything else, especially not the puke thats on these days. OK, Pocoyo is sweet and few other things too… Anyway R&S – truly great american show!
    I love though what JK has to say about the industry, his insight is always spot on.

  • http://ryanrosendal.blogspot.com Ryan

    “Ren and Stimpy’s” influence really can’t be overstated. The show brought back the concept of the creator-driven cartoon, something that was sorely lacking in animation back in the 1970s and 80s. All the great artist-run cartoons today (and there are more now than there have been in years) owe it John K. and his amazing crew.

  • http://drgrantz.deviantart.com/ revned

    You know how lucky I was? I was first exposed to R&S in 1990, when I saw “Big House Blues” unedited on a movie screen as part of a traveling animation festival (the name of which escapes me). I was already familiar with John K. and saw his name listed in the program, but had no idea of what to expect. I was so blown away by that one cartoon that I watched the rest of the festival, left the theater, went back to the box office, got a ticket for the next screening, and sat through the entire program again, just to watch “Big House Blues” a second time.

    A few months later I’d read that R&S was going to be a series on Nickelodeon, a network that I (a) thought I’d outgrown, and (b) thought was a rather odd network for such a manic cartoon. Shortly afterwards, it became such a crossover smash it was broadcast on both Nick and MTV. The rest, for better or worse, is history.

    But nothing can take that first experience away from me. It was just so damn ‘new’ then.

    • http://www.monsterrig.blogspot.com/ joe micallef

      Me too: that was my exposure as well- when that show came to Detroit Institute of Arts. That was a great time for animation – seeing how the underground began shifting into mainstream.

      • http://cartoonsof1943.blogspot.com Ted

        I was at the DFT showing; first time I’d been there, first time I saw RnS (I haven’t actually been able to remember if it was at the DFT, the Magic Bag or the Main Art for years)…

    • http://otherthings.com Cassidy

      Same here. I don’t remember whether it was the Tournée of Animation or maybe Spike and Mike’s, but I first saw “Big House Blues” at one of those two festivals. I was shocked and delighted when it became a series on TV.

      Props to John K. and everyone else involved!

  • uncle wayne

    I thought it was (and still izz) QUITE stunning. Its (very) special stylizations was just the perfect over-the-top it (and we) all needed. Its overt ode to (early) Hanna-Barbera always fascinated me, and, indeed, created a style for future animations therein!! Life-altering, to say the least!!!

  • http://HeroicalMasterings.com Peter

    Single most influential TV program of all time.

    • Paul N

      Rod Serling may disagree with you…

      • cst

        As would Matt Groening.

      • http://HeroicalMasterings.com Peter

        …and how would a dead man do THAT?

  • http://youtube.com/user/drexelboi1991 tedzey

    Lol, it’s older than I am by a month and 16 days! My fondest memory has to have been watching it with “Rugrats,” “Clarissa knows best,” and “Are you afraid of the dark?” on VHS from blockbuster. This was before I had cable, which by the time I got it the show was off the air!

    • Kyle Maloney

      “Clarissa knows best”? Its Clarissa Explains it all.

      There was a crappy short lived show called Noah knows best, but that came a decade later.

      • http://youtube.com/user/drexelboi1991 tedzey

        Thank god the internet proves me wrong with it’s superior peer review! I honestly only remembered the “Clarissa” portion and figured anything afterward is fair game… apparently it isn’t.

        Want a cookie now?

      • Kyle Maloney

        Sure, I’ll take a cookie. As long as it doesn’t have tofu in it.

        Next time I’ll let you call it whatever want if I’m being such a bother. Sheesh.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001249396142 Steve “Pokey” J.Anti-Blockhead

        I see Kyle Mahoney already beat me to my first comment in my reply with the Clarissa title, which I’d already corrected..:)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001249396142 Steve “Pokey” J.Anti-Blockhead

      Just a correciton on the Clarissa show [and I've always loved that one,too]–”Clarissa EXPLAINS it ALL”.The clones of Ren & Stimpy were pretty odd in terms of musical soundtrack…consider–R&S used the Associated Production Music libaries and when THEY used Raymoind Scott’s music used in 1943-1960 WB cartoons, it was RECORDINGS…but the clones ironically tried to go “Animaniacs”—”Cow & Chicken” & “‘The Lion King’s’ Timon and Pumbaa” used the “EPISODE to EPISODE” approach..like a LOL big budget version! Yet the relativity smaller bdugets used for Ren and Stimpy brought them closers to what the format was like in the late 50s-early 60s..

