Ren and Stimpy (characters)
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Ren and Stimpy, created by John Kricfalusi, are the titular characters in the Canadian/American co-produced animated television series The Ren and Stimpy Show and first appeared in the pilot episode, titled Big House Blues.
Marland "Ren" T. Höek 
Ren is a scrawny "Asthma-Hound" Chihuahua with a fairly long, rat-like, pink tail. In the series he is portrayed as being greedy, insane, delusional, paranoid, violent, really creepy, scary and insecure (in short, mentally unstable). Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman of Animation World Magazine described Ren as "scrawny," "dyspeptic,"  and "violently psychotic."  On some occasions Ren "lost his mind" in a "cumulative process," resulting in Ren becoming, in Goodman's words, a "screaming klaxon, neon-pink eyes dilating into twin novae inches above his jagged, monolithic teeth."  Andy Meisler of The New York Times described Ren as "adventurous," "intelligent," and "emotionally brittle."
Kricfalusi originally voiced Ren in a manner that he describes as "a bad imitation of Peter Lorre." Billy West said that he auditioned to play Ren; the creators of the series believed that having West voice both Ren and Stimpy would give him too large of a workload. West voiced Ren after Nickelodeon fired Kricfalusi; Kricfalusi would return for the Spike TV episodes and unaired episodes of The Ren and Stimpy Show. Chris Edgerly would voice the character in the game Nicktoons MLB though. In the pilot, Pierre Decelles provided Ren's signature diabolical laughter, while West performed Ren's laugh in the series. Although he does threaten Stimpy with bodily violence due to constantly getting annoyed with his stupidity, Ren does care for Stimpy. His catch phrase is, "You eediot" and what is your problem you sick little monkey variations thereof, harkening back a memorable quote by Lorre as Joel Cairo in The Maltese Falcon: "You... you imbecile. You bloated idiot. You stupid fat-head you."
Kricfalusi complained about Nickelodeon executives requesting for Ren to have "a softer side." Bill Wray said that Ren was his favorite character to write for; Wray described Ren as "fun" because "you can make him mean." In 1993 he added that "It drives me crazy when I tell people I work on the show and they always say, 'Make Ren meaner.'"
Stimpson "Stimpy" J. Cat 
Stimpy is a red and white, rotund Manx cat with a blue nose, purple eyelids, no tail, hands with gloves that have fingernails, human-style buttocks, flat feet, and a brain the size of a peanut (despite some intelligence, such as cooking and inventing; he is also the main antagonist of the show, and has some other knowledge such as monetary counting and knowing that pork fat floats on beans). Martin "Dr. Toon" Goodman of Animation World Magazine described Stimpy as "obese," and "brain-damaged."  Andy Meisler of The New York Times described Stimpy as "bosom," "barrel-chested," and "good-natured."
Stimpy's trademark facial expression is a blissfully ignorant smile with his tongue flopping out. Most of the time when he gets excited, he says his famous catchphrase, "Oh, Joy!" or simply "Jooooooy". Stimpy is named after an art school classmate of Kricfalusi, whose nickname was "Stimpy Cadogen" ("Killer Cadoogen" was Stimpy's pseudonym in several episodes, and in a few others he is referred to as Stimpleton Cadogen). West said that he based Stimpy's voice on a "sped up" Larry Fine of the Three Stooges. West described Stimpy as one of his favorite characters. Eric Bauza voiced Stimpy in Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" and Nicktoons MLB.
Wray described Stimpy as his favorite character to draw. Wray said that Stimpy does not have "a huge range of emotion."
West said in an interview that he did not wish to voice Stimpy in the Adult Party Cartoon because he believed that the series was not funny and that voicing Stimpy in it would damage his career.
In a 1993 interview by a comics magazine, Bill Wray stated that he believes that Kricfalusi created the Ren and Stimpy characters around 15 years prior to the interview for Kricfalusi's and Kricfalusi's friends' personal amusement during the university years; Kricfalusi attended Sheridan College in Canada. Wray said that he had initially "forgotten about" the characters. When Nickelodeon requested new series, Kricfalusi assembled a presentation called "Your Gang," similar to a children's show with a live action host presenting various cartoons. Each cartoon parodied a genre, and Ren and Stimpy parodied the "cat and dog" genre. Vanessa Coffey, the producer of the show, said that she did not like the general idea, but that she liked Ren and Stimpy.
