Man's Best Friend (Ren & Stimpy)
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|"Man's Best Friend"|
|The Ren & Stimpy Show episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||John K.|
|Written by||Vincent Waller and John K.|
|Original air date||Unaired 1992 (Nickelodeon)
June 23, 2003 (Spike TV)
"Man's Best Friend" is a controversial episode of Nickelodeon's The Ren & Stimpy Show that was produced for the 2nd season of the show, but it never aired in the original run of the series. It was aired later on Spike TV as the first episode of Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon". In this episode, Ren and Stimpy are adopted by George Liquor, who wants to make them champions.
The episode was indeed the most controversial episode of the series; it was infamous for the violent scene where Ren beats George with an oar and even tobacco references. In order to make the show "family-oriented," Nickelodeon—who didn't like the episode or the scene—fired series creator John Kricfalusi and his production company Spümcø.
One day, George Liquor is standing outside of a pet store, watching Ren and Stimpy sleep in the window and gets the idea to adopt them as his pets. Upon arriving home, he introduces them to their new abode: a fish bowl from which the fish was rudely thrown out (and stole George's car as a result). The next day Ren and Stimpy awaken to find George Liquor dressed as a drill sergeant to train them to be proper pets. Their first lesson is house training by doing butt-push-ups on a newspaper. Ren fails, but Stimpy easily does his business while reading about mudslides. He is given a cigar-shaped dog treat as a reward. Next they are taught discipline. To learn discipline, first they have to learn to disobey. George Liquor tells them not to go anywhere near the couch, then instructs them to do just that so they can be punished. When he begins to become enraged by them not following his orders, Ren freaks out and collapses to the floor sobbing, and a terrified Stimpy hurls himself onto the couch as George had instructed, only to be yelled at. Stimpy is scared, thinking he's going to be punished. Instead, George compliments him for following orders and gives him another dog treat. Then George asks Ren to ask him for punishment. But George insists that Ren is too "soft" for punishment and instead gives him 20 dollars and tells him to take the car and see a movie as well. Ren points out that the fish already took the car and it looks like George is going to be enraged. Instead, he gives Ren another 20 dollars for being a smart mouth.
Lastly, he teaches them go to protect their "master". But before they learn to defend, they have to learn to attack. Wearing a padded suit, he urges the two of them to attack him. Stimpy refuses because George is his "kind and beloved master", but Ren, who is sick of George Liquor and their treatment, picks up an oar and maniacally begins beating him up with it, much to Stimpy's horror. Again, Ren expects George to be enraged. Instead, he is impressed and calls him a champion and produces cigar-shaped treats for all of them. The episode ends with the three of them dancing with the cigar-shaped treats clamped between their teeth.
Production and controversy
Produced from the show's second season, the story for the episode was written by Vincent Waller and series creator John Kricfalusi who also served as the episode's director and was scheduled to air on Nickelodeon in 1992, but the channel refused to air it due to one violent scene (Ren beats up George with an oar), as well as references to tobacco. Following the episode's ban, Nickelodeon fired John Kricfalusi and the rest of Spümcø in order to make the show appropriate for younger viewers according to John K. himself. Following this also, Games Animation handled the show starting with its third season, with Billy West, Stimpy's voice actor, replacing Kricfalusi's role as the voice of Ren.
However, Kricfalusi was hired for Viacom years later, creating the short-lived Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" for the Spike TV network as part of its animation block, releasing the banned episode on the channel.
The episode was released on Ren & Stimpy's first and second season boxset, as a bonus feature, and was later released for The Lost Episodes DVD.
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