  • http://www.paulbadilla.blogspot.com Paul Badilla

    I remember I became a fan of Ren & Stimpy without ever having seen a single episode.

    A friend of mine in college came up with a drawing made by his older brother about two characters I had never seen before. Initially for me it was a very strange rabbit and a funny cat. Instantly smitten by the design remains, a style never before seen, was something new and fresh I needed to know more.

    My friends said it was a new show on cable TV, but my family then could not afford that system, so I settled while to listen to what my other friends were talking about the show and the drawings of my friend’s older brother. During that time try to collect everything he could from Ren & Stimpy, covers of video games, toys, etc.. but had not yet seen a single episode. I remember as I imagined would be the voices and everything. It was fun.

    Years passed and I hope that someday they return to television, until one day a neighborhood friend tells me “Paul, Ren & Stimpy it’s going to be shown on MTV!”. I could not believe, my prayers had been heard, finally I was going to see an entire chapter of the cartoon which I had fallen in love, and when I saw on television was one of the best days of my life.

    Thanks John Kricfalusi and all the staff for giving us this wonderful show.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

    The show deserves its reputation – but it’s important to remember only a few early episodes were good.

    After Nick booted John K and took over R&S, it was no longer the same show, no longer entertaining, and frequently unbelievably awful.

    • Ryan Storm

      Not all the Games Animations episodes were bad, Space Dogs and Insomniac Ren were pretty good.
      Fun Fact: Stimpy’s Cartoon Show, one of the better Games episodes was actually written at Spumco studios as a epic. As well as A Yard too Far, Circus Midgets, The Big Switch, Bass Master, No Pants Today, and T Salve or Salve Not.

      • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

        [Comment removed by editors. This is a celebration of the show’s 20th anniversary, not a discussion of whether Spumco or Games episodes were better.

      • Lyman

        To the editor who removed the above comment – why can’t it be both? ‘Ren & Stimpy’ not only has a reputation for its tremendous cultural influence but also for its fascinating and troubled production history. Unless the post above was just abusive, surely the 20th anniversary would be a perfect opportunity to reignite some old debate on the subject? Lots of people including myself saw value in – and took influence from – the work of both studios.

    • http://www.daryl-rhystaylor.co.uk DarylT

      Actually I can see no difference between the Spumco episodes and the Games episodes. Still weird as hell.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    One of my most cherished keepsakes from August 11th, 1991 – this promotional button that was given away at conventions to promote the forthcoming Ren & Stimpy show. (I also have the Rugrats and Doug button too).

    Ren

    • http://exclusive-cheese.deviantart.com/ Taco Wiz

      Ooh! Could we see those?

      • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

        I’ve posted the other two buttons on our Cartoon Brew Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/14828751350/?id=10150336322016351&ref=notif&notif_t=like

      • http://cartoonsof1943.blogspot.com Ted

        Note that people not on Facebook can not see this content.

      • http://www.cartoonresearch.com jerry

        Then I advise them to “Like” us on Facebook.

      • http://cartoonsof1943.blogspot.com Ted

        As many of us refuse to submit to the Facebook beast, that is problematic…

  • Purin

    I don’t know if I would have watched this show, kept up with it, taped it, and stayed up to see new episodes on SNICK if my dad hadn’t been so into it, but I watched it, had some toys… I can’t remember how much I liked the show in general, but I remember really liking the space cadet episodes and Untamed World in particular.

    Those are still my favorite episodes.

  • Was My Face Red

    To see such a singular and downright strange vision was simply staggering at the time. For me Ren and Stimpy always felt like something you’d caught in the middle of the night, when you were half asleep and possibly dreaming, rather than a Saturday morning show. The unearthy timing, the disconnected music and the insane leaps of logic all made it something special – the maverick show that kicked down the door for other, perhaps less singular, visions to find an audience too. It was sad that later (with Adult Cartoon Party) it was the grossness that John K decided to focus on, rather than the more surreal side of his vision which I think was it’s real triumpth. But today let’s just remember the good stuff – HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!

