|The Ren & Stimpy Show|
|Created by||John Kricfalusi|
|Directed by||John Kricfalusi (seasons 1–2)|
Bob Camp (seasons 3–5)
|Voices of||John Kricfalusi (seasons 1–2)|
|Theme music composer|
|Composers||Shawn Patterson ("Ol' Blue Nose" and "Sammy and Me")|
Chris Reccardi ("Hard Times for Haggis", "Hermit Ren" and "Ren's Brain")
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||52 (126 segments) (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Vanessa Coffey|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Audio format||Dolby Stereo (1991–1994)|
Dolby Surround (1994–1996)
|Original release||August 11, 1991 –|
October 20, 1996
|Followed by||Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon"|
The Ren & Stimpy Show (also known as Ren & Stimpy) is an American animated television series created by Canadian animator John Kricfalusi. Originally produced by Spümcø for Nickelodeon, the series aired from August 11, 1991, to December 16, 1995, with a total of five seasons and 52 episodes. The series follows the adventures of Ren Höek, an emotionally unstable and sociopathic chihuahua dog; and Stimpy, a good-natured and dimwitted manx cat.
The Ren & Stimpy Show is the third of Nickelodeon's original animated series—known as "Nicktoons"—alongside Rugrats and Doug. In contrast with other shows on the network, it has generated controversy for its dark humor, sexual innuendos, adult humor, violence, and shock value. This controversy contributed to the production staff's altercations with Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices department, in addition to Spümcø's failure to deliver episodes on time, all of which led to Kricfalusi's termination from the show in 1992. Games Animation would produce the remaining three seasons of the series. One episode was initially left unaired until it was broadcast on MTV on October 20, 1996.
Nevertheless, The Ren & Stimpy Show received very positive reviews during its original run and has since developed a cult following. It is considered by many to have had a long-lasting influence on television animation.
A revival for adult audiences, Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", was produced by Kricfalusi and Spümcø and aired in 2003 on Spike TV. Only three episodes were aired before the series was cancelled due to both production delays and negative critical reception, with three additional episodes (all incomplete at the time of the cancellation) being released straight to DVD in 2006. On August 5, 2020, Comedy Central announced that they had ordered a second revival of the series to be produced without the involvement of Kricfalusi.
The series centers on Ren Höek (voiced by John Kricfalusi in seasons 1–2; Billy West in seasons 3–5), a short-tempered, psychotic, "asthma-hound" Chihuahua Dog, and Stimpson J. "Stimpy" Cat (also voiced by Billy West), a dimwitted and happy-go-lucky cat. The duo fill various roles from episode to episode, including outer-space explorers, Old West horse thieves, and nature-show hosts, and are usually at odds with each other in these situations. While the show was sometimes set in the present day, the show's crew tended to avoid "contemporary" jokes about current events. The show extensively features off-color and absurdist humor, as well as slapstick.
The show features a host of supporting characters. Some appear only in one episode, while others recur and occasionally appear in different roles. They may either be part of the storyline or make cameo appearances with little bearing on the plot. Some, such as Mr. Horse, are exclusively cameo-based, spontaneously appearing as a running gag.
Development and history
According to animator William Wray, John Kricfalusi created the characters Ren and Stimpy in 1978 for "personal amusement" while studying at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada. He was inspired to create Ren by an Elliott Erwitt photograph, printed on a postcard, called "New York City, 1946", showing a sweatered chihuahua at a woman's feet. Stimpy's design was inspired by a Tweety cartoon called A Gruesome Twosome where the cats in the animation had big noses.
When Nickelodeon approached Kricfalusi, he presented three shows, among them a variety show titled Your Gang or Our Gang with a live action host presenting different cartoons, each cartoon parodying a different genre. Ren and Stimpy were pets of one of the children in Your Gang, serving as a parody of the "cat and dog genre". The network's vice president of animation production Vanessa Coffey was dissatisfied with the other projects but liked Ren and Stimpy, singling them out for their own series. Production of the series' pilot episode began in 1989 after Kricfalusi pitched and sold The Ren & Stimpy Show to Nickelodeon. The pilot was produced by Kricfalusi's Los Angeles-based animation company, Spümcø, and screened at film festivals for several months before the show was announced in Nickelodeon's 1991 cartoons line-up.
The series premiered on August 11, 1991, alongside Doug and Rugrats. Spümcø continued to produce the show for the next two years while encountering issues with Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices department. The show was known for its lack of early merchandising; according to Wray, the initial lack of merchandise was "the unique and radical thing" about The Ren & Stimpy Show, as no toy company planned ahead for any merchandise for the show, and Nickelodeon did not want to use "over-exploitive" merchandising.
Kricfalusi described his early period with Nickelodeon as being "simple", as he got along with Coffey, the sole executive of the program. When another executive was added, they wanted to alter or discard some of the Ren & Stimpy episodes, but Kricfalusi says the episodes stayed intact since he did a "trade" with Coffey: he would have some "really crazy" episodes in exchange for some "heart-warming" episodes. Kricfalusi also said that the program was the "safest project [he] ever worked on" while explaining the meaning of "safe" as "spend a third of what they spend now per picture, hire proven creative talent, and let them entertain." He estimated Spümcø's run of The Ren & Stimpy Show cost around $6 million to produce.
