The Brothers Grunt

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The Brothers Grunt
The Brothers Grunt titleboard
GenreBlack comedy
Surreal humor
Off-color humor
Created byDanny Antonucci
Developed byDennis Heaton
Danny Antonucci
Written byDennis Heaton
Danny Antonucci
Rod Filbrandt
Directed byDanny Antonucci
StarringDoug Parker
Jennifer Wilson
Danny Antonucci
Julie Faye
Phil Hayes
Terry Klassen
Ed Hong Louie
David Mylrae
Drew Reichelt
Lee Tockar
Camella Rhodes
Kevin Hayes
Composer(s)Patric Caird
Country of originCanada
United States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes12[citation needed] (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Danny Antonucci
Running time4-7 minutes (segments)
Production company(s)a.k.a. Cartoon
MTV Networks
Release
Original networkMTV
Original releaseAugust 15, 1994 (1994-08-15) –
April 9, 1995 (1995-04-09)
Chronology
Related showsEd, Edd n Eddy

The Brothers Grunt is a Canadian-American animated comedy television series by Ed, Edd n Eddy creator Danny Antonucci that originally aired from August 15, 1994 to April 9, 1995 on MTV. The series centered on Frank, Tony, Bing, Dean and Sammy, an ensemble cast of pale, rubbery humanoids distantly related to human beings, all of them ostensibly male, wandering around in their underpants, in search of their lost brother Perry.[1] Despite gaining popularity at animation festivals,[citation needed] the series had a short run and was met with a generally negative reception.

Overview[edit]

Premise[edit]

The series centered on an ensemble cast of pale, rubbery, twitchy, involuntarily spastic, yellow-eyed and constipated-looking humanoids with prominent varicose veins often leaking various noxious bodily fluids who are distantly related to human beings, all of them ostensibly male, wandering around in their underpants. Their main food staple is cheese; nevertheless, they are able to eat other foods and dishes (at least potatoes, according to the episode "Not My Potato"). Their single parent is a giant, mute aquatic individual, called Primus Gruntus Maximus, to whom they are born as embryos inside skin warts, much in the way of the Surinam Toad (see Pipa pipa). They live in a monastery in the wilderness. A group is formed, composed of most of the survivors of their species, in a quest to bring back one of their kind, Perry, who has abandoned his involuntary position of "Chosen One" (leader of their order) and is now living the "high life" among human beings (who seem to deal with the bizarre nature of the grunts by ignoring them and pretending everything is normal).
In music video segments that are intervened with some episodes, supervised by Kathy Karp, there are additional animated portions of the main characters grunting.

Characters[edit]

The main characters were named after famous vocalists of the 1950s: Frank (Sinatra), Tony (Bennett), Dean (Martin), Bing (Crosby), Sammy (Davis Jr.), and Perry (Como), all voiced by Doug Parker.

Main[edit]

  • Frank
  • Tony
  • Bing
  • Dean
  • Sammy
  • Perry - A grunt that became the chosen one in the pilot episode: The Ceremony.

Major[edit]

  • Gruntus Poobah - (Doug Parker) The leader of the brotherhood of grunt, he serves as the show's host and explains the plot before each episode. He also appears often in flashbacks when the grunts are in a troubled situation giving them advice.
  • The Dıflash Queen - (Jennifer Wilson) A Turkish Queen that appeared in the episode: Scrub Me Sammy.
  • Gruntus Primus Maximumus - (Doug Parker) A floating giant and the male parent of all living members of the grunt species, All Grunts are born, or hatched, from warts on his back.
  • The Dıflash Queen's İgnam lamp - (Jennifer Wilson) A Turkish lamp belonging to Sammy.
  • The Smein - (Doug Parker) A Nazi German skunk that appeared in the lost episode: Hunt for Grunts.
  • Krischmäßante - (Doug Parker) The Smein's best friend skunk.
  • Santa Claus (or St. Nicholas or especially Kris Kringle) - (Doug Parker) An obese present bringer that appeared in the lost episode: The Grunts Who Came for Turkey.

The characters that would become The Brothers Grunt were first seen in one of MTV's numerous 30-second promos. This particular promo consisted of close-up shots of the at-the-time-unnamed character's faces who seemed to be straining to do something (veins in their heads would bulge, the characters would squint and grunt) until the scene cut to the MTV logo landing in a pool of sludge followed by a satisfied "Ahhhhh" (suggesting that the characters were suffering from constipation and the MTV logo was the 'turd' as it were). It is unclear when this promo aired if the storyline and characters for The Brothers Grunt had been developed already or if it had been developed into its own show after the success of the promo, in the wake of Beavis and Butt-head.