  • http://otakunopodcast.com Michelle “Ms. Geek” Klein-Hass

    An epoch-making event. Say what you will about anything that happened after the first season and a half, those episodes were absolutely magic. Lightning in a bottle. My salutations to John Kricfalusi, Jim Smith, Lynn Naylor, and even to Bob Camp. A whole world of North American animation sprung from that wellspring…well, that and the Bakshi version of Mighty Mouse. Heck, it was inspiring to animators globally. And to us fanboys and fangirls too.

  • 90′s WDFA Vet

    John K. hated (and still hates) everything we were doing over at Disney at the time, but he might be surprised how many of us loved R+S from the very beginning. For my money, “Stimpy’s Invention” is still one of the funniest and most quotable cartoons ever made.

  • 2011 Adult

    On this day, Nickelodeon also premiered Doug and Rugrats. But WHO CARES about those two? :D

    And what’s Nickelodeon doing to celebrate the 20th birthday of their original, fresh, wacky set of series’?!!

    NOTHING.

  • Sarah (with an h)

    I used to watch R&S with my dad all the time. It was very weird to me as a kid because it was the first time I saw an adult watching a kids show and really enjoying it. I think it really make a small impact on me that adults can laugh at cartoons and its not just something for kids to appreciate.

    Also the “Ren’s Toothache” episode made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. Oh God *shudder*

    • http://www.frankpanucci.com Frank Panucci

      Nerve endings.

    • tommy

      Not only has Ren & Stimpy had a huge influence on animation, it has had a huge influence on how often I brush and floss.

      • David Mackenzie

        ^ Glad it’s not just me. I still have all my nerve endings.

  • Ryan Storm

    This show is my inspiration,
    I never watched the show, because I wasn’t lucky enough to be a 90′s kid, but once i found a few clips from the internet I was hooked! I went out and bought the 1st and 2nd seasons on DVD, considering they feature the best episodes, and at age 14 I laughed my arse off all the way through.
    Robin Hoek stands out as one of my favorite cartoons of all time and Stimpy’s 1st Fart is so beautifully done and well written it stands out as my absolute favorite cartoon of all time
    I consider Kricfalusi himself a great of animation, even if all he does now is rant and show us off model toys. He not only inspired me to pursue cartooning as a profession, but also got me to re-search and appreciate old cartoons on a new level.
    I’m working on my own little web series now, using everything Mr. K has taught me via his blog. Obviously Ren and Stimpy and Mr. Kricfalusi’s cartoons aren’t everyone’s taste, but you have to appreciate what it and he did for animation.

    -Ryan Storm

  • http://chuckfialacomicart.blogspot.com/ Chuck Fiala

    I couldn’t get enough of the show when it first came on. It was the only TV cartoon that I had ever seen that actually seemed as funny as the best classic theatrical cartoons.

  • tommy

    Ren & Stimpy, other John K stuff, and his blog have pretty much been the most important things to me of all things ever.

  • http://carolwyatt.blogspot.com cwyatt

    Loved it then and still love it!
    It really is true that it set the standard for what we could get away with. All of the notebooks full of vomit, boogers, and various bodily fluids over the last 20 years. Fun!

  • jordan reichek

    Congrats to all my fellow ‘old-coque-suqerz’ who worked on it!

    Race ya to the porridge line in the ol’ folks home!

  • http://www.voodoochild9.blogspot.com Amanda H.

    Being a child of the nineties, I was a big fan of “Ren and Stimpy” back in the day. That and all those grunge music videos must have warped my brain but I’m grateful for that.
    I used quote both Ren’s crazy monologue from “Space Madness” and “Stimpy’s Fan Club” word for word. I mean, I still CAN, I just don’t get much opportunity to. :P
    I think it was here that I found the link to John K.’s blog and even though I don’t get a lot of help, (especially lately :/) I did learn a lot of cartooning help bit by bit and I did learn how to evolve my style, whatever it is, haha

  • Brian Kidd

    I will never forget the days of gathering in my college dorm’s common room to watch REN & STIMPY every week. The room was always filled to capacity, often with folks having to sit on the floor. That show made me laugh like no other cartoon had save, perhaps, for classic Looney Tunes. Wonderful times.

