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Rocko's Modern Life is an American animated television created by Joe Murray for Nickelodeon. The series centers on the surreal life of an anthropomorphic Australian-immigrant wallaby named Rocko as well as his friends: the gluttonous steer Heffer, the neurotic turtle Filburt, and Rocko's faithful dog Spunky. It is set in the fictional town of O-Town, and is laden with adult humor, including double entendre, innuendo, and satirical social commentary.

Murray created the title character for an unpublished comic book series in the late 1980s, and later reluctantly pitched the series to Nickelodeon, who were looking for edgier cartoonists for their new Nicktoon. The network gave the staff a large amount of creative freedom, with the writers targeting both children and adults. The show premiered on September 18, 1993 and ended on November 24, 1996, totaling four seasons and 52 episodes.

After the show's cancellation, much of the staff regrouped to work on SpongeBob Squarepants, created by producer Stephen Hillenburg.

Plot

Rocko is a wallaby who has emmigrated to America from Australia. He lives in O-Town and tries to get through life but, of course, comes across a multitude of dilemmas and misadventures he must get through. Other characters include Rocko's best friend, Heffer, a steer who has been raised by wolves, Filbert, an easily upset turtle, and Ed Bighead who detests Rocko and hates having him for a next door neighbor. On this show, Rocko has such adventures as trying to adapt to a new vacuum cleaner, having Heffer move in temporarily after his parents kick him out, and going to a movie theater.

Why It Rocks

  1. The characters are pretty unique personality and design-wise; The main protagonist is a immigrant Australian wallaby trying to live his modern life with the help of his best friends, the gluttonous steer Heffer and the perpetually nervous turtle, Filburt.
  2. The show was one of the first six Nicktoons on Nickelodeon, and it was by far the best and most down-to-earth.
  3. A stark, unique animation style, one that presents everything at a slight angle, provides a great backdrop for Rocko's adventures, and paints a truly different world that sets the cartoon apart from all others.
  4. The show is an excellent example of the beginning of the adult cartoon era, with many comparing the series to a animated kids version of Seinfeld.
  5. Your typical Rocko episode has mundane adult annoyances like credit cards, parking, the DMV, air travel and other things you'd find in a live-action except here, have the added benefit of being in a wacky cartoon.
  6. Years after being off the air, It spawned a comic book adaptation that serves as a slight but great continuation of the series.
  7. To add to the surreal and psychedelic humor of the show, inanimate objects are personified in a goofy way.
  8. Quine Character Designs

Bad Qualities

  1. Animation's isn't as good as the pilot
  2. The series harbors many, many inside jokes and innuendos just below the surface of it's goofy cartoonish artstyle. As seen in some of the episode titles ("Schnit-Heads," "Who Gives a Buck?"), some character/establishment names (Doctor Bendova, the Chokey Chicken fast-food restaurants), and countless other little occurrences throughout every episode on occasion.
  3. Many disgusting, typical gross-out scenes, consisting of a lot eye-gouging scenes.
  4. It certainly didn't deserve to be canceled after only three seasons, but in the fickle world of children's programming (especially on Nickelodeon, a network infamous for canning innovative series), it just wasn't prepackaged, marketable, and mainstream enough to work out.

Trivia

  1. As announced at San Diego Comic Con, there will be a TV special/soft reboot called Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling.
  2. The show is notable for launching the careers of voice actors, including Tom Kenny and Carlos Alazraqui.