The relationship between Kricfalusi and Nickelodeon deteriorated to the point where Kricfalusi would communicate with Nickelodeon only through his lawyer. News outlets and several of the series' staff ascribe the tension to episodes not being delivered in a timely manner. Author Andy Mangels, writing for Wizard magazine, commented that "Kricfalusi's lax treatment of deadlines angered not only the networks, but his loyal viewers as well." However, some of the delays were attributed to Nickelodeon's prolonged approval process and withdrawal of approval from scenes and episodes that had been previously approved. Another point of contention was the direction of the series. Kricfalusi cites the episode "Man's Best Friend" as the primary reason for his dismissal; the character George Liquor is depicted in the episode as an abusive father figure, and Nickelodeon did not want the show to be so frightening and dramatic.: 15
Games Animation (1993–1996)
Nickelodeon terminated Kricfalusi's contract in late September 1992 and offered him the position of consultant for Ren & Stimpy, but he refused to "sell out". The network moved production from Spümcø to its newly founded animation studio, Games Animation, which later became Nickelodeon Animation Studio. Bob Camp replaced Kricfalusi as director, while West, having refused Kricfalusi's request to leave along with him, voiced Ren in addition to Stimpy.
Fans and critics felt this was a turning point in the show, with the new episodes being a considerable step down from the standard of those that preceded them. Ted Drozdowski, resident critic of The Boston Phoenix, stated that "the bloom faded" on Ren & Stimpy. Animation historian Michael Barrier writes that while the creators of the Games episodes used crude jokes that were similar to those used by Kricfalusi, they did not "find the material particularly funny; they were merely doing what was expected".
The series ended its original run on Nickelodeon on December 16, 1995, with "A Scooter for Yaksmas", and had a total of five seasons and 51 episodes, although one episode from the final season, "Sammy and Me/The Last Temptation", remained unaired. Almost a year later, the episode aired on Nickelodeon's sister network, MTV, on October 20, 1996.
The animation production methods used in The Ren & Stimpy Show were similar to those found in Golden Age cartoons of the early 20th century, where a director supervised the entire process. These methods are in contrast with animation production methods in the 1980s, where there was one director for animation and a different director for voice actors, and the cartoons were created with a "top-down" approach to tie in with toy production.
Animator Vincent Waller compared working on Ren & Stimpy and SpongeBob SquarePants in an interview: "Working on Ren and Stimpy and SpongeBob was very similar. They're both storyboard-driven shows, which means they give us an outline from a premise after the premise has been approved. We take the outline and expand on it, writing the dialogue and gags. That was very familiar."
The show's aesthetics draw on Golden Age cartoons, particularly those of animator Bob Clampett from the 1940s in the way the characters' emotions powerfully distort their bodies. The show's style emphasizes unique expressions, intense and specific acting, and strong character poses. One of the show's most notable visual trademarks is the detailed paintings of gruesome close-ups, along with the blotchy ink stains that on occasion replace the standard backgrounds, "reminiscent of holes in reality or the vision of a person in a deep state of dementia". This style was developed from Clampett's Baby Bottleneck, which features several scenes with color-cards for backgrounds. The show incorporated norms from "the old system in TV and radio" where the animation would feature sponsored products to tie in with the cartoon, but in lieu of real advertisements, it featured fake commercial breaks advertising nonexistent products, most notably "Log".
Kricfalusi cited Carbunkle Cartoons, an animation studio headed by Bob Jaques and Kelly Armstrong, for beautifully animating the show's best episodes, improving the acting with subtle nuances and wild animation that could not be done with overseas animation studios. Some of the show's earlier episodes were rough to the point Kricfalusi felt the need to patch up the animation with sound effects and "music bandaids", helping the segments "play better, even though much of the animation and timing weren't working on their own". KJ Dell'Antonia of Common Sense Media describes the show's style as changing "from intentionally rough to much more polished and plushie-toy ready."
Kricfalusi originally voiced Ren, styled after a demented Peter Lorre from the film The Maltese Falcon. When Nickelodeon terminated Kricfalusi's contract, Billy West, already the voice of Stimpy, took the role using a combination of Burl Ives, Kirk Douglas, and a slight "south of the border accent" for the rest of the Nickelodeon run. West voiced Stimpy for the Spümcø and Games Animation episodes, basing the voice on an "amped-up" Larry Fine. Some notable artists and performers who voiced incidental characters on the show were Frank Zappa, Jack Carter, Stan Freberg, Tommy Davidson, Randy Quaid, Gilbert Gottfried, Rosie O'Donnell, Dom DeLuise, Phil Hartman, Mark Hamill, and Soleil Moon Frye.
The Ren & Stimpy Show features a wide variety of music, spanning rockabilly, folk, pop, jazz, classical music, jingles, and more. The opening and closing themes are performed by a group of Spümcø employees under the name "Die Screaming Leiderhôsens". Three Ren & Stimpy albums have been released. In 1993 a compilation album, You Eediot!, was released as a soundtrack album. The album's front cover is a parody of The Beatles' 11th studio album Abbey Road.
Stimpy's rousing anthem titled "Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy" was composed by Christopher Reccardi and written by Charlie Brissette and John Kricfalusi. A cover of this song, performed by Wax, is included on the 1995 tribute album Saturday Morning: Cartoons' Greatest Hits, produced by Ralph Sall for MCA Records.
Grunge icon Kurt Cobain wanted to write a song for the show and proposed the idea to Billy West and John Kricfalusi, but was ultimately turned down. This was thought to be around 1992 when Cobain's band Nirvana was just breaking into the mainstream. Ever since fans have heard about the story, they wonder if the song might be one of the home recordings released on Montage of Heck in 2015. When asked on Twitter if he knew what happened to the song West replied, "I don't think the song exists. As far as I know it had yet to be written and remained a proposal."
