The Ripping Friends
Rippingfriends.jpg
Also known asThe Ripping Friends: The World's Most Manly Men!
GenreComedy[2]
Action
Adventure
Slapstick
Created byJohn Kricfalusi
StarringHarvey Atkin
Mark Dailey
Michael Kerr
Mike MacDonald
Merwin Mondesir
John Kricfalusi
Country of originUnited States
Canada[1]
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Running timeapprox. 30 minutes
Production companiesSpümcø
Cambium
Animagic
DistributorCinéGroupe
Release
Original networkFox Kids
Teletoon
Original releaseSeptember 22, 2001 (2001-09-22) –
January 26, 2002 (2002-01-26)

The Ripping Friends: The World's Most Manly Men! (also known as The Ripping Friends) is an animated television series, created by John Kricfalusi, creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show on Nickelodeon.[3] The series aired for one season on Fox Kids, premiering on September 22, 2001 and ending on January 26, 2002. The show was subsequently picked up for syndication by Adult Swim, where it reran from 2002 to 2004. The show occasionally airs in Canada on Teletoon. The show also aired briefly in the United Kingdom on the CNX channel and on ABC in Australia.

History

Kricfalusi and his long-time partner Jim Smith created the Ripping Friends before they created the similar superhero Powdered Toast Man for The Ren & Stimpy Show. After Nickelodeon fired Kricfalusi from The Ren & Stimpy Show in September 1992, he had plans to make a feature film starring the world's "manliest men".[4] The feature film plan was scrapped, but the characters were used in The Ripping Friends. Also, as early as a 1987 story session for the Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, Kricfalusi, who would go on to develop the concept for The Ripping Friends for around a decade, had proposed using a wad of gum as a character, an idea which was employed to create the first villain for the new series, the Indigestible Wad.[5][6] The Ripping Friends was slated to premiere in September 2000 along with another Spümcø show on Fox Family, The Heart Aches, which follows the adventures surrounding a girl band.[7] The latter one never made it to television, and The Ripping Friends first aired a year later, after missing another premiere slated for May 2001,[8] lasting for thirteen episodes. The budget was set to US$400,000 per episode.[7] Because of production costs, the show was cancelled after one season and thirteen episodes.

Kricfalusi felt the show's supervisors were doing away with the Spümcø style and was displeased with the direction.[9] He was not fully involved until halfway through production[10] and considers the episodes with his involvement to be experimental.[11] One of his contributions to the show was directing the voice actors, whom he "really worked out" so much that he was afraid he'd give one of them a heart attack, which resulted in re-casting the original voice of Crag, Harvey Atkin, with Mark Dailey.[12] Although Kricfalusi directed the actors, he recorded for his characters separately at his home.[13]

Plot

The show focused on a group of four superhuman brothers who attempt to fight crime from their base, RIPCOT (the Really Impressive Prototype City Of (Next) Tuesday): Crag, Rip, Slab, and Chunk Nuggett, Crag being the leader.[7] Friends of the four include Jimmy The Idiot Boy, a mentally-challenged drooling child, and their foster mother He-Mom (the name speaks for itself). The villains range from the Indigestible Wad (a wad of gum who sucks moisture out of people), to the evil Euroslavian dictator Citracett, to Flathead (an invertebrate in search of a spine), to their own underpants.

Each episode was usually tagged with a short episode which Kricfalusi says was composed of "left overs".[14] These segments were called "Rip Along with the Ripping Friends" and usually portrayed the Ripping Friends solving the problems of fans. These included: addressing the fact that hot dogs come in packs of 12 and the buns in packs of 8; "ripping" the man who creates insane video game controllers and the man who writes the instructions for them; and finding out why toys no longer come in cereal boxes, among others. In each segment viewers (referred to as "kids") are asked to "rip along" with the action by ripping pieces of paper up in front of the television when coaxed to.

Characters

Episodes

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"The Indigestible Wad"September 22, 2001 (2001-09-22)

A young girl's wad of chewing gum that she has been chewing since before she was born – the one her mother swallowed – is granted sentience/sapience from a dentist's x-ray machine that is powered by cosmic rays. The wad wanders the streets at night, sucking up people's moisture to sustain himself, turning them into "flavorless" zombies.

