Hi Folks, I hope I am keeping up with you.

In the meantime, you can check out some stuff I am doing over here:

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2010/01/if-you-came-here-from-reddit.html

Hey are any of you Tenacious D fans?

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2009/03/coming-soon.html

Maybe you can find out when these toys are coming out.

http://www.strangeco.com/about_contact.php

Comments: 1427 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

wil616 karma

We've met a few times over the years, and I don't expect you to remember me, but I just wanted to say thank you for Ren & Stimpy. I won't bore you with all the details, but it was incredibly important to me when I was 19 or 20, and played a very big part in my evolution as a comic performer and voice actor.

JohnKricfalusi326 karma

Hi Wil

that's great! Maybe we'll meet again then.

Thanks!

user24246 karma

Just in case you're not aware, that is (the) Wil Wheaton.

edit: seriously, 100 points? I was just telling the guy...

JohnKricfalusi119 karma

Yeah someone told me that!

IthinktherforeIthink60 karma

I smell another IAmA

JohnKricfalusi85 karma

Hi Wil

that's great! Maybe we'll meet again then.

Thanks!

tophat_jones164 karma

What kind of drugs inspired your characters?

JohnKricfalusi271 karma

Ha ha. I get that one a lot. Maybe beer.

tophat_jones108 karma

Ok, I need some labels because my beer just doesn't do it. Seriously, you left an impression on my childhood that lasts to this day. My therapist thanks you.

JohnKricfalusi233 karma

Labbat 50!

A man's beer

tjdziuba160 karma

Where on earth did you get the idea for Powdered Toast Man?

JohnKricfalusi306 karma

First, I wanted to do a commercial for a funny breakfast food, so I thought of Powdered Toast. Then I thought, all good kids' products need a mascot, so the obvious character would be a superhero made of toast.

Pure logic.

[deleted]156 karma

Did you make the cartoon with children or adults in mind? Are there any other cartoons today, or ever, that you respect especially?

JohnKricfalusi42 karma

I made it especially for kids and had to explain to Nickelodeon that kids liked boogers and farts. We were all surprised when college kids and adults seemed to like it too.

and grateful!

[deleted]147 karma

Draw us a reddit alien! we'll find a use for it.

JohnKricfalusi80 karma

I don't know what that is...this is all new to me and I'm just now trying to figure out where I am.

Here's a couple aliens I drew the other day:

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2010/01/for-oliver.html

dweebgraff133 karma

firm handshake

JohnKricfalusi117 karma

Thanks, man

rolmos52 karma

man hug

JohnKricfalusi78 karma

Don't let my Dad know about that.

sangoma125 karma

This is really cool. I used to love the show. Although I must admit I was scared of it sometimes when I was young.

What are you doing now?

JohnKricfalusi157 karma

I'm doing a book on the art of Spumco and developing shows for a couple networks:

Here's some more info

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2010/01/if-you-came-here-from-reddit.html

sorry for scaring you!

[deleted]114 karma

John - a good friend of mine and an awesome artist and animator recently had these tattooed on her legs

Just though you'd wanna see how nuts you sent her!

JohnKricfalusi313 karma

Send a picture of the actual legs!

lazylion_ca81 karma

As a content owner, how do you feel about your works being available for free online?

JohnKricfalusi255 karma

No Sir, I don't like it.

jaynus34 karma

This post has officially inspired me to buy the DVD collection. Which gets you the most royalties? :)

JohnKricfalusi57 karma

http://astore.amazon.com/allkindsofs0f-20/detail/B000F9T700

The vulgar one with the bare breasted ladies.

JohnKricfalusi40 karma

and thanks!

prob_not_sol22 karma

Do you make any significant money from DVD sales? Not sure, but perhaps the feeling is related ...

CmdrAlexander77 karma

I handed out Ren and Stimpy valentines in second grade before I had cable and could regularly watch your show, I did it to be "cool", and I'd like to let you know, it made me "cool" for a day.

JohnKricfalusi129 karma

Only a day? Surely you're still cool.

wehdat61 karma

Hey John,

Growing up, my dad had a pretty bad temper and was generally negative. Two things that brought him sheer happiness and gave us a chance to spend a lot of time together were tom and jerry and ren and stimpy.

so thanks for that.

JohnKricfalusi175 karma

That's why I say get the violence off the streets and put it back into the cartoons where it belongs. Then there will be a world of love, not war.

Irielle27 karma

John, I absolutely love how opposite this sits against reactionary mothers worried about this kind of stuff in entertainment media affecting their children. Haven't they watched the news about the world in general?