  • YOUR NEIGHBOUR

    at least a guy who new how to entertain a mainly male audience…(nb: hey JK, to hate disney is worth the fight but you didn’t do anything convincing since the R and S show so what’s up next mate?…)

  • http://ryan-macneil.blogspot.com/ R.A. MacNeil

    I wouldn’t be an animator if I hadn’t seen this show.

  • Toonio

    Ren & Stimpy = funny and entertaining, the WAY cartoons should be.

    Thanks for restoring my faith in cartoons John K. all the best to you and your loved ones.

  • Tony C

    Ren and Stimpy is a perfect storm. There’s a lot of praise for John K. here and it’s warranted. Though it owes a great deal of itself to the others who had influence.

    It’s evident when you watch the Adult Party Cartoon. It seems to me that loathed as it is by John… it’s the censorship that made Ren and Stimpy great. Pushing the censorship made people creative I feel.

  • http://ryuuseipro.blogspot.com/ John Paul Cassidy

    I was exactly a month away from turning 16 when the series premiered. I was due to start high school the next month.

    My older brother Peter, who was in college at the time, was the first to watch it, and he was telling me I *really* had to watch this show, as he thought it was funny, and his college friends were totally into it! And indeed, I finally watched it and was powerfully impressed with what I saw.

    Even at the time, I was a big nostalgia fan, as I had been immersed into pop culture fandom in the past 5 years. I sorely missed watching POPEYE, WOODY WOODPECKER, etc., as they were just disappearing from syndicated TV, in favor of “hip” newer programming (some were okay, most really blew).

    And when I watched REN & STIMPY, I was reminded of those great times, and then some! The series was very, very retro in feel, as it felt like it jumped right out of the 50s/60s, with the same type of stylized animation, consistent colors, dynamic designs, and even great use of vintage KPM/APM library music to top it all off! And the gross-out jokes were actually funny, too, not to mention the crazy, barking-dog psychotic drama, especially by Ren!

    I also love the twisted parodies of 50s/60s TV commercials (some for kids, some for grown-ups), which recreated the TV viewing experience of cartoons at the time. From “Log” to “Powdered Toast” to “Sugar Sod Pops” to “Dog Water.”

    It’s easy to give John Kricfalusi all the credit (he assembled a fine staff of designers and animators including Bob Camp, Bill Wray, Chris Reccardi, his future wife Lynne Naylor, etc. etc., many of whom made their start with this series), but he truly “got” cartoons! And put together something that only independent animators at CalArts, Spike & Mike’s Animation Festival, and MTV’s STEVIE & ZOYA and LIQUID TV could muster up. This was totally unlike most cartoons from the 80s (most of which, ironically, were co-produced in Japan, which was one of the countries domestically creating cutting-edge animation, even for children).

    Even back then, I was very angry and tormented to hear that John K. got fired from his own show, taking his Spumco staff with him, but I did like many of the episodes done by Games Animation. Some were weak, but others were still very Spumco-ish in quality. But either way, they were still heads and shoulders above the average Nicktoon at the time.

    I dare say, REN & STIMPY is perhaps the most revolutionary cartoon on TV, children’s or otherwise! Although it might be dated by today’s standards, it was damn cutting edge when it first premiered! The only cartoon that captured the quality of this series for me was late, lamented THE MIGHTY B! (2008), done by many Spumco veterans including Erik Wiese, Bill Wray, Chris Reccardi, Katie Rice and others.

    Here’s to 20 years of Happy Happy Joy Joy. :)

    • Dave

      The great thing about Ren and Stimpy is that the original set of episodes will never become dated. Long Live Ren and Stimpy. Thank you for becoming the set of animation heroes that my generation needed.

  • http://exclusive-cheese.deviantart.com/ Taco Wiz

    This is my personal favorite cartoon. I’ve yet to see anything else that matches its quality.

    Happy birthday!

  • Rooniman

    I still remember when I first saw this show, I was addicted since. Even 20 years later, it’s still as fresh and crazy as when it preimered back in ’91.

