Ren & Stimpy (1991 -1995): How much do you remember?

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If there is a show that has stood the taste of time, then it is the Ren & Stimpy show. The show has survived the VHS, LaserDisc, UMD, DVD, and Now it has managed to quench our nostalgia on the most recent HD technology. This '90s hit show has been re-born in various forms, including Video games, Comic books, and many Film adaptations.

Ren & Stimpy was another classic from Nickelodeon that was meant for the adult viewers, just like Rocko's Modern Life that we reviewed here last month. Ren and Stimpy was a great success back in the '90s that it even transcended Rocko in ranking and uniqueness of characters and episodes.


The Ren and Stimpy Theme Song


Let me start from the very beginning. The Ren & Stimpy theme song is among the many addictive theme songs curated by Nickelodeon. A very simple but memorable opening theme song.


About the Ren And Stimpy Show
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Photo Courtesy: Ren & Stimpy Reddit
The show featured Ren Hoek, who was a very short-tempered, asthmatic chihuahua, that lived with Stimpson J Cat, a very gullible and dumb cat. Both Ren and Stimpy were voiced by Billy West, who became famous as the voice behind Fry in Futurama.

Ren & Stimpy series unexpectedly earned a massive following in the '90s. Unlike other shows, the adult followership of Ren & Stimpy was like a cult.


Brief History of Ren & Stimpy TV Show.
This American TV show was first produced in 1991 by John Kricfalus for Nickelodeon. The series follows the exploits of the characters Ren and Stimpy. Ren is portrayed as mentally dysfunctional and a sociopathic Chihuahua, while Stimpy is described as a good-natured but crazy cat.

Ren & Stimpy, Doug, and Rugrats were among the first animated series of Nickelodeon (Nicktoons). The show was controversial as opposed to other network shows of the '90s. Ren & Stimpy had dark comedy, sexual innuendo, adult jokes, and some grotesque images.

Spümcø's inability to produce episodes on time and strained relations with the Nickelodeon made Kricfalusi end the show in 1992. At around that time, Animated Games took over the series.

The show was officially ended in December 1995 with two season finale episodes that had not been aired before. The two episodes were broadcast on MTV in October 1996.

Despite the challenges, during the original run, The Ren & Stimpy Show received favourable reviews and quickly amassed a cult following. The show is believed to have had a long-term influence on TV animations productions that came after it.


The Ren and Stimpy Episodes
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Image Courtesy: Ren & Stimpy Show Reddit
The Ren & Stimpy Show is full of weird stuff happening in each episode. Some were a little alarming to watch, partially because of the memorable gruesome images. The basic plot of the episodes was that Ren Would have an excellent idea, and then Stimpy would unintendedly thwart it and made Ren scream, "Steeempy, you eediot!" in his peculiar accent.

The happy Stimpy would squabble 'happy happy joy joy.’ The two became popular catchphrases at the time.

I recall Stimpy as being talented at making big furballs. The show also had some weird characters like Muddy Mudskipper, who hosted his TV show, Powdered Toast Man, and Mr Horse; you would notice their strange character from just watching the show the first time.

Besides being a TV show, several other related products were created around the Ren & Stimpy Characters. These included for a brief time a comic book on Ren & Stimpy, which came out as weirdly and captivating as the original show.

I remember watching the show at 7.10 PM back in the days, but it was sometimes shown at different times, sometimes even in the afternoon. This was weird considering the adult content in the show.

Ren and Stimpy was a memorably strange show that I enjoyed watching with Rocko's Modern Life. At the time, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network were the most popular cartoon networks with great shows like Two Stupid Dogs, Beavis and Butthead, and Dexter's Laboratory.

My favourite Ren and Stimpy episode: Stimpy's Fan Club


This was my favourite episode in the entire show. It was Episode 16 of Season 2 of the show. It lasted longer than the other episodes; it was over 22 minutes long while the other episodes would last for 9 to 11 minutes.

In this episode, Ren gets jealous when Stimpy receives the love of many fans, so Stimpy makes him the President of Stimpy's fan club.

The episode starts with Ren and Stimpy waiting for the mailman patiently. He arrives and delivers a pile of fan mail, all for Stimpy, and none for Ren. Ren gets distracted, so Stimpy decides to make Ren the President of his fan club to make him feel important and inspired.

As president, Ren was supposed to read the fan mail and answer all of them as Stimpy. Ren likes the idea at first but gets bitter after a kid insults him in one of the letters by asking why Stimpy still puts up with Ren and whether he is a mosquito.
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Later, Ren sends an angry letter ack after a child admits to wetting the bed. Stimpy reads this letter and tells Ren that he should be embarrassed since they both still wet the bed. Ren feels bad and wants to punish Stimpy with a rubber knife, but Stimpy assumes that Ren has learnt his lesson.

In this episode, Ren and Stimpy go to their secret lair, which is in the lower larger intestine of a sperm whale. After getting a million-dollar in small changes into their fan club, the two lead the young girl called Susan Fout into their fan club. She is put on the honoured spot. Ren warns the audience that if they reveal what they have seen, they will rip out their tonsils before Stimpy returns to the secret cartoon.

I found this episode very entertaining. It continues with the everyday adventures of the two protagonists. This episode is possibly among the most famous episodes in the show. It is also the most-watched episode of all The Ren & Stimpy episodes online.