JohnKricfalusi34 karma

We saw all kinds of "violent" cartoons, 3 Stooges and cowboy shows growing up, but we didn't run out and start gangs or beat up "'hos" afterwards.

The kind of violence in old cartons and TV was so abstracted from reality that we knew it wasn't serious. It wasn't designed to lure us into bad behaviour. Well, not too bad anyway.

[deleted]60 karma

[deleted]

JohnKricfalusi115 karma

The most defining year was when Ralph Bakshi hired me to work on Mighty Mouse in 1987.

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2010/01/bakshi-mighty-mouse-is-out.html

[deleted]60 karma

What was your inspiration to create "Happy Happy Joy Joy"

JohnKricfalusi100 karma

Burl Ives.

Cubert_Farnsworth22 karma

Yes! The first time I saw The Big Country I nearly shit a brick when he said "I'll teach your grandmother to suck eggs!". I thought I was just going insane until he rolled out with the "I told you I'd shoot!" bit.

Incredibly well done character using mostly music and voice. One of my favorites on the show.

JohnKricfalusi17 karma

_oogle59 karma

  • When did you begin drawing?

  • When did you know you wanted to do it for a living?

  • How much have you made from all your works?

  • What was the biggest challenge you faced coming up in the industry?

JohnKricfalusi126 karma

I began drawing when I was a little kid and always wanted to be a cartoonist.

I've made some money, but mostly for others. I draw cartoons cause that's all I'm any good at.

watdidyousay59 karma

Reading that letter sent nostalgia into overdrive. Thank you for creating a show that allowed me to experience how cartoons were supposed to be.

I often see my younger brother and sister (I am almost 16 years their senior) watching the cartoons of today and I feel bad for them. Cartoons (from what I can tell) are now about instilling social norms/cramming ideas into their young minds rather than escapism from reality that cartoons used to provide. Kids are being asked to grow up much too fast these days.

On to the questions:

  1. Do you have any "original" drawings of your characters that you might be willing to share with reddit? I'd love to see the phases Ren/Stimpy (or any other characters for that matter) went through before you were pleased with their appearance. Further - is any of your artwork for sale? My older brother (now 26) has been drawing for as long as he could hold a pencil and would be blown away if I were able to get something from one of his favorite cartoon artists as a kid.

  2. What is your opinion on the quality of cartoons today?

  3. If you had to choose a new cartoon as your favorite - what would it be?

  4. Do you agree with my observations on the current state of cartoons or do you think I'm over-analyzing?

Thanks in advance!

Edit: formatting

twerq17 karma

Further - is any of your artwork for sale?

I'm also a huge fan that would love to get something original. Not to compare what you do to another artist, but for example, Michael Gondry was sketching portraits based on digital photos people emailed him for $20 (here's mine).

If you're into that kind of thing, I'd be willing to pay a reasonable amount for a quick sketch, and I'm sure many others would too.

JohnKricfalusi53 karma

Here are some... http://www.celebritymerch.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=jk_doodles

I draw these over breakfast every day and some of them have bacon drippings on them.

They will probably smell good!

IthinktherforeIthink58 karma

What is one of the most meaningful experiences that has resulted from your work?

Also, would you happen to know David Feiss, the creator of Cow and Chicken? I can't help but see such an influence from your work in this cartoon.

JohnKricfalusi89 karma

Dave is a great animator and really funny talented guy. He animated some scenes on the first Ren and Stimpy.

Poromenos49 karma

Your post had been autobanned and I unbanned it. Could you please send me a private message to verify this post? I think people would be very very happy if I could give you a gold star to go with it.

JohnKricfalusi88 karma

Hi. This is John. Sorry, this is all new to me!

Can you also link to http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/

I hope I can figure it out from here!

Do people just automatically post comments and then I check my IAMA page and respond like this?

thanks,

John

FourFingeredMartian45 karma

Better question: Since you did give us many great Sunday mornings, Saturday nights watching Ren & Stimpy...

What do we have to do in order to get your show GEORGE LIQUOR SHOW on the air? *Who do we have to call & email?

JohnKricfalusi47 karma

I wish I knew! It would take a lot of people.

Or one millionaire.

Minim4c47 karma

Reddit, is a lot of people...

JohnKricfalusi25 karma

I'm just finding that out!

This is a full time job answering questions...

Porknog40 karma

Our country reeks of trees
Our Yaks are really large
And they smell like rotting beef carcasses...