  • http://wingingitstudios.deviantart.com/ Alissa

    Wow, I grew up with Ren and Stimpy. Hard to believe it’s been twenty years. Stimpy’s Invention is still one of my favorite cartoons ever.

    Happy Birthday!

  • http://www.dustooned.com Dustin Garcia

    Hands down the greatest animated series that has stood the test of time. Without this, my entire career and passion of animation would’ve never happened, nor would a lot of my determination to someday direct my own series. God bless you John K and the rest of Spumco.

  • Diego

    One of the best things that ever happened to me. Period.

  • http://downindeep13.blogspot.com/ JerRocks2day

    I remember when I first laid eyes on Nickelodeon’s channel, back when I was 5 or 6; I think I caught the Games Animation episodes when they aired. I never saw any of the Spumco episodes until I was about 10 or 11, when Nick started airing reruns of the show again.

    Now that I’m older, I’d say Ren and Stimpy has to be one of the best Nicktoons that Nickelodeon has distributed to date. ‘Space Madness’, ‘Stimpy’s Invention’, and ‘Nurse Stimpy’ have to be the best episodes to date.

    Being that I follow John K’s blog, I can assure you that I disagree with a huge amounts of he thinks about certain shows and companies (For instance, one of his blog posts kinda bashed Kingdom Hearts, simply for having Donald and Goofy dress in different attires; he’s also bashed Brad Bird’s works, and most of Disney’s stuff). Personally, I find it easier to follow guys like Tad Stones, creativity-wise.

    However, his blog is definitely a good resource for learning about drawing, as well as learning a variety of styles.

    Some of John K’s Spumco style, from R+S has kinda slightly inspired me to draw in some ways (I even like some of his pre-Spumco work, such some of his layouts on the Jetsons, his MM episodes he’s directed, and Beany and Cecil)

  • Steve

    I got to work on it… it was a fantastic experience. This was the first production I had worked on where minute detail was paid at board stage. Gags were clearly planned, layed out and executed by top notch board artists and animators- that’s the reason the show was such a success.

    Earlier on there was the Adventures of Mighty Mouse, by Bakshi, which cut a path and enabled R & S to be so irreverent and risky. Another fave. John K, Bob Camp, Steve DeStefano and the team put together something that was a ground breaker and something that I feel honored to have been a part of.

  • Little Lord Fatlaroy

    The show came on when I was I about 8. It showed what was possible not just in animation, but with art itself. Already I had shown some interest in drawing, but only after seeing Ren and Stimpy did I dedicate my entire life to drawing. I just wish the show had bestowed talent to go along with the ambition!

  • http://www.rauchbrothers.com Timothy Rauch

    For a while, I was a no-fun, stick-in-the-mud Art Student who stapled umbrella fabric to overturned wooden chairs. All I needed to complete the ensemble was a beret and condescending attitude.

    Now I make !cartoons! and can think of no higher standard to aim for than the one set by “Ren & Stimpy”. My transformation to animator is not yet complete – still working on the hunchback and soft belly.

  • Patrice

    I will always remember the episode of ren & stimpy at the dog show, hilarious. This show was complete, original, funny and most of all a good use of animation.

    John K I salute you and this great accomplishement that thought me how cartoon violence is an essientiel part of any child’s education.

    Many thanks and good luck with all your future endeavours.

  • E. Nygma

    It opened up my eyes to how wonderful and creative the world of animation can be. As a child of the 80s so much animation then was just designed to sell toys. Ren and stimpy opened my eyes to animation that is crafted, unique, and hilarious. I will always be a fan of that show. Introduced me to the GREAT Scott Wills & Bill Wray too! Thanks John, you wierdo!

  • Kitschensyngk

    When Stimpy first showed off his nose goblins (he picked them himself), I WAS THERE.

    When Yak Shaving Day was made an official holiday, I WAS THERE.

    When Ren came down with space madness and soliloquized to a bar of soap, I WAS THERE.

    When the famous “Log” jingle first played, I WAS THERE.

    When Powdered Toast Man first swooped through their kitchen window, I WAS THERE.

    When a Happy Helmet-induced Ren danced to “Happy Happy Joy Joy” with Stimpy, I WAS THERE.

