Trivia / John Kricfalusi

  • Breakthrough Hit: The Ren & Stimpy Show, without a doubt. Though considering most of his later work and rumors of how difficult he is to work with, his "breakthrough hit" was also his One-Hit Wonder.
  • Career Resurrection: He attempted this when he tried to launch a new Florida animation studio in 2018, but it backfired when he was immediately fired from the studio, and then blacklisted from Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Nickelodeon, when news broke out of his sexual predator behavior.
  • Creator Backlash: For a guy infamous for his haughty critiques of popular cartoons, the one artist he seems to be hardest on is himself:
    • John has been critical of his early work, particularly on Mighty Mouse: TNA and The Ren & Stimpy Show. He even warns his fans to not study his cartoons, but rather all of his influences—"For everything I did right, there were a ton of mistakes."
    • He refused to give himself credit for his directorial role on the Ren and Stimpy episode "Nurse Stimpy". He thought it was so bad that he credited himself as "Raymond Spum" instead, out of embarrassment. He was quoted as saying, "The timing was bad. The drawings are bad. The colors are bad. From an artistic standpoint, to me, it's a really ugly cartoon."
    • He disliked how he was (supposedly) forced to add strong adult themes to Ren & Stimpy: Adult Party Cartoon.
    • He claims that he can barely watch The Ripping Friends, since the whole show was meddled with to death.
    • He dismissed his contributions to the video game Yoake No Mariko as "pretty bland".
  • Creator Breakdown: According to William Wray, a combination of John losing Ren and Stimpy, letting the shows success go to his head and losing his longtime girlfriend during its production were all factors in his career gradually spiraling downhill from then on. The fact that he was trying and failing miserably to cope with bad memories of his rough childhood (which often seeped into the show itself), was suffering from two undiagnosed mental illnesses (including bipolar disorder) and was a heavy alcoholic did not help with this.
    "As far as I know what seemed to trigger the real acting out was the loss of his long time girlfriend, the rise of his power/fame and then the loss of Ren And Stimpy. This trifecta of emotional highs and lows seemed to open him up to a kind of total recklessness and plunged him into a bitter take no prisoners martyrdom. Spumco truly became the John K. House of worship, free of voices of reason. I do think he was brilliant and original visionary who was smart enough to know he needed a unique as him crew of artists and writers to make R and S great, but after he cracked, he forgot he had a great team, great timing in a low ebb in the Animation world, a great new network that believed in him and gave him the world and the love of millions of fans."
  • Creator Killer: The failure of Adult Party Cartoon ensured he would never helm another mainstream cartoon show again, and the subsequent lawsuit with Carbunkle Cartoons over not getting paid for work on it drove his company, Spumco, into bankruptcy. John was forced to stick to animation odd jobs like music videos and TV bumpers from then on. He attempted to launch a new cartoon studio in Florida, but he was immediately sacked from the studio once news about his sexual predator behaviour came to light in March 2018, destroying what little he had left of a career.
  • Creator's Pest: While he liked working on The Jetsons revival he hated the character Orbity, and he would often try to work in scenes where he got abused, some of which actually made it into the show.
  • Development Hell: His most recent project, "Cans Without Labels" has been in development since mid-2012. While he drops hints that he's still working on it, it remains to be seen when or if it'll be finished.
  • Doing It for the Art: The whole reason John became a cartoonist was to bring back the wacky, anarchic, overall cartoony animation to the mainstream and put a stop to the stiff, soulless, formulaic TV animation that was prevalent at the time.
  • DVD Commentary: Did several commentaries for Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 the Looney Tunes Golden Collection series, but refused to do any more of them due to his complaints about the Digital Destruction in those sets. Strangely, he supplied one more commentary for Vol. 5. He also supplied some commentaries for the official Popeye The Sailor DVD sets, and Thunderbean's Wartime Cartoon sets. Obviously, he also provided commentaries for The Ren & Stimpy Show DVD sets, even for the episodes he didn't work on.
  • Flip-Flop of God: On Ren And Stimpy's sexuality.
    • He has been quoted as saying that he didn't know or care if they were gay (saying it was "none of his business"), but it's pretty clear that they are if APC is anything to go by.
    • He's usually said that they're only gay "when it's funny."
  • God Does Not Own This World: Oh, yeah. Unlike other examples, John would get another turn with Ren and Stimpy later on after being fired.
  • He Also Did:
  • Lying Creator: To say the least, many of his stories about Spumco and his career in animation have been called into question by his animation contemporaries, especially in regards to his views on the history of Ren and Stimpy. One of the most bizarre instances is him insisting that he was not fired from Ren and Stimpy, claiming that they left after the studio stopped getting money for the cartoons, even though Bob Camp, Billy West and Vanessa Coffey can all state with certainty that he was sacked from the show.
