Original characters designed by John Kricfalusi (1991)
According to cartoonist Bill Wray, John Kricfalusi created the characters Ren and Stimpy around 1978 for “personal amusement.” He was inspired to create Ren by an Elliott Erwitt photograph, printed on a postcard, called “New York City, 1946”, showing a sweatered chihuahua at a woman’s feet. Stimpy’s design was inspired by a Tweety Bird cartoon called A Gruesome Twosome where the cats in the animation had big noses. When Nickelodeon approached Kricfalusi, he presented three shows. Ren and Stimpy were pets within a variety show titled Our Gang or Your Gang, serving as a parody of the “cat and dog genre.” Vanessa Coffey, Nickelodeon’s Vice President of Animation Production, singled out Ren and Stimpy for their own show.
Ren and Stimpy’s successful legacy led to projects some may take for granted. For example, Mike Judge places MTV’s willingness to commission Beavis and Butt-head on the success of Ren & Stimpy. Other shows that credit Ren and Stimpy’s influence are South Park and SpongeBob Squarepants. Ren & Stimpy placed 31st in TV Guide’s list of “Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time” in 2002. (source: Wikipedia)
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