Production[edit]

The show's origins can be traced back to 1993 when the MTV ad "Grunt MTV" aired. At the time Danny Antonucci had animated several MTV ads to find work outside of International Rocketship Ltd., who he had worked for since 1984. Although Danny enjoyed the success of Lupo The Butcher, he wanted to leave International Rocketship Ltd. and start his own animation company. The result was a.k.a. Cartoon, which began on April 1, 1994. The studio began as a way to locate his work for The Brothers Grunt after MTV executive Abby Terkel liked his MTV ad so much, he asked him to turn it into a television series.[2] Each episode of the show would consist of three to four segments.[3]

Reception[edit]

"I still think it’s a cool show and I really enjoyed doing it. For what I wanted to do I thought it was quite successful. That’s the key for me. I really dig what I do and it’s important for me to like what I do. I don’t regret anything. I just look at it as something I did, and move on."

Danny Antonucci, in response to the show's obscurity[2]

The Brothers Grunt had a short run and was met with generally negative reception from critics. Kenneth R. Clark of the Chicago Tribune said that, with the series, MTV "created the most repulsive creatures ever to show up on a television screen" and "accomplished the seemingly impossible."[4] Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times called the show "an effortful, sophomoric half-hour that leaves the viewer longing for the refined good taste of Alice Cooper."[5] In their book North of Everything: English-Canadian Cinema Since 1980, William Beard and Jerry White called the series a "failure".[6] Also, around the time the series premiered, the decision to put Beavis and Butt-head (whose titular characters made a cameo appearance on the episode "Close Encounters of the Grunt Kind") on hiatus for a few months resulted in its reputation worsening, as fans of the latter one were dissatisfied with that.[citation needed] The show was often compared to Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, an animated series that aired on MTV's sister channel, Nickelodeon. Gábor Csupó, co-creator of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, rejected these comparisons, claiming that his show was more character-driven, while The Brothers Grunt was an idea-driven series, also pointing out that both shows have different visual styles.[7] When looking back on the series, creator Danny Antonucci stated that the series "didn't really do too well", also saying that the show has since become MTV's "dirty little secret".[2]

Episodes[edit]