Thanks from Canada, eh?

JohnKricfalusi54 karma

You're welcome, eh?

[deleted]40 karma

Could you just say "Hey Michael!" so that I can say the Ren and Stimpy Creator talked to my lowly self?

 i have no life

JohnKricfalusi78 karma

Hey Michael, how's it hangin'?

Boswellington40 karma

So John, I always got the idea that Ren and Stimpy were homosexual partners; am I way off base here?

JohnKricfalusi140 karma

Ren is naturally hetero and he loves human women, but when you look like Ren you take what you can get.

thatguitarist28 karma

But what about Stimpy man. What about Stimpy.

JohnKricfalusi72 karma

Stimpy has no idea what's going on. He only has one nerve ending and it reacts slowly to sensation.

Boswellington27 karma

In addition, have you ever wizzed on an electric fence?

JohnKricfalusi55 karma

No, but we were all scared to growing up.

haroldp39 karma

Can you please find a way to make money creating animations that are sold directly on the Internet?

I'm sick to death of reading the epitaphs of our generation's works of art that died because they were beaten down by network suits, censors, and advertisers. Can we just pay you a buck a month each, and you make us something we can download via bittorrent? We need to kill this monster with a monopoly on broadcasting that is strangling the life everything creative and honest because it doesn't sell enough pills and soap. Can you get that started?

JohnKricfalusi58 karma

I tried doing that 10 years ago.

I still have ideas of how to do it, but the business community seems to be slow in catching on. I agree, that the net is the best place to make content and just would like to ally myself with a sponsor like they used to do in the 50s and 60s.

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2006/12/direct-sponsorship-1.html

sapienshane35 karma

Hey John,

Who is your least favorite character to draw on Ren & Stimpy? Conceptually?

Also just wanted to thank you for portraying the pope's nose firmly between Powdered Toast Man's Buttocks and making it epic by employing the great Frank Zappa for the voice. "Both of them?"

JohnKricfalusi96 karma

I enjoyed drawing most of the characters. Mr. Horse was hard to draw because he was supposed to be a bit realistic, which I'm not good at.

Zappa was one of my idols when I was a teen trying to become a rockstar. He ad-libbed "both of them?". That wasn't in the script. He was a real cool guy. He invited me to his place and we sat and watched cartoons all afternoon.

retoriplastique14 karma

Spent an afternoon watching cartoons with Frank Zappa?

AWESOME.

JohnKricfalusi22 karma

With his family. It was a lot of fun.

chamois32 karma

The nerve beavers terrified me, but the show was still awesome.

JohnKricfalusi70 karma

I bet it made you brush your teeth though.

maqr30 karma

So do we get a JohnK Reddit Alien? :)

JohnKricfalusi38 karma

Wow, a couple people have asked me that. I'll let you know when I find out what it is.

bargainmusic29 karma

Loved the show as a kid, and this is my question:

How often did you have to deal with censorship? The FCC can be a real bitch and I am just curious how many ideas you had to scrap because they would be deemed to inappropriate for TV?

JohnKricfalusi50 karma

I never heard from the FCC.

Actually the stuff that got thrown out was usually just stuff the execs didn't get.

blahbaboo29 karma

As someone who works for MTV, let me first say that "Ren and Stimpy" is a glowing property that, when named, makes everyone remember how shitty everything we put on the air now is. Seriously.

But further, as someone who works for MTV right at this moment as I'm typing on an MTV computer I would LOVE to drop a brown sack of shit on the desk of anyone who gave you a hard time. There would be nothing more worthwhile I could do.

You name the exec, either here or using whatever private messaging Reddit has (I'm still new at this) and I'll make it happen.

Pics will follow.

Otherwise, please accept my thanks for the highlight of my week, every week, while I sat home alone as a 12 year old on saturday nights. Ren and Stimpy helped define me, by letting me know that crazy, stupid shit is OK and I'm not alone in thinking (and laughing about) it.

JohnKricfalusi26 karma

Instead of doing that, just convince to let me make a direct to video with some of the episodes I already have written, like Life Sucks:

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2006/12/ren-and-stimpy-in-life-sucks-animatic.html

thewabberjocky29 karma

What is your favorite sandwich?

JohnKricfalusi82 karma

Salami, Bacon, Smoked Meat and onions.

azzaleo28 karma

[deleted]

JohnKricfalusi42 karma

Thank you! Here's a link to it and some other music videos I've done:

http://www.cartoonthrills.org/demoreel/2007/11/test-post.html

DustinR27 karma

So those new Ren and Stimpy cartoons on Spike I am assuming you had nothing to do with them. But what the hell was up with that episode where they sex each other up ??