Controversy and censorship
The program's staff did not want to create an "educational" series, a stance that bothered Nickelodeon,: 21 leading to the series being criticized by parent groups. Some segments of the show were altered to exclude references to religion, politics, alcohol, violence, and tobacco. The episode "Powdered Toast Man" had a cross removed from the Pope's hat and the credit was changed to "the man with the pointy hat". The same episode had a segment featuring the burning of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights that was removed, while in "Dog Show", the last name of the character George Liquor was removed, being changed to "George American". Many other episodes included someone smoking a cigar, pipe, or a cigarette.
Several episodes had violent, gruesome, or suggestive scenes shortened or removed, including a sequence involving a severed head, a close-up of Ren's face being grated against a man's stubble, and a scene that was shortened where Ren receives multiple punches to the stomach from a baby. In the second season episode "Sven Höek", during the scene where Ren fantasizes Stimpy and his cousin Sven's death after breaking all of his prized possessions, the part where he says: "Then...I'm going to gouge your eyes out...yeah..." was cut. One infamous episode, "Man's Best Friend", was banned by Nickelodeon for its violent content. Neither Nickelodeon nor MTV would air the episode. Years later on Spike TV, the show's reboot, Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", debuted with this banned episode as their unofficial pilot, even receiving a TV-MA rating.
|First aired||Last aired|
|Theatrical pilot||August 10, 1990|
|1||6||August 11, 1991||February 23, 1992|
|2||12||August 15, 1992||May 23, 1993|
|3||10||November 20, 1993||July 30, 1994|
|4||14||October 1, 1994||April 1, 1995|
|5||10||June 3, 1995||October 20, 1996|
The series ran for five seasons, spanning 52 episodes. The show was produced by Kricfalusi's animation studio Spümcø for the first two seasons. Beginning with season three (1993–94), the show was produced by Nickelodeon's Games Animation. The episode "Man's Best Friend" was produced for season two, but the episode was shelved and debuted with the show's 2003 reboot. Another episode, "Sammy and Me / The Last Temptation", aired on MTV on October 20, 1996, almost a year after the original Nickelodeon run ended.
The Ren & Stimpy Show received widespread critical acclaim. Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, praised the show for its outrageousness and called it "the only good cartoon on TV" other than The Simpsons. Terry Thoren, former CEO and president of Klasky Csupo, said that Kricfalusi "tapped into an audience that was a lot hipper than anybody thought. He went where no man wanted to go before – the caca, booger humor". Jonathan Valania of The Morning Call called it "high voltage yuks and industrial-strength weirdness", John Lyttle of The Independent described it as "a gooey media meltdown, absolutely grotesque and instantly recognisable" and did not consider it a children's cartoon.
The show came to garner high ratings for Nickelodeon, having double the viewership of the other Nickelodeon cartoons for its first season and later averaging three times their viewership. The show for a time was the most popular cable TV show, with several airings being the most-watched scripted cable TV show in 1993 in the United States. The show quickly developed a cult following in college campuses, and was included in the launch of Nickelodeon's Snick, a late-night block for shows that appeal to both children and adults.
Legacy and influence
The immediate influence of the show was the spawning of two "clones": Hanna-Barbera's 2 Stupid Dogs, in which Spümcø employees including Kricfalusi had some limited involvement after their departure from Ren & Stimpy; and Disney's The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show. However, the show had a wider influence on the future of animation.
Mike Judge credits MTV's willingness to commission Beavis and Butt-Head to the success of Ren & Stimpy on the network. Writer Larry Brody credits Ren & Stimpy for leading a new golden age of animation, as other networks followed Nickelodeon and invested in new cartoons, opening the way for more adult-oriented satirical shows like Beavis and Butt-Head.
David Feiss, an animation director of the show, went on to create Cartoon Network’s Cow and Chicken. John Kricfalusi, became a teacher of sorts for Fred Seibert, and was the first person Seibert called while looking for new talent for the project, What A Cartoon!. Writer/animator Allan Neuwirth writes that Ren & Stimpy "broke the mold" and started several trends in TV animation, chiefly the revival of credits at the beginning of each episode, the use of grotesque close-ups, and a shift in cartoon color palettes to richer, more harmonious colors.
The characters became a cultural touchstone in the mid-1990s, and were featured in works such as the films Clueless (1995), The Cable Guy and Jack (1996). Ren & Stimpy placed 31st in TV Guide's list of "Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time" in 2002. The cover story of the October 2001 issue of Wizard, a magazine for comic book fans, listed the 100 Greatest Toons ever as selected by their readers, with Ren & Stimpy ranked at number 12. Other entertainment journals similarly hold Ren & Stimpy as one of the best cartoons of the '90s and cartoons for adults.
Adult Party Cartoon (2003)
In 2003, Kricfalusi headed the relaunch of the series as Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon". The new version was aired during a late night programming block on Spike TV and was rated TV-MA. The series explores more adult themes, including an explicitly homosexual relationship between the main characters, strong profanity, graphic violence, and female nudity.
Billy West declined to participate in the show, saying that the show "wasn't funny" and that joining it would have damaged his career. Eric Bauza voiced Stimpy, while Kricfalusi reprised the roles of Ren and Mr. Horse. The show began with the "banned" Nickelodeon episode "Man's Best Friend" before debuting new episodes. Fans and critics alike were unsettled by the show from the first episode, which featured the consumption of bodily fluids such as nasal mucus, saliva, and vomit. Like the original series, Kricfalusi showed apparent disregard for meeting production deadlines, with only three of the ordered nine episodes being completed on time. After three episodes, Spike's entire animation block was removed from its programming schedule. Three more episodes, already in production by the time the series was cancelled, were subsequently completed and released directly to DVD in 2006.