Note: All episodes directed by Danny Antonucci

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleWritten byStoryboard byOriginal air date
1a1a"The Ceremony"Danny Antonucci and Dennis HeatonHilary PhillipsAugust 15, 1994 (1994-08-15)
1b1b"Make Mine a Grunt"Danny Antonucci and Dennis HeatonMike GrimshawAugust 22, 1994 (1994-08-22)
1c1c"The New Fish"Danny Antonucci and Dennis HeatonRussell CrispinAugust 29, 1994 (1994-08-29)
1d1d"Where Angels Fear to Grunt"Mike GrimshawHilary PhillipsSeptember 5, 1994 (1994-09-05)
2a2a"Viva Grunt Vegas"Rod FilbrandtGreg SullivanSeptember 12, 1994 (1994-09-12)
2b2b"Scrub Me Sammy"Danny Antonucci and Dennis HeatonRussell CrispinSeptember 19, 1994 (1994-09-19)
2c2c"The Detective"Sam Johnson & Chris MarcilRussell CrispinSeptember 26, 1994 (1994-09-26)
2d2d"If I Could Grunt to the Animals"Rod FilbrandtHilary PhillipsOctober 3, 1994 (1994-10-03)
3a[citation needed]3a[citation needed]"Grunt Moments in History"TBATBANovember 7, 1994 (1994-11-07)
3b[citation needed]3b[citation needed]"Perry Molo"TBATBANovember 14, 1994 (1994-11-14)
3c[citation needed]3c[citation needed]"Tony and Salsa"TBATBANovember 21, 1994 (1994-11-21)
3d[citation needed]3d[citation needed]"A Call to Grunts"TBATBANovember 28, 1994 (1994-11-28)
4a[citation needed]4a[citation needed]"Clean Up in Aisle Grunt"TBATBADecember 5, 1994 (1994-12-05)
4b[citation needed]4b[citation needed]"Land of the Midnight Grunt"TBATBADecember 12, 1994 (1994-12-12)
4c[citation needed]4c[citation needed]"Close Encounters of the Grunt Kind"TBATBADecember 19, 1994 (1994-12-19)
4d[citation needed]4d[citation needed]"The Scent of Grunts"TBATBADecember 26, 1994 (1994-12-26)
5a[8]5a[8]"Paging Dr. Grunt"TBATBAOctober 10, 1994 (1994-10-10)
5b[8]5b[8]"Perry's Appliance Repair"TBATBAOctober 17, 1994 (1994-10-17)
5c[8]5c[8]"Timmy's Best Friend"TBATBAOctober 24, 1994 (1994-10-24)
5d[8]5d[8]"No Quest Today"TBATBAOctober 31, 1994 (1994-10-31)
6a[9]6a[9]"Eat My Grunt"Dennis HeatonMike GrimshawJanuary 2, 1995 (1995-01-02)
6b[9]6b[9]"They Stole Tony's Veins!"Dennis HeatonRod FilbrandtJanuary 9, 1995 (1995-01-09)
6c[9]6c[9]"Not My Potato"Dennis HeatonRussell CrispinJanuary 16, 1995 (1995-01-16)
6d[9]6d[9]"Squeal Like A Grunt"Jono HowardAngus BungayJanuary 23, 1995 (1995-01-23)
7a7a"The Big Crapple"Mark SawersRussell CrispinJanuary 30, 1995 (1995-01-30)
7b7b"Grunt Fare"Mark Sawers, Dennis Heaton and Danny AntonucciRod FilbrandtFebruary 13, 1995 (1995-02-13)
7c7c"Sammy in a Varicose Vein"Rod FilbrandtHilary PhillipsFebruary 6, 1995 (1995-02-06)
8a8a"To Hell with Bing"TBATBAFebruary 20, 1995 (1995-02-20)
8b8b"Cream Style Tony"TBATBAFebruary 27, 1995 (1995-02-27)
8c8c"The Ugly Gruntling"TBATBAMarch 5, 1995 (1995-03-05)
8d8d"5 Card Grunt"TBATBAMarch 12, 1995 (1995-03-12)
9a9a"The Stench of Grunts"TBATBAMarch 19, 1995 (1995-03-19)
9b9b"Grunt Games"TBATBAMarch 26, 1995 (1995-03-26)
9c9c"Requiem for a Sammy"TBATBAApril 2, 1995 (1995-04-02)
9d9d"Smells like Dean Spirit"TBATBAApril 9, 1995 (1995-04-09)

Unreleased episodes[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleOriginal air date
N/AN/A"Perry Come Home"Unaired
N/AN/A"Bring Me the Head of Perry the Grunt"Unaired
N/AN/A"Black Balled Grunt"Unaired
N/AN/A"Perry's Day Off"Unaired
N/AN/A"Tony & Lace"Unaired
N/AN/A"The Filling of the Shorts"Unaired
N/AN/A"Poobah Blues"Unaired
N/AN/A"Hunt for Grunts"Unconfirmed
N/AN/A"Friends! Romans! Grunts!"Unconfirmed
N/AN/A"The Wedding"Unconfirmed

Merchandise[edit]

Fleer released in 1995 trading cards based on the series, as part of the MTV Animation Fleer's Ultra set.[10] Also, t-shirts were manufactured and released by Stanley Desantis, as well as caps by American Needle. The show's theme song, sung by Frank Sinatra and written by Brendan Dolan and Geoff Whelan, was featured in Television's Greatest Hits: Volume 7, which was released in 1996 by TVT Records' soundtrack imprint, TVT SOUNDTRAX.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 162. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  2. ^ a b c "Antonucci.html".
  3. ^ Perlmutter, David (May 4, 2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 95. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  4. ^ "Mtv's 'Brothers Grunt' Pushes Cartoon Envelope".
  5. ^ SOLOMON, CHARLES (August 15, 1994). "'Brothers Grunt' a Reason to Say 'Ugh'" – via LA Times.
  6. ^ Beard, William; White, Jerry (January 1, 2002). "North of Everything: English-Canadian Cinema Since 1980". University of Alberta – via Google Books.
  7. ^ Mendoza, N.R. (October 30, 1994). "Nickelodeon offers monsters in training". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 24, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Production card for episode 5
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Production card for episode 6
  10. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Grunt-Frank-Trading-Animation/dp/B01N7VNW9N
  11. ^ "The Brothers Grunt".

External links[edit]