90s, Cartoons, Quick Lists, TV — October 1, 2014 10:28 am

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Ren & Stimpy

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The Ren & Stimpy Show premiered on August 11, 1991 and left a lasting impression on the animation world. Of course, there was a lot going on both behind-the-scenes and on-screen that you may not have known. Here are seven tidbits for you Ren & Stimpy fans!

7 – Stinky Wizzleteats of “Happy Happy Joy Joy” fame was based on a real person

Yes, it’s true—good ol’ Stinky Wizzleteats was based on actor and folksinger Burl Ives. But don’t take my word for it—this video does all the work of splicing Ives’ music and film clips with “Happy Happy Joy Joy”. And all this time I thought the writers were completely bonkers with some of the lines in this song.

6 – A prominent grunge singer took a shot at the Ren & Stimpy theme song
Kurt-Cobain

The Ren & Stimpy Show theme song that we all know and love is called “Dog Pound Hop”, written and performed by some Spümcø employees under the name Die Screaming Leiderhôsens. Interestingly, we almost got a much different theme song.

Turns out that in 1990, before Kurt Cobain was enjoying worldwide fame with Nirvana, he recorded a theme for The Ren & Stimpy Show, but Nickelodeon was not into it. How 90s would that have been?! I’m sure after Nirvana exploded, those Nickelodeon execs were kicking themselves.

Sadly, Cobain’s version of the theme has never surfaced.

5 – Ren & Stimpy’s creator was kicked off his own show

sad-ren

You may know this one, but it’s still pretty heartbreaking and unbelievable—Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi was fired from his own show. It’s reported that Kricfalusi and Nickelodeon had some creative differences (as in, Nickelodeon was not enthused about what was supposed to be a second season episode called “Man’s Best Friend” that didn’t end up airing until Spike TV’s Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon series) and that Kricfalusi had some trouble getting episodes handed in on time, although the latter may have been in part because of Nickelodeon’s long approval process. After Kricfalusi left in 1993, Nickelodeon went on to create new episodes up until December 1995.

Like I mentioned, “Man’s Best Friend” did eventually see the light of day. The rights of the episode’s star (George Liquor) were sold back to Spümcø (Kricfalusi’s animation studio) and the episode was broadcast in 2003.

4 – Ren & Stimpy live in Hollywood….
hollywood-yugoslavia

I’m sure anyone who thought about it assumed that Ren & Stimpy lived in America, because why not? Turns out the duo live in Hollywood… Yugoslavia. This is mentioned in the episodes “Mad Dog Höek”, “Visit to Anthony”, and “Stimpy’s Fan Club”.

3 – The voice of Stimpy was also the voice of Ren, but then not
john-kricfalusi

When Kricfalusi left in 1993, Billy West (who voiced Stimpy in the Nickelodeon episodes) took over the voice of Ren. This also made West the only voice actor to be in every episode.

That is until Spike TV’s Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon. West decided not to voice Stimpy in the new incarnation, saying he didn’t find the show funny and that it could damage his career if he were to return. Kricfalusi took the role of Ren back on and got Eric Bauza aboard to voice Stimpy.

2 – Ren & Stimpy: banned in Canada?!
Kilted_Yaksmen_Anthem

In Canada, The Ren & Stimpy Show only aired until August 14, 1993. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) banned the series from airing on MuchMusic because the show did not fit their music format (I’ll let that sink in for a moment). The show didn’t come back on the air in Canada until a decade later when it premiered on Teletoon. To me this is hilarious, considering creator Kricfalusi is Canadian. That would have helped MuchMusic fulfill their silly and arbitrary CRTC requirements.

MuchMusic gave the series a weekend-long marathon (or Ren & Stimpy-athon), showing the same episodes over and over again. I taped it and wore that tape out like you wouldn’t believe. Or maybe you would.

1 – There’s an unfinished Ren & Stimpy episode called “Life Sucks”

Although the production of some episodes (remember “Man’s Best Friend”?) took some time to find a network to broadcast it, unfortunately one episode wasn’t so lucky. The episode in question is called “Life Sucks” and was started back in 1992 for Nickelodeon and picked back up again for The Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon.

The plot of “Life Sucks” includes Ren repeatedly hammering home to Stimpy that, well, life sucks. Ren goes on to tell the tale of the Children’s Crusade. Kricfalusi released an eight-minute animatic so you can at least enjoy that.

Were you a Ren & Stimpy fan? Leave us a comment below!

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