Cancelled revival attempt
In February 2016, Deadline.com reported that Ren & Stimpy was scheduled to appear in an upcoming Nicktoons film reboot. Three months later, Variety reported that Nickelodeon was in negotiations with Kricfalusi about a revival of the characters. Bob Camp and William Wray stated in an April 2016 panel discussion that Kricfalusi was developing a Ren & Stimpy short that would screen along with the third SpongeBob SquarePants film. They later said that they were "not invited to that party" and would not be involved with the production. However, Kricfalusi denied on Twitter that he was making such a cartoon. An animatic of a short that was to act as promotion for The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was released as an Easter egg on the Cans Without Labels DVD in May 2019.
Comedy Central reboot
On August 5, 2020, it was reported that a new Ren & Stimpy reboot had been greenlit by Comedy Central (along with Daria and Beavis and Butt-Head). Though a new creative staff has been employed, Billy West was expected to return along with a few of the original series' writers. Kricfalusi will not be involved with the reboot, nor will he receive any compensation from it. The series was originally set to be produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio, but as of October 2021, the series' production has been moved to Awesome Inc, while Snipple Animation announced their involvement in September 2022. According to West, development was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, contrary to earlier rumors that the project had been cancelled. Paramount Global (at the time operating as ViacomCBS), the parent company of Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, has not responded to requests for a comment about the status of the show, though West reiterated that it was still in production. On September 14, 2021, West confirmed that he was reprising his roles as Ren and Stimpy.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (October 2010)
VHS, LaserDisc & UMD
Sony Wonder initially distributed collections of episodes of The Ren & Stimpy Show on VHS, which were not grouped by air dates or season. For instance, The Classics Volume 1 VHS was released in 1993 and included three episodes from Season 1 ("Space Madness", "Untamed World" and "Stimpy's Invention"), as well as the short segment "Breakfast Tips" and a "Log" commercial. Other Nickelodeon compilation tapes, including two themed after the SNICK programming block, were also released containing individual Ren and Stimpy cartoons.
Perhaps because of the show's adult following, it was also granted a LaserDisc set (the only ever LaserDisc release from Sony Wonder, and the only LaserDisc of a Nickelodeon original series), The Ren & Stimpy Show -- The Essential Collection: Classics I & II, was released in 1995. This included all the episodes previously released on VHS from the Classics I and Classics II volumes, as well as the shorts included on said VHS releases.
Eventually, the rights for Nickelodeon's programming on home video transferred from Sony to Paramount Home Video. Paramount only released one video of The Ren & Stimpy Show, "Have Yourself a Stinky Little Christmas", which was actually a re-release of a Sony video from 1993.
In 2005, Paramount released The First Ten Cartoons on UMD, only for playback on Sony's PSP portable video game system. Presumably due to poor sales of UMD movies and shows, no further episodes were released on the format.
Time–Life released several episodes of The Ren & Stimpy Show in a "Best of" set in September 2003. This set is now out of print. On October 12, 2004, Paramount Home Entertainment released the first two complete seasons in a three-disc box set Although the cover art and press materials said the episodes were "uncut", a handful of episodes were, in fact, edited, due to the use of Spike TV masters where Spike TV would cut some scenes from episodes to make room for longer commercial breaks. One of the episodes from the second season, "Svën Höek", did have footage reinserted from a work-in-progress VHS tape, but with an editing machine timecode visible on-screen; the scene was later restored by fans. Three other episodes ("Powdered Toast Man", "Dog Show", and "Big House Blues") contain extra footage that wasn't originally broadcast on Nickelodeon. The DVD set even includes the banned episode "Man's Best Friend" as a bonus feature. A set for "Seasons Three and a Half-ish", containing all of season three and the first half of season four up to "It's a Dog's Life/Egg Yölkeo", followed on June 28, 2005. Season Five and Some More of Four completed the DVD release of the Nickelodeon series on September 20. Like the previous DVDs, some scenes were removed in these releases.
A two-disc set dubbed The Lost Episodes was released on July 17, 2006, featuring both the aired and unaired episodes from "Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon", as well as clips from unfinished cartoons.
The original series was released entirely as a 9-disc set in Germany on October 4, 2013. After people said that two episodes on the second disc were not completely uncensored, Turbine Classics offered to send everybody with proof of purchase of an uncensored disc. The set comprises a mix of the known US airings and the German TV airings which included some exclusive scenes of various episodes. Since the set is the first to include all scenes ever broadcast worldwide, it is considered the first truly uncensored DVD release of the series.
Seven action games based directly on the television series were released between 1992 and 1995.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: Space Cadet Adventures was developed by Imagineering, published by THQ and released for the Game Boy in November 1992. The game's premise centers on Stimpy attempting to rescue a stranded Ren, who is simultaneously traversing alien worlds attempting to return to their ship. The game received middling reviews and was praised for its faithful humor and visuals but was criticized for its repetitive and unimaginative gameplay.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: Veediots! was developed by Gray Matter, published by THQ and released for the SNES and Game Boy in October 1993. The game is composed of four stages based on episodes from the television series. Both versions of the game received middling reviews. The SNES version was praised for its faithful visuals and audio but was criticized for its repetitive stages, standard gameplay and sluggish controls. Nintendo Power commented that the Game Boy version had good graphics but poor controls and challenge.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: Stimpy's Invention was developed by BlueSky Software, published by Sega and released for the Sega Genesis in November 1993. The game's premise follows Ren and Stimpy as they travel through their neighborhood and collect scattered pieces of Stimpy's latest invention, the Mutate-O-Matic. The game features a two-player mode in which each player controls one of the two titular characters. The reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly praised the game's faithful and humorous visuals and audio but derided the two-player mode as "more aggravating than fun" and "twice as hard as a one-player [game]".