JohnKricfalusi48 karma

No, those are my fault.

But they didn't do anything they weren't doing on the original show. They just like baseball.

assholio24 karma

Hey John, I am a massive fan of your work - I love the fact that you at least have a go at kicking against the big factory animation mentality and proved that you can turn out a modern cartoon that is drawn well and is expressive.

Can you share your take on modern cartoons like The Simpsons and The Family Guy? Do you think it would be possible for these cartoons to be drawn well? Does it make you sad that the artistic element seems to have been forgotten? Do you think these cartoons could be a whole lot more funny (or at least more interesting) if they were handled by studios who actually cared about anything other than dialogue?

JohnKricfalusi25 karma

Well, they are very successful, so they probably don't need any extra polish.

[deleted]23 karma

First, "Hermit Ren" and "Stimpy's fan club" were the best and Ren and Stimpy was nearly the only cartoon I watched as a kid. It destroyed my small fragile innocent mind.

How did you manage to get all the death ,insanity and commy bastard jokes passed Nickelodeon? Fuck, Stimpy takes a shit on Ren's face in the cosmonaut episode! What the hell man!?

ALERTSKYYYYY!!!!

JohnKricfalusi32 karma

I didn't do that one. That must have been the toned down one that was good for kids.

I did co-write Stimpy's Fan Club with Elinor Blake.

aaallleeexxx22 karma

What was the production of Ren & Stimpy like? How much were you censored? Are there lines you wish you could have crossed? How awesome/not awesome is Billy West?

Seriously though, you are fantastic. Ren & Stimpy shaped my tender young mind in wonderful ways. Thank you!

JohnKricfalusi43 karma

It was very difficult because it required everyone to break formula - and to do a lot more drawings than the average TV cartoon.

Billy West is an awesome talent. He added a lot to the show.

RumBox21 karma

I have applied the flying butt pliers several times, to prodigious effect. Thank you. Thank you sir.

JohnKricfalusi34 karma

Hopefully, just within immediate family

[deleted]20 karma

Anything else you can tell us about the John K. Presents possibility happening with Adult Swim? I always (I'm sure I'm not the only one) thought that Adult Swim would some day ask you to bring something new to their line-up.

Thank you for being awesome!

JohnKricfalusi30 karma

All I can tell you is I'd love to do it, but trying to make a deal in entertainment these days is extremely complicated and takes forever.

charlesviper19 karma

What did you think about the parody of Ren and Stimpy on the Simpsons, in the 4th season episode "Brother From The Same Planet". What about Dan Castenella's voice work on the voices of Ren and Stimpy?

Did they ask you in advance? Did you draw the artwork for that fifteen second clip?

JohnKricfalusi36 karma

Well Matt and I cooked it up, but by the time they got around to doing it, Nickelodeon was producing the show in their own studio so I didn't do the drawings, no.

[deleted]17 karma

I spent the last 3 hours(since I saw that reddit link) reading your blog! I am an absolutely feeble artist by any measure, but your basic attitude and principles demonstrate that kind of wisdom that really extends into any artistic or creative field(music is my game). I absolutely love the back-to-basics, hardline approach you take on things like 'talent' and 'natural born skills'.

One thing that interests me though is the relationships between you and other cartoonists, and between the old-school guys(if you have met any of them). In particular, how they all seemed to be so serious about their craft and their art, yet the end result was... cartoons. Can you describe at all about the relationship between the pure joy of creating vs. the (sometimes) scary and intense world of 'producing'? Specifically how you observed between you and your contemporaries?

JohnKricfalusi25 karma

That's a complicated question. I believe in skill and control - and wild imagination. That sounds contradictory but I think the more skill you have, the more creative options are open to you. You might imagine something great in your head, but if you can't get your pencil to do it, then you have to settle for something easier and less interesting for you.

realmadrid272717 karma

Wow John, Ren & Stimpy was the greatest cartoon of my childhood. I used to quote everything from "Powwwwwdered. Toast. MAAAAN" to "Don't whiz on the electric fence" to "No sir, I don't like it." Enough praise, onto my questions:

  • I don't know how showbiz works but I assume you have to clear certain things by producers or whoever the hell gives a show/episode the green light. But, on Nickelodeon especially, how did you manage to let them put things in your episodes like the drug induced sounds and background warping or the "zooming in" moments?