    Though probably not when they first aired. They were always on on a Sunday morning and we were a church family.

    I was there for all of it. Even the seasons after John K. was kicked off the show and Billy West was voicing almost every character. Even when they revived it as an adult cartoon in 2003 which wasn’t quite as good.

    I consider Ren and Stimpy among my top three favorite Nicktoons, along with Rocko and The Angry Beavers. It kicked off the golden age of Nickelodeon animation and was a creative shot in the arm for television cartoons. Many have tried to imitate its style over the years but most have come off as mere squash-and-stretch derivatives.

    Happy 20th, you eediots. Happy happy joy joy indeed.

  • Bob Harper

    I remember wandering around aimlessly trying to decide what to do in life. A pal of mine and I got high and checked out the Tournee of Animation and Big House Blues punched me in the face with cartoon awesomeness.

    I thought to myself “Damn! Cartoons are allowed to be funny and well drawn again?”

    After a decade of TV toy cartoons proceeded by the hell that was 70′s animation, I found new hope and dropped all of my normal classes at college and studied cartooning from then on.

    Not since watching Star Wars as an eight year old did I have such a dire need to be creative again.

    PLain and simple, Ren and Stimpy changed my life.

  • Marvin

    Ren and Stimpy is a brilliant show overall but I think the classic episodes are much more funnier than the Adult Party Episodes

  • http://youtube.com/ckat13 ckat13

    Looking back, I was far too young to watch this show (preschool & kindergarten age, but it was on Nickelodeon and my parents pretty much let my brother & I watch anything on there because it was ‘just for kids’.

    It was one of my favorite shows for a while there, and it’s really cool to think that I was a fan of Billy West before I even knew who he was.

    I do remember a commercial for the show with a real chihuahua imitating Ren, and once in kindergarten I was mimicking the commercial and trying to do the Ren voice, saying ‘eeediots!’ one of the little girls sitting next to me started crying and told the teacher, thinking I was calling her an idiot. But I wasn’t even paying attention to her, I was off in my own little cartoon land.

    I also can still know all the words to LOG, and I definitely remember the one where Ren wouldn’t brush his teeth scaring me into brushing mine.

  • http://animationreview.wordpress.com Gijs Grob

    Even though I was not even twenty when I first watched the show, I remember well that it felt like experiencing THE renaissance of classic animation after a long period of bleak, cheap limited animation. Finally, the old days (which had ended way before I was born) were back again! And luckily, they were to stay for a while, with shows like Duckman, Dexter’s Laboratory and Spongebob Squarepants. Pixar has helped a lot, too…

    Still, there’s nothing like Ren & Stimpy, and I we’ll always cherish Muddy the mudskipper, powdered toast man, the horse which says: “no sir, I don’t like it”, and above all: LOG.

    Joy Joy!

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

    I was passing out wolf tickets down wind of the bloodhounds on the marmalade side of the Ho Chi Min trail when I first saw Ren and Stimpy. My meagre provisions meant it would be a long cold night on the dry river bottom (at the time, 12 feet under a fast flowing icy torrent). There was nothing left to drink and my thirst became a rasping three legged old bint dancing across my cardboard tongue. Old man lady hunger was gnawing at my belly at first light and I bought the box set.

    Thank you John Kricklefizz for your sense of reality amid the musty corporate bunkers that fed us toy commercials as entertainment

  • http://www.daryl-rhystaylor.co.uk DarylT

    Didn’t Rugrats have a much bigger effect of television animation. It made a heck of a lot more money.

    • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ mick

      now, just have a little think there Daryl… take your time. Rugrats, which was kind of alright with it’s ‘slightly better than bloody awful designs’ or Ren and Stimpy widely hailed as a complete breakthrough in all respects of a cartoony cartoon and cited by almost everyone involved in animation as a masterclass of it’s genre.

      You’re right, it is hard to decide

      • Youreanidiot

        Are you freak’n serious?

        Rugrats had this thing called “outstanding writing.” The show was absolutely brilliant (for its first 6 seasons…it turned to utter trash in 1998).