- Quest for the Shaven Yak Starring Ren Hoëk & Stimpy was developed by Realtime Associates, published by Sega and released for the Game Gear in November 1993. It was also released for the Master System in Brazil in 1995. The game's premise centers on Ren and Stimpy's mission to return the hooves of the Great Shaven Yak. Scary Larry of GamePro praised the music as "worth the price of admission" and the graphics as "very good by Game Gear standards".
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: Buckeroo$ was developed by Imagineering, published by THQ and released for the NES in December 1993, and for the SNES in April 1995. The game features three levels based on the television episodes "Space Madness", "Out West", and "Robin Höek". Nintendo Power's review noted that the NES version's graphics "capture the artistic flavor of the cartoon series" but criticized the poor controls and unengaging game elements. Conversely, the SNES version was commended for having more gameplay variety than previous Ren & Stimpy titles, but the graphics were described as "[not] very Ren & Stimpyish".
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: Fire Dogs was developed by Argonaut Games, published by THQ, and released for the SNES in March 1994. The game is split into two distinct parts; in the first part, the player controls Stimpy, who must traverse through a firehouse and gather all the equipment for a firetruck in a limited time while avoiding the Fire Chief, while the second part puts the player in control of both Ren and Stimpy, who must catch items that are thrown out of a burning building. Nintendo Power commended the game's graphics, humor, audio, and inclusion of a password feature but criticized the lack of variety, limited time allotted for collecting items, and repetition of the two levels.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show: Time Warp was developed by Sculptured Software, published by THQ, and released for the SNES in October 1994. The game's premise centers on Ren and Stimpy's efforts to navigate through time and stop Muddy Mudskipper from ruining history. The reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly praised the game's animations and various attacks but stated that the controls "could be tweaked up a little more". Next Generation reviewed the game, rating it one star out of five, and stated that "When Nickelodeon fired creator John Kricfalusi, the heart and soul were sucked out of the pair. This game puts the final nail in the coffin."
Aside from these dedicated titles, Ren, Stimpy, and other characters from the series make appearances in the Nickelodeon 3D Movie Maker, Nicktoons Racing, Nicktoons MLB, Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix, and Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. A Ren & Stimpy game by Acclaim Entertainment was planned for the Atari Lynx but never released.
Marvel Comics optioned the rights to produce comic books based on Nickelodeon properties in 1992. The initial plan was to have an anthology comic featuring several Nicktoons properties. Marvel produced 44 issues of the ongoing series, along with several specials under the Marvel Absurd imprint. Most of these were written by comic scribe Dan Slott.
One Ren & Stimpy special #3, Masters of Time and Space, was set up as a "Choose Your Own Adventure" and with a time travel plot, took Slott six months to plot out in his spare time. It was designed so that it was possible to choose a path that would eventually be 20 pages longer than the comic itself. Issue #6 of the series starred Spider-Man battling Powdered Toast Man.
The editors named the "Letters to the Editor" section "Ask Dr. Stupid", and at least one letter in every column would be a direct question for Dr. Stupid to answer. This comic series lasted from December 1992 – July 1996.
|Issue #||Caption||Release date|
|1||The Ren & Stimpy Show||December 1992|
|3||Make Way For El Supremo Ren!||February 1993|
|4||Crash Dummies||March 1993|
|5||In Space||April 1993|
|6||The Amazing Spider Man Vs. Powdered Toast Man||May 1993|
|7||Kid Stimpy||June 1993|
|8||The Maltese Stimpy!||July 1993|
|9||Native Son||August 1993|
|10||Bubble Bath?||September 1993|
|12||I Scream Clones!||November 1993|
|13||Hokey Halloween Horror!||December 1993|
|14||Wanted Brain Dead Or Alive||January 1994|
|15||Black Mail, White Christmas, Green Moulah||February 1994|
|16||Return to Sender||March 1994|
|17||This Year's Model||April 1994|
|18||War is Heck||May 1994|
|20||Here's Muddy!||July 1994|
|21||I'm the Cat||August 1994|
|22||Badtime Stories||September 1994|
|23||Madcap Rasslin' Issue!||October 1994|
|24||Box Tops!||November 1994|
|27||Raiders of the Lost Yak||February 1995|
|28||Ren and Stimpy Match Wits With an Ape ... Guess Who Won?||March 1995|
|29||Defective Detective Issue Starring Sherlock Hoek||April 1995|
|30||Ren's Birthday||May 1995|
|31||Weiner Barons||June 1995|
|32||Circus Smirkus||July 1995|
|34||I'm Feelthy Rich!||September 1995|
|35||History of Sports||October 1995|
|36||Crabby Cabbies||November 1995|
|37||Aliens Abduct||December 1995|
|38||Toilet Trouble||January 1996|
|39||Impersonal Hygiene!||February 1996|
|44||Last Issue (as seen on TV)||July 1996|
Film adaptation attempts
Nickelodeon and 20th Century Fox signed a two-year production deal in May 1993 for the development and production of animated and live-action family films, based on new or existing properties. Ren & Stimpy was mentioned as a possible property for development, along with Rugrats and Doug; however, the show's "cynical and gross humor" was a poor fit for a conventional, "warm and fuzzy" family film. The deal expired with no movies produced. Nickelodeon would later start its own film studio after parent company Viacom purchased Paramount Pictures.
