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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Ren & Stimpy Reboot Shows How Out Of Touch Comedy Central Is

by Jonathan Bilski

With really no other information, the news on the net has been that ViacomCBS, the owners of Comedy Central, are going to reboot The Ren & Stimpy Show. That's a very out of touch idea with what's going on because the creator of the original show has a history of preying on young girls. Add to that a documentary about Ren & Stimpy and the problems with producing the original show is coming out. The climate we now live in when it comes to any show having problems behind the scenes with any of the cast or crew. The business shill side of not letting animators make a new cartoon. And just from an animation fan standpoint, no one from the original show working on the reboot. Oh, and it was rebooted already to be more adult on a defunct cable network and failed then too.
John K with underage Byrd
John K with underage Byrd

Creator of Ren and Stimpy, John K, had an expose on him back in 2018 from Buzzfeed. You can read it here The Disturbing Secret Behind An Iconic Cartoon: Underage Sexual Abuse Y'know, not so great for the history of the show and its legacy. I'm playing it off, but it's quite sad to learn about this as a fan of John K and a fan of one of the women he did this to Katie Rice, whose worked I've enjoyed for years.

*As of this time I don't believe John K is in any legal trouble for what he did.

So already, with everything in the #Metoo movement that has happened and keeps happening it's odd to want to reboot the show in this climate.

Nickelodeon has sent a precedent as has Cartoon Network. The Loud House creator Chris Savino, a veteran of the animation industry was fired from his own show as part of #metoo movement. And the creator of Clarence, Skyler Page was also fired for #metoo movement problems. Their shows continued on without them. I'm not sure if they still got money from the shows, but would assume so, unless the contracts for animators are just crap.

As a fan, I do remember the terrible management of the orginal show and I think Nickelodeon took away the cartoon from John K after a few years. They kept producing the show without him. And this was before any sexual allegations, this was just on the show coming in late or being too dirty for kids.

The doc Happy Happy Joy Joy - The Ren & Stimpy Story comes out August 14th, I assume streaming online somewhere. Reviews say it doesn't tackle what John did as much as it's a love letter to the show. Still, announcing the show being rebooted with the film coming out and reminding people about what John did. Not so good for a reboot and a more than probable internet discussion that will happen after seems like awful timing.

Animators on Twitter and social media are already angry. Some at how a show created by John K is coming back or the lack of letting new cartoons shows come out and yet another reboot is taking the place of something someone else could create.

In this time when we see a number of pitches circling online it's crazy to think about reboots or old cartoons, but sometimes it's a forced mandate by corporate. WB's has to do it all the time, that's why Scooby Doo won't die. It's odd in this age that the people over at ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group are in charge of bringing it back or are the ones forced to by higher-ups.

It was somewhat misleading that I wrote Comedy Central is out of touch when really no one officially from Comedy Central said anything about the reboot. The only info I can find online is quoting ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group people who seem to be in control of the content going to Comedy Central, it doesn't even seem to be produced directly by Comedy Central, but Nick's Animation Studio.

On that note of press, no one who use to work on the original show has said they're part of the new one or was even asked. And I don't mean John K. The show was made by some great people who went on into other animated shows and still work in the industry.

And some of them came back in the early 2000's under John K for a Ren & Stimpy reboot for adults and it failed miserably. It's so bad there's not much to talk about other than some epsiodes akin to fan art from 4chan. This new reboot, from we don't know who, would be a third version of Ren & Stimpy. I say stick to reruns and streaming.

I also think ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group may rescind the reboot after the internet gets reminded about John K's past and will make Viacom look really dumb.

Sources Deadline