Cow and Chicken

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Cow and Chicken
Cow and Chicken intertitle.jpg
The series' intertitle.
Genre Comedy
Surreal humour
Created by David Feiss
Written by David Feiss
Michael Ryan
Bill Burnett
Steve Marmel
Seth MacFarlane
Directed by David Feiss
Voices of Charlie Adler
Dee Bradley Baker
Candi Milo
Howard Morris
Dan Castellaneta
Theme music composer Guy Moon
Opening theme "Cow and Chicken"
Ending theme "Cow and Chicken" (instrumental)
Composer(s) Guy Moon
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 52 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Sherry Gunther
Larry Huber
Producer(s) Vincent Davis
Davis Doi (supervising producer)
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Hanna-Barbera
Distributor Warner Bros. Television
Original channel Cartoon Network
Picture format 480i (4:3 SDTV)
Audio format Dolby Surround
First shown in Europe
Original run July 15, 1997 (1997-07-15) – July 24, 1999 (1999-07-24)
Related shows I Am Weasel
What a Cartoon!
External links
Production website

Cow and Chicken is an American animated comedy television series created by David Feiss for Cartoon Network, and the third of the network's Cartoon Cartoons. It follows the surreal adventures of two funny animal siblings, Cow and Chicken. They are often antagonized by the "Red Guy", who poses as various characters to scam them.

The original pilot appeared as an episode of the animation showcase series What a Cartoon!. The popularity of the original short allowed Hanna-Barbera to give it the greenlight for a full series, which premiered on July 15, 1997. Originally, Cow and Chicken was attached to another segment called I Am Weasel, which was later spun off into its own half-hour series. Cow and Chicken ended its run on July 24, 1999, totaling 4 seasons and 52 episodes.

The series received mixed reviews from critics, with some lamenting its similarities to The Ren & Stimpy Show. It was nominated for two Emmy Awards. Reruns have aired on Cartoon Network's blocks The Cartoon Cartoon Show and Cartoon Planet, as well as its retro animation sister channel Boomerang.


Poster for the series' pilot, featuring the Red Guy (left), Cow (center), and Chicken (right).

The program focuses on the misadventures of two unlikely yet somehow biological siblings: the sweet-natured, dim, ecstatic anthropomorphic Cow and her cynical older brother Chicken (both voiced by Charlie Adler). The two are often caught in escapades with their flamboyant enemy, the Red Guy (Adler), who disguises himself under various personas to attempt and scam the two.

Supporting characters include Chicken and Cow's delirious human parents (Dee Bradley Baker, Candi Milo) that are only seen from the legs down, Chicken's two best friends Flem (Howard Morris; Maurice LaMarche) and Earl (Dan Castellaneta), and his appropriately-named cousin, Boneless Chicken (Adler).

The series draws on eccentric, surreal, grotesque, and repulsive humor. For example, Cow and Chicken always order "pork butts and taters" when in the cafeteria, and characters often pepper their speech with malapropisms and sarcasm. The humor and storylines depicted in the series are sometimes based around traditional childhood worries, anxieties, or phobias such as cooties or venturing into the girls' restroom, but enhanced comically.


David Feiss first created Cow and Chicken as a story for his daughter.[1] Feiss was a cartoonist who had worked with Hanna-Barbera and related projects since 1978.[1]

Years later, Feiss was called to submit ideas for What a Cartoon!, a series of various animated shorts from numerous creators and writers. Feiss submitted three ideas to executive producer Larry Huber, one of which was Cow and Chicken.[2] Cow and Chicken premiered on What a Cartoon! in 1995. Later, Hanna-Barbera decided to turn Cow and Chicken into a full series, following many letters from fans asking for more.[2]

Voice acting[edit]

Cow and Chicken was notable in that a single actor, Charlie Adler, voiced three leading roles of Cow, Chicken, and the Red Guy. Supporting voices included Candi Milo and Dee Bradley Baker as Mom and Dad, and Dan Castellaneta and Howard Morris as Earl and Flem.

Guest stars included Feiss, Will Ferrell, Carlos Alazraqui, Tom Kenny, Jill Talley, Dom Deluise, Michael Gough, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, Pamela Segall Adlon and many others.


Because the Hindu religion considers the cow a sacred animal, the series was replaced by Tom and Jerry in India.[3]


Cow and Chicken has a total of 52 episodes in 4 seasons that were produced from November 1996 to April 1999. Each half-hour contains 2 Cow and Chicken and 1 I Am Weasel segment.[4]

Cow and Chicken premiered as a full half-hour on July 15, 1997.[5] The series ran for 52 episodes through 1999. Reruns continued to be shown on Cartoon Network until June 1, 2008. As a supporting segment, the show included a cartoon called I Am Weasel; this segment was spun off as an independent series late in the show's run. Typically, an episode would consist of two seven-minute Cow and Chicken shorts playing back-to-back, then followed by a seven-minute I Am Weasel short before the end credits.[5] The exception to this structure was episode 105 ("The Ugliest Weenie"), which had the Weasel short ("I Are Big Star") play in-between the two Cow and Chicken shorts, possibly because said shorts were one storyline.

