The Brothers Grunt
GenreBlack comedy
Surreal humor
Off-color humor
Created byDanny Antonucci
Developed byDennis Heaton
Danny Antonucci
Written byDennis Heaton
Danny Antonucci
Rod Filbrandt
Directed byDanny Antonucci
StarringDoug Parker
Jennifer Wilson
Danny Antonucci
Julie Faye
Phil Hayes
Terry Klassen
Ed Hong Louie
David Mylrae
Drew Reichelt
Lee Tockar
Camella Rhodes
Kevin Hayes
ComposerPatric Caird
Country of originCanada
United States
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes42
Production
Executive producerDanny Antonucci
Running time4-7 minutes
Production companya.k.a. Cartoon
Release
Original networkMTV
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseAugust 15, 1994 (1994-08-15) –
April 9, 1995 (1995-04-09)
Chronology
Related showsEd, Edd n Eddy

The Brothers Grunt is an adult animated comedy television series, that was the earliest series made by Ed, Edd n Eddy creator Danny Antonucci that originally aired from August 15, 1994 to April 9, 1995 on MTV. It centered on Frank, Tony, Bing, Dean and Sammy in search of their lost brother Perry.[1] The series had a short run and was met with a generally negative reception, with many considering it one of the worst animated TV shows ever made.[2]

Overview

Premise

The series centered on an ensemble cast of pale, rubbery, twitchy, yellow-eyed, shirtless humanoids with prominent bulging varicose veins often leaking various noxious bodily fluids who are distantly related to human beings, all of them ostensibly male, wandering around in their boxers. Their main food staple is cheese; nevertheless, they are able to eat other foods (at least potatoes, according to the episode "Not My Potato"). Their single parent is a large, floating, mute and fat male humanoid called Primus Gruntus Maximus, to whom they are born as embryos inside skin warts, much in the way of the Suriname Toad (see Pipa pipa). They live in a monastery in the wilderness.

A group is formed, composed of most of the survivors of their species, in a quest to bring back one of their kind, Perry, who has abandoned his involuntary position of "Chosen One" (leader of their order) and is now living the "high life" among human beings (who seem to deal with the bizarre nature of the grunts by ignoring them and pretending everything is normal).
In music video segments that are intervened with some episodes, supervised by Kathy Karp, there are additional animated portions of the main characters grunting.

Characters

The main characters were named after famous crooners of the 1950s: Frank (Sinatra), Tony (Bennett), Dean (Martin), Bing (Crosby), Sammy (Davis Jr.), and Perry (Como), all voiced by Doug Parker.

Main

Major

The characters that would become The Brothers Grunt were first seen in one of MTV's numerous 30-second promos. This particular promo consisted of close-up shots of the at-the-time-unnamed character's faces who seemed to be straining to do something (veins in their heads would bulge, the characters would squint and grunt) until the scene cut to the MTV logo landing in a pool of sludge followed by a satisfied "Ahhhhh" (suggesting that the characters were suffering from constipation and the MTV logo was the 'turd' as it were). It is unclear when this promo aired if the storyline and characters for The Brothers Grunt had been developed already or if it had been developed into its own show after the success of the promo, in the wake of Beavis and Butt-head.

Production

The show's origins can be traced back to 1993 when the MTV ad "Grunt MTV" aired. At the time Danny Antonucci had animated several MTV ads to find work outside of International Rocketship Ltd., who he had worked for since 1984. Although Danny enjoyed the success of Lupo The Butcher, he wanted to leave International Rocketship Ltd. and start his own animation company. The result was a.k.a. Cartoon, which began on April 1, 1994. The studio began as a way to locate his work for The Brothers Grunt after MTV executive Abby Terkhule liked his MTV ad so much, he asked him to turn it into a television series.[3] In production order, each episode of the show would consist of three to four segments.[4]

Reception

"I still think it’s a cool show and I really enjoyed doing it. For what I wanted to do I thought it was quite successful. That’s the key for me. I really dig what I do and it’s important for me to like what I do. I don’t regret anything. I just look at it as something I did, and move on."

Danny Antonucci, in response to the show's obscurity[3]

The Brothers Grunt had a short run and was met with generally negative reception from critics. Kenneth R. Clark of the Chicago Tribune said that, with the series, MTV "created the most repulsive creatures ever to show up on a television screen" and "accomplished the seemingly impossible."[5] Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times called the show "an effortful, sophomoric half-hour that leaves the viewer longing for the refined good taste of Alice Cooper."[6] In their book North of Everything: English-Canadian Cinema Since 1980, William Beard and Jerry White called the series a "failure".[7]

The show was often compared to Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, an animated series that aired on MTV's sister channel, Nickelodeon. Gábor Csupó, co-creator of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, rejected these comparisons, claiming that his show was more character-driven, while The Brothers Grunt was an idea-driven series, also pointing out that both shows have different visual styles.[8] When looking back on the series, creator Danny Antonucci stated that the series "didn't really do too well", also saying that the show has since become MTV's "dirty little secret".[3]