At the Wizard World Cleveland convention in March 2017, Camp said that Paramount Pictures rejected a pitch for a Ren & Stimpy feature film because of the "sour taste" left by Adult Party Cartoon, and they did not want any further connection with the characters.
- "The New TNN Signs With Animator John Kricfalusi". The New TNN press release. July 17, 2002. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
- Thad Komorowski (2013). Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1593932343.
- Amidi, Amid (January 1, 2021). "Billy West Says 'Ren & Stimpy' Reboot Still On At Comedy Central". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
- Goodman, Martin (March 2001). "Cartoons Aren't Real! Ren and Stimpy In Review". Animation World Magazine. Archived from the original on December 27, 2001.
- Smallbridge, Justin (April 1994), "Ren and Stimpy's big corporate takeover", Saturday Night, retrieved December 25, 2015
- Novinskie, Charles S. (1993). "Bill Wray, interview". David Anthony Kraft's Comics Interview issue 122. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
- Barrier, Michael (2003). Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in Its Golden Age. Oxford University Press US. pp. 571–572. ISBN 978-0195167290. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
- "About The Ren & Stimpy Show". Viacom International Inc. Archived from the original on July 17, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
- Drukman, Jon (February 8, 1992). "Interview with Chris Savino". X Magazine, issue 10. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
- Ren and Stimpy: In the Beginning featurette, The Ren & Stimpy Show: The Complete First and Second Seasons DVD
- Neuwirth, Allan (2003). Makin' toons: inside the most popular animated TV shows and movies. Allworth Press. ISBN 978-1581152692.
- Meisler, Andy (August 16, 1992). "Ren and Stimpy's Triumphant Return". The New York Times. Retrieved December 26, 2009.
- Digilio, Nick. "John K interview". WGN Radio. Archived from the original on July 28, 2009. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
- Wheeler W. Dixon (2001), "Creating Ren and Stimpy (1992)", Collected Interviews: Voices from Twentieth-Century Cinema, SIU Press, pp. 82–94, ISBN 978-0809324170
- Rogers, Troy. "The Animated Adventures of John K." UGO. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- Kricfalusi, John (August 16, 2007). "Do All Bland Movies Make Profits?". johnkstuff.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007.
- Jonathan Valania (December 18, 1992), "Ren & Stimpy Creator Isn't Laughing At Comic Book", The Morning Call, retrieved March 31, 2022
- Paula Parisi (September 23, 1992), "Nick ticked by late Stimpys", The Hollywood Reporter, retrieved January 11, 2015
- " West, Billy (2005). "F.A.Q." Archived from the original on July 1, 2008.
- "Dan Abrams' interview with Jeff "Swampy" Marsh", The Rocko's Modern Life FAQ
- Staton, John (November 12, 1992). "New 'Ren & Stimpy' director ready to take control". The Daily Tarheel, Omnibus. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
- "'Ren & Stimpy' go on without their creator", USA Today, September 25, 1992
- Mangels, Andy (January 1993). "Hollywood Heroes". Wizard. Wizard Entertainment (17): 32–40.
- Marin, Rick (November 2, 1992), "Who, Where, Ren?", Entertainment Weekly, archived from the original on September 21, 2013, retrieved September 20, 2013
- Goodman, Martin (September 1, 2004). "Dr. Toon interviews John Kricfalusi". Animation World Magazine. Retrieved May 19, 2007.
- Cerone, Daniel (September 28, 1992). "'Ren & Stimpy' and Its Creator: A Parting of Ways : Animation: John Kricfalusi fought with Nickelodeon over deadlines, finances and the ribald nature of his cartoon". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on December 3, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
- Michael Mackenzie (July 3, 2005). "The Ren & Stimpy Show: Seasons Three and a Half-ish Review". The Digital Fix. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
- J. Evan Reiff and Heidi S. Siegel (January 4, 1993). "Its New Creator Promises To Take 'Ren & Stimpy' Out Of The Doghouse". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
- "Seasons Three and a Half-ish review". DVDverdict.com. Archived from the original on June 16, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2007.
- "Guests: John Kricfalusi and Billy West", The Howard Stern Show, August 1, 1995, retrieved September 3, 2016
- Gord Lacey (June 24, 2005). "Ren and Stimpy Show, The – Season 3 and a Half-ish Review". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
- Ted Drozdowski. "Eye pleasers". The Boston Phoenix. Archived from the original on February 3, 2008.
- Leigh Michael Wilkes (January 23, 1996). "Final R&S episode". Retrieved December 26, 2010.
- Michael Barrier and Milton Gray (1970). "An Interview with Bob Clampett". Funnyworld No. 12. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Miller, Bob (1990). "New Toons on the Block: They're attending Acme Looniversity & hoping to graduate as classic cartoon characters". Comic Scene. No. 15. p. 38.
the classic Warner Bros. unit system (rather than the department system of other TV animation studios) in which directors oversee nearly every facet of production.
- Fred Seibert. "Blog History of Frederator shorts (parts 1 to 22)". frederatorblogs.com. Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- Tom Heintjes (September 21, 2012). "'The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants', Hogan's Alley #17, 2010". cartoonician.com. Archived from the original on April 5, 2013.
- Kanfer, Stefan (April 13, 1992). "Loonier Toon Tales". Time. Archived from the original on November 30, 2008. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
- LoBrutto, Vincent (2018). TV in the USA: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas [3 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. p. 102. ISBN 978-1440829734.
- John Kricfalusi (October 12, 2004). Ren & Stimpy – The Complete First and Second Seasons (DVD).