  • Who wrote the theme song? It is most awesome.

  • If I was a wealthy billionaire playboy and gave you millions of dollars to create a live-action Powdered Toast Man movie, what actor would you hire as the title character?

JohnKricfalusi36 karma

Drug-induced moments? No sir, not me. You're probably thinking of the 50s sci fi effects and music we used for the eerie and psycho scenes.

Jim Smith, Chris Reccardi and Der Screamin' Lederhosen performed the theme songs.

I don't think I would do a live action PTM movie. If I did, I would get hmmm...Randy Couture?

mintyice16 karma

What was that Spike TV Ren and Stimpy all about?

JohnKricfalusi33 karma

It was about Ren and Stimpy being more edgy to compete with Family Guy and South Park.

If they had left it on, I would have made some changes.

tazmanic16 karma

  • What are your inspirations or influences for your crude sense of humour?

  • How did people react to your humour or did you keep the dark stuff to yourself?

I'm a fan of dark comedy and I honestly believed it stemmed from liking Ren and Stimpy as a kid. People who really appreciate the show are usually the kind of people I like to be friends with. I remember me and this other kid thought it was great while everyone else said it was creepy and weird.

JohnKricfalusi25 karma

Well I loved Mad Magazine and Comics growing up. Especially Don Martin and Basil Wolverton.

And real life is pretty strange too!

ZLegacy16 karma

Awesome. Friday night's Snick was a large part of my childhood. First Ren and Stimpy and then Are You Afraid of the Dark.

I have seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and now my three year old watches and loves the show.

Now some questions :

I remember from the DVDs some interviews or commentary you gave. You mentioned being extremely tedious with the staff drawing Ren and Stimpy about their facial expressions charging constantly, never reusing the same expression. Are you still as tedious about this or was it just for this show?

What are your thoughts about modern cartoons and animation? Any shows in particular your really enjoy and any that you just can't stand?

JohnKricfalusi35 karma

I always try to customize each pose and expression. I feel guilty when I lapse into formula.

I like anything Jamie Hewlett does and there are parts of lots of cartoons I admire. Mostly I love classic cartoons.

alapanacran16 karma

  • Can you discuss what challenges, if any, you had day-to-day with the network and/or censors when doing Ren and Stimpy? Was it a constant battle, or were the expectations clear and you created content to fit within those boundaries?

  • Anything you really wish you could have done but couldn't get on the air?

  • What cartoons would my 6 year old enjoy that we may not already know about?

Thanks for doing this AMA.

JohnKricfalusi49 karma

Explaining cartoon logic to execs is always a chore. I have lots of things I still would like to get on the air.

Your 6 year old would probably love Fleischer Popeyes, Looney Tunes, Betty Boop, Mighty Mouse, classic Disney. Here I put them altogether in one place where you can easily find 'em:

http://astore.amazon.com/allkindsofs0f-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=14

hiffy10 karma

Explaining cartoon logic to execs is always a chore.

Well... what do you mean? What's cartoon logic, exactly? What did execs fail to comprehend?

JohnKricfalusi37 karma

things like: "Where do Ren and Stimpy live? How come they are in a trailor one week and the next week they are in a rocket, and another time they live in a tree..."

Mulsanne7 karma

Isn't the answer to all of those questions inevitably: "IT'S A DAMN CARTOON! WHAT IS HARD TO GET ABOUT THAT?"

The suits probably don't take too kindly to that though...

JohnKricfalusi12 karma

That is the answer but they hate it. They want everything to "make sense". Talking animals make sense to them, but not much else.

JohnKricfalusi14 karma

Hey Girls.

I've been developing a show for you that isn't pink and purple and doesn't talk down to you.

Here's a sneak peek:

http://jkcartoonstories.blogspot.com/2009/12/heartaches-pilot.html

and if you like kitty stories: http://jkcartoonstories.blogspot.com/2010/01/maynard-manager.html

Tell me what you think...

bludstone11 karma

John! OH THANK GOD. I know this is a late comment, but this is something that has been bugging me my entire life. What do you call those enormous 3-eyed brain-aliens from the end of Marooned? I just hope there is an answer.

JohnKricfalusi24 karma

Martians.

JohnKricfalusi9 karma

Hey, if anyone is interested, there are plenty of behind the scenes article about Ren and Stimpy and who did what, here:

http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/search/label/Ren%20and%20Stimpy

longshot8 karma

Were you on the crapper when you thought of "Log" ?

JohnKricfalusi23 karma

I get all my best ideas on that thing.