In My Day We Had...
Rocko's Modern Life was, oh who am I kidding, is one of my top five favorite cartoons in the history of cartoons. This show, along with a handful of others, can pretty much sum up why kids of the 90s turned out to be some of the most pop culturally interested adults. Clearly the 20-somethings of today are the most interested generation in all things pop culture.
The series had somewhat of a rough beginning. The character of Rocko, along with a few others, were created by John Murray in the 80s. The characters appeared in comics here and there but really weren't the main focus of Murray. He originally wanted to create a series called "My Dog Zero," but after that was rejected he decided to create a pilot for Rocko. In a tragic turn of events, Murray's wife at the time committed suicide right before he got news of his pilot being picked up. This could explain some of the darker episodes at the time.
Rocko and his friends continued to grace its audience for four seasons before being cancelled. During the fourth season, Murray turned control over to Stephen Hillenburg, who would later go on to create Spongebob Squarepants. Though the show was cancelled, it still remained one of the most remembered and adored cartoons of the 90s.
To those of you who are either too young, too old, lived under a rock, or *gasp* only had public television, let me explain what Rocko was about.
Rocko was everyone's favorite do-gooder wallaby who had an eclectic bunch of friends. Often times Rocko was trying to help his friends out of a pickle, or just trying to carry on with day to day life as a wallaby in the "real world" (not to be confused with the one where they crammed several idiots into one house together).
Rocko's best friends consisted of Heffer the bumbling obese cow (who was raised by wolves), and Filbert the neurotic turtle (and possible Jewish stereotype) who was often coming down with some sort of ailment.
But what is a show without the protagonist? Rocko had many adversaries through the entire run of this show but none were as prominent as Mr. Bighead, the irate frog who lived next door. Mr. Bighead is one of the meanest possible neighbors anyone could have. Of course to balance Mr. Bighead out there was Mrs. Bighead, his...*erm* friendly wife. Pretty much the Bigheads were the equivalent to the Ropers from Three's Company.
And therein lies one of the biggest reason this show is still hilarious 20 years later (pardon me while I go sob in the corner about how old I am getting). Not only was this show full of humor for kids, it was also chock-full of humor for adults. Humor like that is almost completely dead in the world of cartoons for children.
Now that you've had your history lesson and your pallet for nostalgia wetted, won't you join me Wednesday when we jump right into the first season of Rocko's Modern Life!