Show Notes – Rocko’s Modern Life

Rocko’s Modern Life

Check out our episode on Rocko’s Modern Life here.

Created by

Directed by

Production Company(s)

Distributor

Opening Music

  • “Rocko’s Modern Life” by The B-52’s
    • New wave band that started in 76, and is best known for their songs Love Shack and Rock Lobster

Theme Music Composer

  • Sarah Frost-Goetz
    • Directed several episodes for Family Guy, and worked in Animation on King of the Hill, The Simpsons, and The Fairly OddParents

Composer

  • Pat Irwin
    • Was a member of The B-52s from 1989 to 2008
    • He also composed the score for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie

Cast

    • Rocko
      • 18 year old Wallaby living in the US, originally from Australia
      • He is a sort of timid character who is usually seen as moral, sensible and who enjoys being neat, compassionate, and doing his laundry
      • Works at a Comic shop called “Kind of a Lot o’ Comics”
      • He is in love with a character named Melba Toast, whose face we never see.
      • Usually taken advantage of due to his kindness
  • Spunky
    • Miniature Bull Terrier
    • Not very smart and will literally eat anything he sees
    • Rocko loves spunky, and many of their hyjinx stem from Spunky doing something stupid, or getting into trouble, only to have Rocko try to save him
    • Has 2 parasites named  Bloaty the tick (voiced by Tom Kenny), and Squirmy the ringworm (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui)

 

  • Heffer Wolfe
    • Happy go lucky Steer (a castrated hereford bull) who is Rocko’s best friend
    • Loves to party and eat
    • He has worked tons of jobs, but is usually jobless
    • Was raised by a family of wolves who decided to raise him instead of eat him
    • His catchprahse is “That was a hoot!”
    • Tom Kenny
    • He is the voice of Spongebob, the Mayor on  The Powerpuff Girls (1998–2005)
    • Was Spyro after Alazraqui from 1999-2005
    • Was a main cast member on Mr. Show (1995–1998) for the 1st 3 years.
    • He also voiced Dog in CatDog
    • If you have young children at home who watch the Disney show Miles from Tomorrowland, he plays the dad- Leo
  • Filburt Turtle
    • The hypochondriac turtle is the other best friend of Rocko
    • In the 1st season he is usually seen working random jobs, and is generally a background character, but was made the other best friend in the 2nd season
    • Lives in a trailer, but his home island is called “Kerplopitgoes”
    • Mr. Lawrence (Tom Kenny, singing)
      • He also was a writer for this show and a writer for Spongebob
      • Also the voice of Plankton and Larry the Lobster on Spongebob
      • He was also a layout assistant on the 2nd season of The Ren and Stimpy Show
  • Ed Bighead
  • Tom Kenny cited Rocko’s Modern Life as vital in him learning how to do voiceover for animation. He recalled that seeing Charlie Adler have a two-way conversation with himself as the Bigheads without any edits was “dazzling”.[Was and is the voice of Starscream in the live action Transformers films
    • He was in the 2013 documentary film I Know That Voice, which I can’t recommend enough
  • Bev Bighead
    • Also a cane toad, she is Ed’s wife and “the one wearing the pants”
    • Likes Rocko, Heffer and Filburt
    • Likes to sunbath nude
    • Often shown to want to have an affair with Rocko
    • Sexually, she likes with Ed tosses plates in mid-air, and breaks them with his tongue as if they were clay pigeons in skeet
    • Charlie Adler
  • Peaches
    • Voiced by Tom Kenny
    • A parody of Satan who is pink-skinned and clad in black robes,
    • Peaches is in charge of “Heck”, a parody of Hell (which he claims appears infernal “for the tourists”) which Heffer almost pointed out before being interrupted.
    • By taking off his hood, he reveals his head disturbingly resembling cow udders. Despite his menacing appearance and given his authority, Peaches has an “average Joe” tone and likes playing with a paddle ball.
    • Has attempted to lure Heffer into “Heck” several times but has repeatedly failed to do so. Due to his failures, he was punished by being forced to star in his own cartoon show: Peaches’ Modern Life.
    • When writer Martin Olson created the story for “To Heck and Back”, he had “Satan” originally in charge of Heck.[4] Director Jeff “Swampy” Marsh says Doug Lawrence named Peaches and “never explained the udders (or many other things he thought up) to anyone. It was just funny, and that was explanation enough.”

Reception

  • Most reviewers at the time liked the show- the Chicago tribune compared it to The Simpsons, and The Miami Herald singled the show out as “definitely worth a look” in an article about tv series that were “ raising the standards for children’s programming
  • The LA Times and Entertainment weekly did NOT like it, but honestly, screw them

Controversy and Censorship

    • There was a brief period in 1993 when the network received numerous complaints from members of a religious group that Ren & Stimpy and Rocko’s Modern Life were too adult-oriented to be shown to kids on Sunday mornings. They wanted the shows moved to a different time slot. The network was polite but did not make the programming change
    • Adults made up more than one-fifth of the audience for the show during its run. Probably because of all the sexual innuendos.
    • The first season segment “leap frogs” was removed from air for the rest of the show’s original run due to complaints from parents in regards to sexual humor
    • In “The Good, the Bad and the Wallaby”, Heffer encounters a milking machine and finds pleasure, although only his reactions are shown onscreen
      • According to writer/director Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, the scene was originally supposed to have hearts appearing in Heffer’s eyes at the climactic moment. Although it clearly wasn’t going to be included, they described the scene to Nickelodeon censors anyway: “We described the scene, and then waited for the axe to fall, but all they said was ‘can you change the hearts to stars?’, we said sure, and it went in.” The scene, as well as a scene showing Heffer’s break-up with the machine, were later removed
        • They are intact in the Canadian broadcasts of the episode, however. In addition, the uncut version can still be found on the VHS “Rocko’s Modern Life: With Friends Like These”.
  • There were at least two occurrences of immediate censorship of the series
    • The original broadcast of the segment “Road Rash” featured a scene in which Rocko and Heffer stop at what is suggested to be a love hotel (the “No-Tell Motel”) advertising “hourly rates” and ask the horse desk clerk for a room, who infers the two will be engaging in intercourse: “All night? [whistles] Wheeeooo! Okay.”
    • The first airing of “Hut Sut Raw” included a scene in which Rocko is picking berries; upon picking one lower on the bush, a bear rushes out whimpering and grasping his crotch… This scene is untouched in Canada
    • In addition, the restaurant named “Chokey Chicken” (a term for masturbation) was renamed “Chewy Chicken” for the series’ fourth season

Legacy

  • Boasts a sizable cult fan-base to this day
  • And several shows can thank their success directly from Rocko…Like Phineas and Ferb, Camp Lazlo, and of course, SpongeBob

 

Episodes to cover

  • S1E1(a&b), S1E2(a&b), S1E3(a&b)
  • [Chris’s Episode:]S1E5(a&b), “Power Trip” & “To Heck and Back”
  • [Sean’s Episode:]S1E12 “Who’s for Dinner” & “Love Spanked”

 

We need to talk about season 3 episode 1, belch of destiny with the belching talk

Its one of the creators favorites. He said he and the producers were crying on the floor when he heard the track of the burb talk come back

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocko%27s_Modern_Life

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106115/

List of characters: List of Rocko’s Modern Life characters

TV series intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFxJDFodce4

Interview with Joe Murray from 1997: http://www.title14.com/rocko/contributors/murray.html

Heffer’s Belch talking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzahC7z-4D8

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