Note: This episode was originally scheduled to premiere on September 15, 2001, but was postponed due to coverage of the September 11th attacks.
2"The Infernal Wedding"October 13, 2002 (2002-10-13) (Adult Swim)[15][16]

Citracett, a villainous dictator from the fictional country of Euroslavia, decides to seduce He-Mom in an effort to get close to, and rid himself of, the Ripping Brothers, eventually asking He-Mom to marry him. The Ripping Brothers must now follow his orders "as if they were [Citracett's] own".

Note: This episode was originally scheduled to premiere on September 22, 2001, but it would never air on Fox Kids due to scenes that would be considered bad taste following the September 11th attacks. It would air the following year during Adult Swim's run.
3"Flathead's Revenge"September 29, 2001 (2001-09-29)
When the boys go swimming in the local water hole Chunk finds that he has a flatworm attached to his armpit. After being removed, the flatworm decides to take one of the brothers' back bones and then wreaks havoc on the town with some of his invertebrate brethren.
4"Frictor"October 6, 2001 (2001-10-06)
When Jimmy is unable to fully sew the uniforms of the Ripping friends (due to a lack of friction from his smooth fingers) Crag decides to give Jimmy some friction but Frictor, the master of friction, is created when the brothers' calluses are exposed to radiation. The Ripping Friends eventually track him to the moon.
5"Rip's Shorts"October 13, 2001 (2001-10-13)
Rip's shorts alter at the molecular level after being thrown into space. The shorts become evil and take control of Jimmy and then Pooperman, causing them to do "evil" things. The other three brothers mobilize to stop the shorts.
6"The Ovulator"October 27, 2001 (2001-10-27)
The boys discover that there is a shortage of beef and they send Slab out to rectify the situation, as he is the only one not affected by the lack of beef in his system. He soon discovers that a mad chicken, calling himself the Ovulator, is holding cows hostage.
7"ManMan and BoyBoy"November 10, 2001 (2001-11-10)
A duo of supposed Crime fighters called ManMan and BoyBoy are wandering around "solving crimes" with flesh colored accessories. Their brand of crime fighting is soon revealed to be simply putting BoyBoy in peril for no good reason. Crag sets out, because he has not had his own episode yet, to foil the duo and save BoyBoy by dressing himself up as Man Friend and Jimmy as Boy Pal to save BoyBoy.
8"Stinky Butt"November 17, 2001 (2001-11-17)
Citracett is banished to the nether regions of the Earth by the Ripping Friends after attempting to destroy it. There, due to some mystical energy, Citracett gains the ability to control his flatulence with destructive results.
9"The Muscle Magician"November 24, 2001 (2001-11-24)
Chunk is being made fun of by the other, 36-year-old brothers for only being 35 and a half, and therefore a "kid", so he runs away and attends a circus performance where he finds a magician who controls people's muscles. The magician, realizing the potential that Chunk poses, possesses his muscles and has him commit robbery of the many national banks in town.
10"Jimmy's Kidnapped"December 15, 2002 (2002-12-15) (Adult Swim)[17][18]

Citracett and a gorilla (named "Gorilla Friend" in an organ grinder monkey outfit, later "Anaxamander - the Noble Primate" in a "Pericles helmet") kidnap Jimmy the Hapless Idiot Boy after Rip harasses him into running away. The Ripping Friends track him down to find that they are torturing Jimmy so Rip knocks out the gorilla, steals his fur, and infiltrates Citracett's basement to rescue Jimmy.