        Ren & Stimpy? Here’s my impression of Ren & Stimpy:

        Ren: Stiiiiimpyyyyyy. STIMMMMMPPYyyyyy. *blink* *blink* *blink* Slowly opens mouth…drooooooool falls out.

        Stimpy: What Iiiiiis it, Rrrrrennnnnnn?

        I’ve tried to re-watch the show to see if I get it better now that I’m grown, but no such luck so far. It’s possible it had its moments, but they had to have been few and far between. What exactly is the breakthrough, anyway? John K had, what, 1 1/2 seasons on the show before Nickelodeon fired him and took over the production?

        What’s the breakthrough? Toe nail clippings and hairballs? I don’t get it.

        And not that I even really give a rat’s ass about “animation” so long as it’s smooth enough not to be a distraction, but you’re going to call the Rugrats designs “slightly better than bloody awful?” Rugrats was EASILY better drawn and animated than R&S.

      • Artist-Fartist

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  • http://thadkomorowski.com Thad

    For accuracy’s sake, this is only the 20th anniversary of the television premiere. Big House Blues debuted theatrically in 1990, and the characters existed as far back as 1978.

    Easily the greatest TV cartoon of all time, no contest. Rank heresy it may be to say so, but all three of the shows that debuted August 11, 1991 were influential like no others that I can think of, but it’s obvious which one’s was most widespread. Others’ experience may differ, but this was probably the first cartoon actually aimed at kids that parents wouldn’t let their offspring watch.

    John K. deserves the praise he gets for this show, but I’m amazed at the pittance his crew and collaborators are getting from these comments. Lynne Naylor, Bob Camp, Jim Smith, Chris Reccardi, Vince Waller, Bob Jaques, Kelly Armstrong, Mike Kim, Bill Wray, Scott Wills, Glenn Barr, Charlie Bean, Mike Fontanelli, Elinor Blake, Don Shank, Carey Yost, and many, many others. If you think the show would’ve still been the same with these folks gone, you’re nuts. Since the show’s collapse, they’ve all gone on to raising the standards of other studios with their insane talent.

    • David Mackenzie

      >> Lynne Naylor, Bob Camp, Jim Smith, Chris Reccardi, Vince Waller, Bob Jaques, Kelly Armstrong, Mike Kim, Bill Wray, Scott Wills, Glenn Barr, Charlie Bean, Mike Fontanelli, Elinor Blake, Don Shank, Carey Yost, and many, many others.

      Yes – here’s to them as well.

    • Phoebie Potrezeebie

      Agreed. It was a great time for animation. Let’s not forget the woman who put all of it together, believed and backed John and the show, and fought hard for every joke: Vanessa Coffey. Without her the show would never have seen the light of day.

      Also, Spumco Producer Libby Simon.

  • http://willfinn.blogspot.com Will

    I remember seeing a tiny black and white still of these strange characters in a print article maybe more than a year before the show came on. I could not figure out what they were supposed to be… I had met John K by that time and was a fan of THE NEW MIGHTY MOUSE show, but I have to admit I was confused…

    Tuning in to the show all those months later (“STIMPY’S BIG DAY” & “THE BIG SHOT”) I was blown away. John K & the SPUMCO crew had been really pushing the boundaries of cartoony animation up to that time, but with REN & STIMPY they broke ground into a whole new territory. I don’t know if it’s possible for anyone who isn’t old enough to have lived thru the early promising days of TV late 50′s-early 60′s animation and it’s rapid decline into a relentless wasteland of unwatchable crap for nearly 20 years afterward to fully “get” the impact of this show. SPUMCO took many of the classic influences a lot of cartoonists love for their jumping off point, but they processed those influences in an entirely unique way. And of course no shortage of their own originality was on hand as well. The bad guys finally lost: everything that blockheads in boardrooms had been working overtime to thwart proved to be massively popular with a huge audience.

    It was an epic day for animation. Happy Happy Anniversary Ren and Stimpy.

  • http://www.mikescottanimation.com Mike Scott

    YAY REN & STIMPY!!! REN HOEK!!!

  • tonma

    still after reading countless ramblings of old man K, I love him and I have learned oh so much from him, and I love the first original Ran and Stimpys as the day they rock my world for the first time.
    You might say every fart and ass in TV nowdays is R&S fault, but I will say it was worth it. What a good time that was.