Controversial episodes[edit]

The segment "Buffalo Gals", which aired on February 20, 1998 along with the segment "Cow and Chicken Reclining," was banned by Cartoon Network because of its innuendos implying that the Buffalo Gals were lesbians and its stereotyping of lesbians.[citation needed] The episode contained obvious sexual humor, which includes Mom's line "Oh, the Buffalo Gals, a motorcycle riding gang that randomly bursts into people's homes and chews on their carpet.", the name of one of the bikers being "Munch Kelly," the Buffalo Gals singing "Buffalo Gals" (Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight?), and the Buffalo Gals playing softball and talking about "pitching" and "catching", slang terms for gay sex.[6] The episode aired only once, and was replaced by "Orthodontic Police" in future airings, including on Netflix streaming.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
1996 Annie Award Best Animated Short Subject[7] Hanna-Barbera
for "No Smoking"
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[8] Buzz Potamkin, Larry Huber, David Feiss, Pilar Menendez, and Sam Kieth
for "No Smoking"
1997 Annie Award Best Individual Achievement: Storyboarding in a TV Production[9] Nora Johnson
for "Orthodontic Police"
1998 Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Television Production[10] Bill Burnett and Guy Moon
for "The Ugliest Weenie, Part 2"
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Producing in an Animated Television Production[10] Vincent Davis Won
Outstanding Individual Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production[10] Maxwell Atoms
for "The Karate Chick"
Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing — Sound Effects[11] Greg LaPlante Nominated
Best Sound Editing — Television Animated Series[11] Cartoon Network Nominated
Best Sound Editing — Television Animation — Music[11] Cartoon Network Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming One Hour or Less)[12] Davis Doi, Vincent Davis, David Feiss, Steve Marmel, Richard Pursel, and Michael Ryan
for "Free Inside!/Journey to the Center of Cow"
1999 Annie Award Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production[13] Charlie Adler
as Cow
Golden Reel Award Best Sound Editing — Television Animated Series — Sound[14] Cartoon Network Nominated
Best Sound Editing — Television Animation — Music[14] Cartoon Network Nominated
2000 Best Sound Editing — Television Animation — Music[15] Roy Braverman
for "A Couple of Skating Fools"

Other media[edit]

The two main characters, Cow and Chicken, made cameo appearances as aliens in Ben 10: Omniverse. They were the second Cartoon Network characters to make cameo appearances in the Ben 10 franchise, Billy from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy being the first. Adler reprised his roles for the cameo.

During the Mad episode "Once Upon a Toon", Cow and Chicken are among the many classic cartoon characters being reunited in a spoof of ABC's Once Upon a Time.

DVD releases[edit]

Cow and Chicken: Season 1, a two-disc set featuring the complete first season which contains 13 complete episodes, was released by Madman Entertainment in Australia (Region 4 PAL) on September 12, 2007.[16] Season 2 came out on February 10, 2010, by the same company in Australia.[17] The entire series got released on DVD in Thailand as 4 season sets, containing Thai and English audio. The banned segment "Buffalo Gals" is missing from these releases.

American releases

  • Cartoon Network Halloween: "Cow with Four Eyes"
  • Cartoon Network Christmas: "Me an' My Dog"

Video games[edit]

Cow, Chicken, and the Red Guy are playable characters in the game Cartoon Network Racing. The PlayStation 2 version includes Flem and Earl as playable characters.

Cow, Chicken, the Red Guy, and Supercow are playable characters in the game Cartoon Network Speedway.

In the video game Fusionfall, one of the character items is based on Cow and Chicken. Cow and Chicken's cousin, Boneless Chicken, can also be seen on a billboard in the game. Though not in the game, Cow is seen as Supercow as a statue at Mt. Neverest.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Animator Profile: David Feiss". Cartoon Network. Archived from the original on 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Cow and Chicken, and I Am Weasel — two animated cartoon series". h2g2. BBC. 2002-09-05. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  3. ^ Kempner, Matt (March 6, 2002). "Tickling the Global Funny Bone: Cartoon Network Tweaks Shows to Click with Humor Around the World". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. p. 4E.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  4. ^ Feiss, David (January 12, 2000). "Episode Guide: Cow and Chicken and I Am Weasel". Archived from the original on 2006-12-12. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  5. ^ a b Gallo, Phil (July 15, 1997). "Cow and Chicken". Variety. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 2013-05-31. 
  6. ^ Anthony Scibelli (August 6, 2010). "The 6 Creepiest Things Ever Slipped Into Children's Cartoons". Cracked. Retrieved January 16, 2011. 
  7. ^ "24th Annie Award Winners Announced". Animation World Magazine (Animation World Network) (1.9). December 1996. 
  8. ^ "Cow And Chicken in No Smoking". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  9. ^ "25th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1997)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  10. ^ a b c "26th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1998)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  11. ^ a b c "Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA (1998)". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  12. ^ "Cow And Chicken". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 
  13. ^ "27th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1999)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  14. ^ a b "Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA (1999)". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  15. ^ "Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA (2000)". IMDb. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  16. ^ "Cow and Chicken Season 1". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  17. ^ "Cow and Chicken Season 2". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 

External links[edit]