Note: This episode never aired on Fox Kids due to scenes that would be considered bad taste following the September 11th attacks. It would air the following year during Adult Swim's run.
11"Dr. Jean Poole"January 12, 2002 (2002-01-12)
The four boys get a lesson on "girls" from He-Mom and, as a final lesson, sets them up on a date with a Dr. Jean Poole. All five of them go out on the date together to the drive-in.
12"The Man from Next Thursday, Part One"January 19, 2002 (2002-01-19)
Someone breaks into RIPCOT's secret vault and steals the Ripping Friends' "perfect" DNA, which he turns into "Riptonite" in order to kill the Ripping brothers. The intruder is revealed to be a man with an enormous thumb protruding from his chest, who claims to be a time traveler from "next Thursday".
13"The Man from Next Thursday, Part Two"January 26, 2002 (2002-01-26)
The man from next Thursday relates his plan to his intelligent cat, revealing that his attempts to kill the Ripping Friends is based on revenge; the Ripping Friends ripped the nail off his giant chest-thumb and then re-attached it on the wrong side, making him a freak in the world of next Thursday.

Censorship

Merchandise

Hearst Entertainment and Spümcø licensed Playmates Toys to create toys based on the show.[20] A video game based on the show, was released by THQ for the Game Boy Advance and consulted by John Kricfalusi.[21]

Telecast and home media

In the U.S., the series was first premiered on September 22, 2001 on Fox Kids until the final episode's airing on January 26, 2002. Adult Swim later picked up the show, which aired from October 6, 2002[22][23][24] to March 28, 2004.[25] The show occasionally airs in Canada on Teletoon. The show also aired briefly in the United Kingdom on the CNX channel and on ABC in Australia.

Two videotapes with two episodes each were initially available with the two volumes later combined into a single DVD release with four episodes.[26]

In Australia, the complete series was released on Region 4 DVD by Madman Entertainment.

As of 2022, the entire series was uploaded by YouTube's Toon Gods channel.

References

  1. ^ "Ripping Friends". British Film Institute. London. Archived from the original on December 25, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  2. ^ "The Ripping Friends [Animated TV Series]". Allmovie. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 668–669. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ "Ripping Friends Archived 2011-08-04 at the Wayback Machine", ABC
  5. ^ "Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures Story meeting", YouTube clip of an episode of The MacNeil / Lehrer NewsHour
  6. ^ "WebVoyage Record View 1". cocatalog.loc.gov.
  7. ^ a b c Robertson, Virginia (1999-12-01). "Spumco toons into Web & Fox". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  8. ^ "Alien, pranster, secret agents and Olsen twins for Fox". Kidscreen. 2001-03-01. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  9. ^ John Kricfalusi (October 3, 2007). "Maintaining Guts from Department to department". John K Stuff. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  10. ^ Jason Anders (June 23, 2008). "Conversation with Nick Cross". Full Circle Productions. Archived from the original on February 26, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Scott Goodins (2001). "The Strange World of John K". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  12. ^ Kricfalusi, John (2003). "An Interview with John K". WGN Radio (Interview). Interviewed by Nick Digilio. Chicago, Illinois. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  13. ^ https://twitter.com/TopographicFish/status/1226335745608122369[bare URL]
  14. ^ "Ripping Friends Satire", All Kinds of Stuff at Blogspot
  15. ^ "Post Your Reviews - Adult Swim Comedy [10/13/02]". Anime Superhero Forum. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  16. ^ "Post Your Reviews - Adult Swim Comedy [10/13/02]". Anime Superhero Forum. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  17. ^ "Cartoon Network Schedule - The Ripping Friends". web.archive.org. 6 December 2002. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  18. ^ "Post Your Reviews - Adult Swim Comedy [12/15/02]". Anime Superhero Forum. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  19. ^ "hotdogs and buns should get along", All Kinds of Stuff
  20. ^ Ashdown, Simon (2001-07-01). "Jakks tinkers with junk, Playmates gets manly, and Manley gets funky". Kidscreen. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  21. ^ "Cyberbites". Kidscreen. 2001-05-01. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  22. ^ ""The Ripping Friends" Join Adult Swim this October". Anime Superhero Forum. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  23. ^ "Ripping Friends premieres @ October 6th, 11:00 PM". Anime Superhero Forum. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  24. ^ "Post Your Reviews - Adult Swim Comedy [10/6/02]". Anime Superhero Forum. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  25. ^ "Swimpedia - 2004". sites.google.com. Retrieved 1 November 2022.
  26. ^ "DVD Calendar Feature Articles - Metacritic". www.metacritic.com. Archived from the original on October 16, 2012.