- Jessie Eubanks (October 7, 2005). "Ren & Stimpy: Season Five and Some More of Season Four". IGN. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
- "Future of entertainment". The Hollywood Reporter. September 13, 2005. Archived from the original on April 1, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- Dan Persons (June 1993). "Canadian Carbunkle". Cinefantastique volume 24 #1. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
- KJ Dell'Antonia (2007), "TV Review: The Ren & Stimpy Show", Common Sense Media, archived from the original on February 28, 2009
- Nick Patch (August 5, 2016). "Nickelodeon marks 25 years since Rugrats, Doug debut". The Toronto Star. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
- "Ren & Stimpy FAQ – What about the music?". Lysator.liu.se. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- "The Nerdist : Billy West.mp3". nerdist.libsyn.com. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
- "Ren & Stimpy Rejected Kurt Cobain Song Says Stimpy". Stereogum. January 31, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
- "Letters to the Editor archive". Parents Television Council. Archived from the original on January 6, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
- Parents Television Council (March 2, 2006). "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: A Content Analysis of Children's Television" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
- David Mackenzie (October 2006). "Ren & Stimpy Uncut: Uncut". Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
- Ray Richmond (April 30, 1992), "'Ren & Stimpy' succeeds by breaking rules", Orange County Register, retrieved January 21, 2017
- Martin Booe (August 11, 1992), "Gag! It's Ren and Stimpy", The Washington Post, retrieved April 20, 2018
- Zimmerman, Kevin. "Not just for kids anymore" Daily Variety. March 23, 1995.
- John Lyttle (March 28, 1994), "Television", The Independent, archived from the original on May 4, 2015, retrieved May 1, 2015
- "The Ren & Stimpy Show". Rotten Tomatoes.
- Lawson, Tim; Persons, Alisa (2004). The magic behind the voices: a who's who of cartoon voice actors. Univ. Press of Mississippi. pp. 197–204. ISBN 978-1578066964.
- David Zurawik (August 14, 1992). "Cable's Nickelodeon hopes to lure youngsters with lineup that's Saturday night lively". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- Ben Thompson (March 20, 1994), "Farewell Bambi, hello Butt-head", The Independent, archived from the original on June 18, 2022
- Broadcasting & Cable (1993), "Top Cable Programs", April 19–25, May 10–16, May 17–23
- Rebecca Farley (2013), "From Fred and Wilma to Ren and Stimpy: What makes a cartoon "prime time"?", in Carol Stabile (ed.), Prime Time Animation: Television Animation and American Culture, Routledge, pp. 147–164, ISBN 978-1136481642
- Daniel Cerone (October 17, 1993). "New Kings of TV's Toon Town". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on February 7, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
- Ted Cox (August 31, 2005). "TV's Turning Points: A New Book Looks at Pivotal Moments in TV History". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- Michael Barrier (December 11, 2004). "SpongeBath". Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- James Barone (October 16, 2013). "There's no formula for success". Submerge Magazine. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
- "TV Guide's 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time". July 30, 2002.
- "100 Greatest Toons Ever". Wizard: The Guide to Comics (121). October 2001.
- J Schirle (January 30, 2010). "10 Best 90s Cartoons". Retrieved March 13, 2011.
- "Top 100 Animated TV Series". IGN. January 12, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- "Top 25 Primetime Animated Series of All Time". IGN. September 28, 2006. Archived from the original on May 23, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Ilana Diamond (March 19, 2010). "TV's 13 Best Cartoons... for Grown-Ups". TV.com. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
- Written by: Vincent Waller Directed by: John K. (June 23, 2003). "Onward and Upward". Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon. Season 1. Episode 2. TNN.
- Written by: John K. Directed by: John K. (n.d.). "Naked Beach Frenzy". Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon. Season 1. Episode 2 (never aired). TNN.
- Daniel Robert Epstein. "Billy West Interview". UnderGroundOnline. Archived from the original on March 11, 2005.
- James Hibberd (November 2003). "Spike Retooling Its Toon Strategy". TelevisionWeek. Archived from the original on June 3, 2004. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
One unexpected complication has been a lack of new episodes from Spike's most popular animated title. The network ordered nine episodes (an original order of six, then an additional three-parter) of "Ren & Stimpy's Adult Party Cartoon" from creator John Kricfalusi. The network only received three on time.
- Fleming, Mike (January 27, 2016), "Paramount, Jared Hess Channel Classic Nickelodeon Shows For 'NickToons' Film", Deadline, Penske Business Media, retrieved February 5, 2016
- Owen, Rob (May 3, 2016), Nickelodeon Animation Studio: Pop-Culture Powerhouse Got an Unlikely Start, retrieved August 12, 2016
- Komorowski, Thad (July 12, 2016), Interview: 25 Years Later, Directors Bob Camp and Bill Wray Remember "The Ren & Stimpy Show", retrieved August 12, 2016
- Kricfalusi, John [@JohnKricfalusi1] (February 6, 2017). "not that I know of" (Tweet). Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Cans Without Labels – DVD, May 27, 2019, retrieved June 25, 2019
- Ren & Stimpy – SpongeBob Movie Short (Animatic), Steven Vargas, June 23, 2019, retrieved June 25, 2019
- The Ren & Stimpy Show Returning With New Episodes, Michael Roffman, August 5, 2020, retrieved August 5, 2020
- Ren & Stimpy – Storyboard Artist, Awesome Inc, October 25, 2021, archived from the original on October 26, 2021, retrieved October 31, 2021
- "Snipple Animation Teases Involvement with 'Ren & Stimpy' Reboot".