The funny part is when Ren is the president of the United States, he is seen in a heated debate on the Washington-Moscow phone call. While on the phone, Ren yells, "What do you mean you disagree with me?! So you know who you're dealing with?"

The then hit the big red button that wipes out the Oceania area leaving behind a huge crater. He is later seen laughing wickedly. The image has been used in many memes.


The Storyline of The Ren & Stimpy Show
The story revolved around Ren Höek (Voiced by John Kricfalusi in Season 1-2 and later by Billy West from season 3 to 5. The pair would be seen to play different roles from one episode to another, like explorers from outer space, Old West Horse robbers, and sometimes they could play show hosts.

The two are always seen to be at loggerheads with each other. While the show was sometimes set to depict the present day, the cast appeared to avoid "contemporary" jokes of the current times. The show featured ridiculous humour and slapstick.

There are several supporting characters Ren & Stimpy. Some only appear in one episode, while others were seen to appear severally playing different roles. Sometimes they would be part of the story, while at times will be insignificant to the plot.

Some characters like Mr Horse are cameo-based and would appear randomly as a running gag.


Ren & Stimpy Show Characters and cast

Ren Hoëk
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Image Courtesy: Jon's Random Acts of Geekery
John Kricfalusi originally voiced ren T. Hoëk & Stimpy. The character was styled as a demented Peter Lorre. When Nicktoons terminated his contract, he was replaced by Billy West, who was already voicing Stimpy. For the remainder of the run, the role took a combination of Burl Ives, Kirk Douglas, and some little bit of "South of the border accent.”

Ren is a chihuahua scrawny "Asthma-Hound" with a long, rat-like, pink tail and tan hair. He is described as being dyspeptic and psychotic.

Simpson J. Cat (Stimpy)
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Image Courtesy: Fandom
Also referred to as Stimpy, was voiced by Billy West and by Eric Bauza in Adult Party Cartoon. Stimpy is a fat red and white Manx cat. He is described as "Cornish Rex Hound" by George Liquor. Stimpy has a large blue nose, purple eyelid, has no tail, with white gloves with fingernails.

Stimpy's buttocks are a unique feature since they resemble a human buttock. He has flat feet with a small brain despite the intelligence and expertise in cooking and innovation. He is often described as being obese and good-natured.

Mr Horse
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Image Courtesy: Fandom
In the first two seasons, including the Adult Party Cartoon, Mr Horse was voiced by John Kricfalusi. From season 3 to the season finale, Mr Horse was voiced by Billy West. He was one of the common characters, with a wide range of irregular roles. He also appeared in several episodes. Mr. Horse has always been the target of a skyscraper crash, an intermediary who came back from the war and is in love with a sheep, a judge on the dog show, and a neighbour with a dark past. He is also described as a tester for Gritty Kitty cat litter.

In some episodes, he was represented as a therapist. Mr Horse is anthropomorphic, just like the main characters Ren and Stimpy. He is a complete male horse physically, but he usually stands upon two legs and can talk.

Mr Horse is generally described as a straightforward, reflective, and very serious character. Sometimes pessimistic, disgruntled, and sometimes he is just a horse. His phrase is "No, Sir; I don't like it."

He is seen saying some other things when responding to Stimpy in the Gritty Kitty Litter commercial.


The reboot of The Ren and Stimpy show
Over 25 years later, The Ren and Stimpy Show was revived in August with new episodes at Comedy Central.

It was reported that a creative team was engaged for a "reimagined take" of most of the classic Nickelodeon animated series. Ren and Stimpy is one of the shows that will benefit from this. The revival featured the original cast, including Billy West, who voiced Ren & Stimpy.

The controversial original creator John Kricfalusi did not participate in the revival. Other adult shows revived around the time include South Park, Beavis and Butt-head, and Clone High.

The Original Ren & Stimpy Show was shown on Nickelodeon from August 11th, 1991, to December of 1995. Ren and Stimpy's "Adult Party Cartoon" was spin-off series that was broadcast on Spike for a short while in 2003 before being cancelled. It only showed a few episodes.

Efforts to revive Ren & Stimpy Tv Show have been frustrated for a while; most recently, Paramount rejected a standalone movie that was scheduled for release in 2016.

Ren & Stimpy Episode: Don't Whizz On The Electric Fence! {Fan Dub}


Comedy Central has so far been doing a huge favour to the millennials by reviving the shows that we hold dear, and we fondly remember. For the last few years, Comedy Central has been taking us on a nostalgia trip to the '90s and early 2000s.


Ren & Stimpy move to Games Animation (1993 – 1996)

In late September 1992, Nickelodeon decided to terminate the contract with Kricfalusi and offered him a consultancy role on Ren & Stimpy series, but he declined to sell out. The show later moved from Spümcø to its new animation studio called Game Animation.

Bob Camp replaced Kricfalusi as the director since Billy West refused to consider Kricfalusi. This was a great turning point for fans and critics of Ren & Stimpy as new episodes were of lower quality than the original episode.

The show later closed with "A Scooter for Yaksmas" in its original run in 1995. This was a sad ending for Ren and Stimpy because as teens, we were just getting warmed up for it around that time.


In Summary,
There are many classic shows that have been revived from by Nickelodeon form the '90s, but Ren and Stimpy remain among the top adult cartoon series of my time that I truly enjoyed watching.

Did you watch Ren & Stimpy back in the days? How much do you remember about the duo? How do you compare the original show and its reboot?
 
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