  • http://MrFun'sBlog Floyd Norman

    Thank heavens for the “crazy men” who shake up the cartoon business. I can’t wait until the next one arrives.

  • Muddy

    Ya lousy bum!

  • Michelle

    I like Ren and Stimpy, but I’m pretty sure The Simpsons “reinvented the idea of television animation,” years earlier.

    • Isaac

      Yes, in a different time-slot: prime time. The Simpsons is ultimately much more successful too, and holds a more prominent place in TV history and pop culture. Nicktoons simply reminded the industry that children like quality, too.

  • http://www.lifeintheanalogage.com Gabe Swarr

    John, Ren & Stimpy are the only reason I have an animation career. Thanks John!

  • E. Nygma

    The only cartoon that I watch that comes anywhere close to being as funny and original these days is “Adventure Time with finn and Jake”. The humor is awesome in a different way. The art isn’t as classic but it has it’s own charm. Some of the character designs are really clever.

  • Zac

    Sorry for being 2 days late and all! :P! But, this show influenced my art-style, my kind of humour and the way I am! xD! I loved this show ever sicne I was little, I loved both this and the Adult Party Cartoon, whatever John K. usually makes is just pure-genius! =) I loved Stimpy’s Invention, Sven Hoek, Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen.etc, stuff like that! =)

  • Martin Juneau

    I have to say how this show influenced and resolved my personal problems i having when it came in our Canada cables in 1998. When 1997 was a very hard year for me mentally and socially, Ren & Stimpy was my solution to all of my problems. The humor, art-style, characters exaggeration, the lovely dialogues (Tough the early French dubs kills it and then the later episodes improved it even if it’s too late). They have the sillyness of Warner and the look of early Hanna-Barbera, but have a contemporary vision of how animation should look, as a artform. Most of my favourites episodes was from Games but let’s not forget without the Spumco crew, it’s like this show never existed at all.

    Thanks to everyone involved for made it a real cult in animation and art form.

    • Hank Morris

      Happy, Happy. Joy, Joy!!!

  • 2011 Adult

    This post is about… a whale!

    No!

    This post is about… being happy!

  • Jorge Garrido

    I may be the only guy in the world who likes John K more than Ren & Stimpy, but I think that’s only because my sense of humour doesn’t match the show’s.

  • matt Sullivan

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  • E. Nygma

    Episode: “Man’s Best Friend” is Amazing!

  • PJW

    T’was a cold winter night at my mother’s friend’s house. After geeking out on a SNES Tiny Toon Adventures game I found in their basement, my mother told me I shouldn’t stay up so late playing that game and go to sleep on their couch. It was their I discovered The Ren & Stimpy Show reruns on Nicktoons. I never laughed so hard in my life! (I was seven) Then, the screen went black two minutes into “Hard Times For Haggis.” I cried myself to sleep. But still, after all these years, that followed me. I also blame this show for getting me interested in Fleischer cartoons. Maybe it was the bizarre humor that fits in so well. Happy happy 20th, to a show oh-so-wrong, yet oh-so-right.

  • Eddie

    I saw ‘Big House Blues’ at an animation festival and was hooked. Then when I heard that Ren and Stimpy was going to be on Nickelodean I was thrilled. I taped it every week! As Ren would say: ‘It’s one of the good ones’

  • Jerry Modene

    Love R&S, especially the original batch of episodes. They are as good as any cartoon ever made, especially “Stimpy’s Invention”.

    Even now, 20 years later, when a guest at my casino annoys me, I will mutter to myself, in a Ren-like accent, “You sick little monkey! I will keel you!”

    And I still have the CD. Happy happy, joy joy indeed.

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    No Sir, I don’t like it.

    NOT! ;)

  • Ken Brown

    I am proud to say that I was one of the first viewers of Ren and Stimpy at Auburn University.
    LOG, the Horse, rubber nipples! The show broke so many TV conventions, while being hands-down the most hysterically funny show on TV.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danny.lafontaine.142 Danny Lafontaine

    BEST TEEN AND ADULT SHOW I EVER SEEN BECAUSE ITS PRETTY OBVIOUS IT WASNT FOR KIDS