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The Ren & Stimpy Show Is Being Rebooted, for Some Reason

Stimpy choking Ren while sitting in a litterbox.
Stimpy choking Ren while sitting in a litterbox.
Image: NIckelodeon

In a move reflective of the network’s doubling down on the animation space, Comedy Central’s set its sights on one of the most raunchy and absurd cartoons to come out of the ‘90s. One that’s only gone on to live in infamy.

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Deadline reports that Comedy Central’s greenlit a revival of The Ren & Stimpy Show that will join the likes of the Daria spinoff Jodie, and the reboots of Beavis and Butt-Head that are also set to come to the network.

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“We are excited to reinvent this iconic franchise with a new creative team and our partners at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio,” ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group head Chris McCarthy said in a press statement. “Ren & Stimpy joins our rapidly expanding roster of adult animation including South Park, Beavis and Butt-Head and Clone High as we continue to reimagine our treasure chest of beloved IP for new generations.”

Ren & Stimpy certainly fits in with the overall tone of Comedy Central’s new renewed foray into the world of adult animation and provides the network with a means of producing fresh content remotely as production on shows hasn’t fully ramped back up due to the covid-19 pandemic. But the show’s revival raises questions as to who’s going to helm it. Following The Ren & Stimpy Show’s initial run from 1991-1995 on Nickelodeon, series creator John Kricfalusi attempted to bring it back on SpiveTV as Ren and Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon—an ill-received program that was markedly more explicit than its predecessor and ultimately only ended up airing three of its planned six episodes before being pulled.

Kricfalusi later came under fire in 2018 when BuzzFeed News published a detailed report describing how the animator allegedly both groomed and sexually abused underage fans throughout the ‘90s, two of whom worked with him in a professional capacity on different animated projects. It’s unclear what if any involvement Kricfalusi will have in Comedy Central’s Ren & Stimpy reboot, but it seems highly unlikely that his voice will have any place in the new production.

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io9 Culture Critic and Staff Writer. Cyclops was right.

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DISCUSSION

platypus222
Platypus Man

I was never a huge Ren & Stimpy fan in the first place but I feel like it only really worked under the unique conditions of the original show - 90s weird gross-out humor combined with it being one of the first in a new generation of cartoons combined with themes that may not have been explicitly adult, but that a child probably wouldn’t fully grasp, but also still targeting children. Part of the reason Adult Party Cartoon failed was because making it appeal specifically to adults made it go too far in some ways and just take some of the childlike fun out of it, but also because it was 2003. We’re further away from that than that was from the original, so either I figure this won’t work at all or it won’t resemble the original at all.