“The Ren & Stimpy Show” Nickelodeon’s ’90s cult favorite, will soon be revived by Comedy Central ― but series creator John Kricfalusi, accused of preying on girls in 2018, will not be part of the return.
Comedy Central announced Wednesday that Ren & Stimpy would be joining the likes of the new “Beavis and Butt-Head” and “Clone High” reboots as part of parent company ViacomCBS’ focus on resuscitating old entertainment properties and doubling down on adult animation.
The original show premiered on Nickelodeon in 1991 and ran for five seasons, with its last episodes playing on MTV in 1996. Showcasing the madcap antics of angry chihuahua Ren and his goofy cat buddy Stimpy, the show popularized the phrase “Happy Happy Joy Joy.” It also frequently tested the line of Nickelodeon’s child-friendly brand with episodes frequently filled with gross-out humor, sexual innuendo and shock value ― several of which were banned or censored.
Comedy Central’s iteration of the series will be the first time the slapstick animal duo has returned to television since the short-lived “Ren & Stimpy ‘Adult Party Cartoon’,” a raunchier spin-off with only six episodes that partially aired on Spike TV in 2003 and received largely negative reviews.
Variety reported that those working on the revival would not include Kricfalusi. A noted perfectionist in the animation industry, Kricfalusi was the subject of a 2018 BuzzFeed report on allegations by two women that he had groomed them for sexual relationships while they were underage ― including one who said they had such a relationship when she was 16.
Kricfalusi apologized for his behavior after the allegations surfaced, citing bipolar and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders that made him “unable to control [his] impulses and obsessions.”
“It’s not pretty to have to stare myself in the face and see myself the way those who I’ve hurt see me,” Kricfalusi wrote on Facebook at the time. “I imagine many other men are waking up and feeling the shame I’ve felt for years. I welcome a social change in our attitudes towards women and how we should treat them with respect and equality.”
Reactions to the show’s revival were mixed on social media, with some welcoming new versions of Ren and Stimpy while others called it “tone deaf” to bring back Kricfalusi’s creations.