    • John claimed that Bob Camp was more or less a sellout that stabbed him in the back by staying on Ren & Stimpy after John got sacked, even using the DVD commentaries on the Games episodes to do so. According to Bob, however, he actually got approval from John K. himself to completely take over following the change. Given what happened next, without saying much, it's best not to bring John up when meeting Bob at conventions.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance:
    • He's best remembered for Ren and Stimpy, but John considers George Liquor to be his strongest character.
    • While he's as critical of APC as the next guy, he considers the APC episode "Altruists" to be the best episode of Ren and Stimpy he's ever made. Needlessly to say, the fandom disagrees with him. Hard.
  • Old Shame: The Ripping Friends. He also dislikes about talking his "embarrasing 80's flat period"—referring to his really early artwork, specifically. He is also not proud of his tenures on many 1980's cartoon shows such as The Snorks, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), etc.
  • Reality Subtext: His cartoons are full of this, and he has made no mystery that many of his cartoons are based on or are inspired by real life events.
    • Ren and Stimpy premiered at the tail end of the AIDS crisis, and a big part of its controversy was American parents not only finding the show disgusting but fearing the ramifications of children laughing at bodily fluids at a time when most of the country was outwardly afraid of them. John, being the type of guy who considers vulgarity to be the most human source of comedy, made this a big part of the shows appeal.
    • Its no accident that many episodes of his iconic show are centered around Ren's mental instability, considering its come to light that John K has suffered from at least two mental illnesses (which he self medicated with alcohol) that went undiagnosed for years, including bipolar disorder.
    • As Bob Camp and Billy West have pointed out, many episodes of the first two seasons of Ren and Stimpy, most notably "Man's Best Friend", are basically John K venting his anger against his hardass father and the rough childhood he put him through. "Ren Seeks Help" in particular is based on these childhood experiences along with the aforementioned battles with his own mental problems. His later cartoon "Cans Without Labels" is based on one of his many childhood experiences with his dad.
    • "Fire Dogs II" has been described by John K as being a documentary about what it was like working with Ralph Bakshi.
    • "Stimpy's Pregnant" was based on a combination of a very early story pitch for a Ren and Stimpy episode and the real life pregnancy of Spumco artist Annmarie Ashkar Mccarty.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: After John K's sexual predator behaviour towards his underage female employees came to light, he was immediately fired from the new cartoon studio he tried to launch in Florida, and its safe to say that his career, already in shambles as is due to his notorious reputation, has been deep sixed for good. Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and [adult swim] have already stated that they will never work with him again in light of this news.
  • Schedule Slip: The often-cited reason Nickelodeon fired him from his own show, although the man himself jossed this and insists "Man's Best Friend" was what got him booted off. He also backhanded the claims of not meeting deadlines since Executive Meddling kept forcing him to retool the episodes over and over until they were accepted.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • During the 1980's when John was working on Mighty Mouse, Ralph Bakshi had recognized John's talent. Ralph and John were planning on teaming up to do an animated film called "Bobby's girl". Which was set to be a parody of the teen comedies during the time. However TriStar canceled the project. But artwork of this proposed project can be seen in the Unfiltered: The Complete Ralph Bakshi book. It's interesting to think what John's career would have been like if he were a film director, not a creator of television shows.
    • He went into DreamWorks Animation to pitch a movie, but he came back with an Executive Meddling horror story.
    • When John was fired, many cartoons he was working on were left on the cutting room floor. It's interesting to think how his career and show would have gone if he hadn't have been fired.
    • Cans Without Labels, which currently only exists as an unfinished short, and it seems very unlikely that it will ever be finished.
    • The kickstarter campaign for Cans Without Labels proposed a campaign for another follow-up short starring Sody Pop if Labels was finished. It wasn't, so...
    • The whole Florida studio and whatever he would've made with it, considering he was fired from it as soon as the scandal about him leaked.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things: John used to host regular AIM chats with the fandom, and post Q&A sessions on certain Ren & Stimpy message boards. Some chats and question sessions went well, at least at first. However, after a large amount of "heckling" and being drowned out with constant clamoring requests of "Do you like this show? What do you think of this show? What's your opinion on anime?", etc. (mostly done for the purpose of troll-baiting his opinionated statements against animated shows he doesn't like) and even moderation not helping matters of people getting somewhat out of hand, he dropped this method of communication altogether.

    He later would created his own self-moderated blog to talk about various subjects and drawing and animated character theories, and does participate in comment discussions there. He has lessened considerably himself from making as many overt statements about cartoons he does not like quite as much, focusing more of his attention on simply praising the inspirations he does admire.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/JohnKricfalusi