Episodes

Note: All episodes directed by Danny Antonucci

No.TitleWritten byStoryboard byOriginal air date
1"The Ceremony"Danny Antonucci and Dennis HeatonHilary PhillipsAugust 15, 1994 (1994-08-15)
2"Make Mine a Grunt"Danny Antonucci and Dennis HeatonMike GrimshawAugust 22, 1994 (1994-08-22)
3"The New Fish"Danny Antonucci and Dennis HeatonRussell CrispinAugust 29, 1994 (1994-08-29)
4"Where Angels Fear to Grunt"Mike GrimshawHilary PhillipsSeptember 5, 1994 (1994-09-05)
5"Viva Grunt Vegas"Rod FilbrandtGreg SullivanSeptember 12, 1994 (1994-09-12)
6"Scrub Me Sammy"Danny Antonucci and Dennis HeatonRussell CrispinSeptember 19, 1994 (1994-09-19)
7"The Detective"Sam Johnson & Chris MarcilRussell CrispinSeptember 26, 1994 (1994-09-26)
8"If I Could Grunt to the Animals"Rod FilbrandtHilary PhillipsOctober 3, 1994 (1994-10-03)
9"Grunt Moments in History"TBATBANovember 7, 1994 (1994-11-07)
10"Perry Molo"TBATBANovember 14, 1994 (1994-11-14)
11"Tony and Salsa"TBATBANovember 21, 1994 (1994-11-21)
12"A Call to Grunts"TBATBANovember 28, 1994 (1994-11-28)
13"Clean Up in Aisle Grunt"TBATBADecember 5, 1994 (1994-12-05)
14"Land of the Midnight Grunt"TBATBADecember 12, 1994 (1994-12-12)
15"Close Encounters of the Grunt Kind"TBATBADecember 19, 1994 (1994-12-19)
Guest Stars: Mike Judge as Beavis and Butt-Head.
16"The Scent of Grunts"TBATBADecember 26, 1994 (1994-12-26)
17"Paging Dr. Grunt"TBATBAOctober 10, 1994 (1994-10-10)
18"Perry's Appliance Repair"TBATBAOctober 17, 1994 (1994-10-17)
19"Timmy's Best Friend"TBATBAOctober 24, 1994 (1994-10-24)
20"No Quest Today"TBATBAOctober 31, 1994 (1994-10-31)
21"Eat My Grunt"Dennis HeatonMike GrimshawJanuary 2, 1995 (1995-01-02)
22"They Stole Tony's Veins!"Dennis HeatonRod FilbrandtJanuary 9, 1995 (1995-01-09)
23"Not My Potato"Dennis HeatonRussell CrispinJanuary 16, 1995 (1995-01-16)
24"Squeal Like A Grunt"Jono HowardAngus BungayJanuary 23, 1995 (1995-01-23)
25"The Big Crapple"Mark SawersRussell CrispinJanuary 30, 1995 (1995-01-30)
26"Grunt Fare"Mark Sawers, Dennis Heaton and Danny AntonucciRod FilbrandtFebruary 13, 1995 (1995-02-13)
27"Sammy in a Varicose Vein"Rod FilbrandtHilary PhillipsFebruary 6, 1995 (1995-02-06)
28"To Hell with Bing"TBATBAFebruary 20, 1995 (1995-02-20)
29"Cream Style Tony"TBATBAFebruary 27, 1995 (1995-02-27)
30"The Ugly Gruntling"TBATBAMarch 5, 1995 (1995-03-05)
31"5 Card Grunt"TBATBAMarch 12, 1995 (1995-03-12)
32"The Stench of Grunts"TBATBAMarch 19, 1995 (1995-03-19)
33"Grunt Games"TBATBAMarch 26, 1995 (1995-03-26)
34"Requiem for a Sammy"TBATBAApril 2, 1995 (1995-04-02)
35"Smells like Dean Spirit"TBATBAApril 9, 1995 (1995-04-09)

Unreleased episodes

These episodes are unreleased, but have been uploaded to YouTube in June 2019 by YouTube user Oecobius33. Three of these episodes might have been produced, but are currently unconfirmed.

No.TitleOriginal release date
36"Perry Come Home"11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)[9]
37"Bring Me the Head of Perry the Grunt"11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)[10]
38"Black Balled Grunt"11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)[11]
39"Perry's Off Day"11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)
40"Tony & Lace"11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)
41"The Filling of the Shorts"11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)
42"Poobah Blues"11 June 2019 (2019-06-11)
43"Hunt for Grunts"Unconfirmed (Unconfirmed)
44"Friends! Romans! Grunts!"Unconfirmed (Unconfirmed)
45"The Wedding"Unconfirmed (Unconfirmed)

Merchandise

Fleer released in 1995 trading cards based on the series, as part of the MTV Animation Fleer's Ultra set.[12] The show's theme song, written by Brendan Dolan and Geoff Whelan, was featured in Television's Greatest Hits: Volume 7, which was released in 1996 by TVT Records' soundtrack imprint, TVT SOUNDTRAX.[13]

See also

References

  1. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 162. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. p. 160. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  3. ^ a b c "Antonucci.html".
  4. ^ Perlmutter, David (May 4, 2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 95. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  5. ^ "Mtv's 'Brothers Grunt' Pushes Cartoon Envelope".
  6. ^ SOLOMON, CHARLES (August 15, 1994). "'Brothers Grunt' a Reason to Say 'Ugh'" – via LA Times.
  7. ^ Beard, William; White, Jerry (January 1, 2002). North of Everything: English-Canadian Cinema Since 1980. University of Alberta – via Internet Archive.
  8. ^ Mendoza, N.R. (October 30, 1994). "Nickelodeon offers monsters in training". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 24, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
  9. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K949ABG5Rfg
  10. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui9iMCLwD9E
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVrZXNlglds
  12. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Grunt-Frank-Trading-Animation/dp/B01N7VNW9N
  13. ^ "The Brothers Grunt". Discogs.