Some things shouldn’t exist… and usually, in those cases, the free market can dependably put an end to them. Such was the case for one of the worst “reboot” efforts ever, Ren & Stimpy’s Adult Party Cartoon.
The original show used a mixture of mildly offensive gross jokes, surreal and bizarre humor and a perception of subversiveness to national popularity. It was certainly not a show that everyone enjoyed, but it was a show that had solid ratings and devoted fans. The show launched the career of voice actor Billy West, now best known for his Futurama series.
In 2003, it was a reasonable fit for the new television network, Spike TV, to seek out the creator of Ren & Stimpy for a slightly racy, “masculine-oriented” cartoon. It debuted alongside Stan Lee’s Stripperella, a superheroine voiced by Pamela Anderson whose secret identity was a professional stripper.
The idea for the show was to take the original Ren & Stimpy and focus more on sexual, violent, and disturbing scenes. For a show whose original appeal was in part its incorporation of light-hearted silliness (such as the toy “Log” commercials which had kids playing with large hunks of wood to a tune reminiscent of classic Slinky ad music) this was a questionable decision.
Stripperella only lasted one season before being cancelled. Adult Party Cartoon, on the other hand… only lasted three episodes. It was that much worse than Stripperella. How bad, exactly? When the studio decided to sell the episodes on DVD, they “hid” the name of the series at the bottom of the DVD case, because of how poor the show’s reputation is, even among Ren & Stimpy fans. Instead it was just labelled as “The Lost Episodes“, giving the impression that they were from the original series.
It still has fans, or at least people who say they’re fans, because there are people for whom anything associated with a beloved piece of entertainment is automatically to be praised. They are the defenders of Jar-Jar Binks, the people who insist that the spacefaring Josie and the Pussycats was somehow a good idea, the people who bought the New Monkees album.
But, hey, don’t let me stop you from watching a clip. Everyone has their own views about what’s funny:
Question of the night: What’s a reboot / remake that you think worked well?