- West, Billy [@TheBillyWest] (December 30, 2020). "Not that I've heard. I think there were delays in all production and development because of Covid" (Tweet). Retrieved December 30, 2020 – via Twitter.
- Billy West [@TheBillyWest] (September 14, 2021). "@amberleahhx Yes Amber I'm reprising my roles of Ren & Stimpy for an all new reboot! 😀" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Billy West [@TheBillyWest] (September 14, 2021). "@genius013199 I will be reprising the roles of Ren and Stimpy for the brand new series!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Factory, LaserDisc. "Ren and Stimpy Show The Essential Collection LaserDisc Animation". DaDon's. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
- Sony Wonder (1993), Full VHS Tape:Ren & Stimpy:Have Yourself A Stinky Little Christmas, retrieved March 2, 2022
- "The Best of Ren & Stimpy". DVDTalk.com. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
- Mackenzie, Michael. "The Ren & Stimpy Show". DVDTimes.co.uk. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
An earlier 3-disc set, by Time Life, featured select episodes from the first two seasons, but suffered from a number of censor cuts. Long out of print, this set features something of an anomaly in its inclusion of the full-length version of "Ren's Toothache", cut on the Paramount set.
- "Ren and Stimpy Show, The – The 1st And 2nd Seasons information page". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
- John Kricfalusi (April 21, 2006). "Lost Episodes of Ren and Stimpy – sneak previews 2". Retrieved October 18, 2014.
- "Ren and Stimpy Show, The – Season 3 and a Half-ish information page". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
- "Ren and Stimpy Show, The – Season 5 and Some More of 4 information page". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
- "Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon – The Lost Episodes information page". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007.
- David Lambert (December 13, 2017), The Ren and Stimpy Show – Happy-Happy, Joy-Joy! It's 'The Mostly Complete Collection'!, archived from the original on November 17, 2017, retrieved February 20, 2018
- "Ren & Stimpy: The Almost Complete Collection". Amazon. January 11, 2022.
- "Ren & Stimpy – Turbine bietet kostenlosen Austausch an – Zwei Folgen waren nicht ganz ungeschnitten". forum.cinefacts.de (in German).
- "The Ren & Stimpy Show cuts". movie-censorship.com.
- "Nicktoons von Turbine: Ren & Stimpy, Rocko und Co". forum.cinefacts.de (in German). Archived from the original on October 6, 2014.
- "'Ren and Stimpy'". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 41. December 1992. p. 40.
- "'The Ren and Stimpy Show'". Nintendo Power. Vol. 45. February 1993. pp. 104–105.
- "'The Ren and Stimpy Show: Veediots'". Nintendo Power. Vol. 53. October 1993. p. 100.
- "'Ren & Stimpy'". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 52. November 1993. p. 46.
- "'The Ren and Stimpy Show: Veediots'". Nintendo Power. Vol. 55. December 1993. p. 107.
- "'Ren & Stimpy'". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 53. December 1993. p. 48.
- "'Quest for the Shaven Yak Starring Ren and Stimpy'". GamePro. Vol. 52. November 1993. p. 188.
- "'The Ren & Stimpy Show: Buckeroo$'". Nintendo Power. Vol. 55. December 1993. p. 106.
- "'Ren & Stimpy Buckeroo$'". Nintendo Power. Vol. 72. May 1995. p. 106.
- "'Ren & Stimpy Show: Fire Dogs'". Nintendo Power. Vol. 58. March 1994. p. 103.
- "'Ren and Stimpy: Time Warp'". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Vol. 64. November 1994. p. 40.
- "Finals". Next Generation. No. 4. Imagine Media. April 1995. p. 101.
- Strauss, Bob (November 22, 1996). "Videogame Reviews: Making movies on PCs". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
- Craig Harris (May 8, 2002). "'Nicktoons Racing'". IGN. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
- Jack Devries (August 1, 2011). "Nicktoons MLB: The Basics". IGN. Retrieved October 22, 2018.
- "Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix – PlayStation 4".
- "Ren & Stimpy are coming to Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl". Playstation.Blog. September 14, 2021.
- "Coming Attractions". Lynx User. No. 6. The Hide-Out. February 1993. p. 2.
- "That's Life", Rocko's Modern Life. Marvel Comics. Volume 1, Issue 5.
- Catherine Hinman (May 19, 1993). "Nickelodeon Adds Movies To Its Credits". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on October 30, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
- King, Thomas R (May 1993), "Nickelodeon, Fox Film, Chase Family Viewers", The Wall Street Journal
- Parsley, Trent (March 20, 2017), "Exclusive: Ren and Stimpy Won't Be Part of Nicktoons Reboot", Screen Geek, retrieved March 21, 2017
- Neuwirth, Allan (2003). "Auteur! Auteur! Those creative geniuses who can do it all". Makin' Toons: Inside the Most Popular Animated TV Shows and Movies. Allworth Press. ISBN 978-1581152692.
- Langer, Mark (2004). "Ren & Stimpy: Fan Culture and Corporate Strategy". In Hendershot, Heather (ed.). Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America's Only TV Channel for Kids. New York University Press. ISBN 978-0814736524.
- Thad Komorowski (2013). Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1593932343.
Media related to Ren and Stimpy at Wikimedia Commons
- "The Ren & Stimpy Show".
- The Ren & Stimpy Show at IMDb
- Ren Stimpy Online
- Ren and Stimpy at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on January 9, 2017.
- Caseen Gaines; Mathew Klickstein (June 17, 2016). "The Oral History Of 'Nicktoons', Part IV: 'The Ren & Stimpy Show' Was A Triumph Of Cultural Subversion". Retrieved June 19, 2016.