Kricfalusi received inspiration, used when drawing the first drawings of Ren, from a black and white photograph of a chihuahua in a sweater next to a woman's feet.
The characters and homosexuality 
Jeffrey P. Dennis said in the journal article "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons" that Ren and Stimpy are within a world where "gay identities cannot exist," so the series portrays homosexual romantic desire as "anomalous and perverse." Dennis added that the critics of the series "made much" of the homosexual connotations of Ren and Stimpy, such as their sharing of a house and bed, their reminiscing of a wedding, and Stimpy's "giving birth" to flatulence. Dennis said that Ren is "socially and sexually" the aggressor in the relationship; in addition he says that some episodes portray Stimpy as "a stereotypical 1950s wife" who cleans, cooks food, and irons Ren's underwear. Dennis stated that the aspects "may adhere to a reading of a sexual relationship." Dennis concludes that the relationship between Ren and Stimpy is a parody of heterosexual relationships rather than an actual homosexual or an actual romantic relationship. Dennis adds that in other situations Ren and Stimpy are "read more appropriately" as coworkers, enemies, friends, and house pets. Dennis argues that Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo are more consistently homosexual than Ren and Stimpy. Dennis also stated that the scenes of Ren and Stimpy as a couple emulate a heterosexual couple instead of being a union between two men.
In a response to Dennis' statements, Martin Goodman of Animation World Network said that Kricfalusi had outed Ren and Stimpy as homosexual. Martin added that while the Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" had not yet been released and therefore Ren and Stimpy had not been explicitly portrayed as homosexual, Ren and Stimpy would qualify as a consistently homosexual couple since they share a bed, live as partners, discuss a planned wedding, and had a "child," with the child being flatulence.
See also 
- List of characters in The Ren and Stimpy Show
- The Ren and Stimpy Show
- Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon"
- Goodman, Martin. "Cartoons Aren't Real! Ren and Stimpy In Review." Animation World Magazine. Issue 5.12. March 2001. 1. Retrieved on October 27, 2009.
- Goodman, Martin. "Cartoons Aren't Real! Ren and Stimpy In Review." Animation World Magazine. Issue 5.12. March 2001. 2. Retrieved on October 30, 2009.
- Meisler, Andy. "TELEVISION; Ren and Stimpy's Triumphant Return." The New York Times. Sunday August 16, 1992. Retrieved on October 27, 2009.
- Epstein, Daniel Robert. "Billy West Interview." UnderGroundOnline. Retrieved on October 27, 2009.
- "Bill Wray." David Anthony Kraft's Comics Interview #122. 1993. 12.
- Billy West F.A.Q.. Billy West. Retrieved October 26, 2006.
- "Bill Wray." David Anthony Kraft's Comics Interview #122. 1993. 1.
- Lenburg, Jeff. Who's Who in Animated Cartoons. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006. 187. ISBN 1-55783-671-X, 9781557836717.
- "The Picture." (Direct image link) John K. Stuff. Retrieved on September 26, 2010.
- Dennis, Jeffrey P. "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons." Journal of Popular Film & Television. Fall 2003. Volume 31, Issue 3. 132-140. 9p, 3bw. Within the PDF document the source info is on p. 135 (4/10)
- Dennis, Jeffrey P. "The Same Thing We Do Every Night: Signifying Same-Sex Desire in Television Cartoons." Journal of Popular Film & Television. Fall 2003. Volume 31, Issue 3. 132-140. 9p, 3bw. Within the PDF document the source info is on p. 136 (5/10)
- Goodman, Martin. "Deconstruction Zone — Part 2." Animation World Network. Wednesday March 10, 2004. 3. Retrieved on October 27, 2009.
- Goodman, Martin. "Deconstruction Zone — Part 2." Animation World Network. Wednesday March 10, 2004. 4. Retrieved on October 27, 2009.