Not all cartoons are for children. That has been obvious since at least the 1970s, when pornographic and violent cartoons were produced by both studios small and large… small, for more aggressively perverse creations and large, for efforts by people like Ralph Bakshi or Rankin & Bass.
In the early 2000s, comic book creator Jonathan Ian Mathers decided to bring that truth to the internet with a series of short, independently created cartoons under the banner of his website, “Neurotically Yours”. The cartoon featured the same character of his comic, a goth-style young woman named Germaine. It used her pet squirrel, Foamy, as narrator.
Foamy’s voice was both high-pitched and sped up, with a result not far away from the three chipmunks familiar from both Christmas song and 1980s cartoon. Foamy was somewhat different, though. Foamy was angry, for one thing. He was angry about just about anything that struck him as illogical or unreasonable in the world. He was also rather foul mouthed and egocentric.
In other words, he was exactly what many of his teen and younger adult viewers believed themselves to be: a creature able to discern when things failed to make sense and willing to “say it like it is”. It was unsurprising when Foamy’s popularity grew.
Under pressure for original content, Mathers took the easy way out and gave the people what they wanted: more sex jokes and more angry rants. The series remained popular, but the creator grew dissatisfied with the sexual content of what he was producing, and in 2011 rebooted the entire series, effectively wiping out a decade of material and character development.
Foamy was among the earliest examples of viral content on the web. He attracted tens of thousands of regular viewers and spawned merchandise. His popularity has dwindled dramatically as other content has become available, but his existence remains.
Wondering what Foamy looks and sounds like? Here you go, but prepare for many F bombs if you play it.
And, just for the record, I’m not advocating for or against any of the opinions presented in the Foamy rants. I’m just trying to point to a little bit of Internet history.
Question of the night: What is your favorite “reboot”?