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One of Nickelodeon's best series, ever.
A bit of nostalgia to start the review... It's 1999 or 2000. I'm barely out of diapers. While at a relative's house I turn on the TV. On Nickelodeon is a cartoon about a cow joining something called "the Sausage Club." This was my first glimpse of Rocko's Modern Life, and I was hooked.

When I got a better cable package, Rocko was the first show I ever saw on it. (The episode was "Rocko's Happy Sack.") I tuned in every weekday morning just to see it. During that run I caught "Wacky Delly" and laughed like I'd never laughed before or since. When the DV Ds came out I bought the first two seasons.

What kind of show inspires this sort of lasting fandom? Why, none other than one of the best shows Nickelodeon has ever produced, and next to Ren and Stimpy, the best Nicktoon.

As a kid, I laughed mostly at the slapstick, the gross-out humor and the innuendos. But now that I'm older I finally understand what I could only somewhat comprehend then... The show's sense of satire.

The best comedy has a great sense of satire. Rocko's Modern Life is no exception. The show's very premise is satirical, almost downright cynical about the world we live in. Rocko's the Butt Monkey of his world, nothing ever goes right for him - and he is the audience's surrogate. He is us, having to endure a world that's nonsensical, insane and sometimes mean-spirited. And who among us has never felt that way?

Some episodes were in and of themselves great satires - "Wacky Delly," the show's best episode, is a terrific parody of television and its viewers. The titular show makes little sense from what we see, and was created by Ralph Bighead as a prank, but it is a hit with the public and Ralph's attempts to sabotage it don't do anything to stop its popularity. Yet when he tries to make something creative that comes from himself, the show gets cancelled. The message from the episode? I'll leave that for you to figure out...

If you have never seen Rocko's Modern Life, go do so, as soon as you can. And preferably seek out "Wacky Delly." You'll be laughing your butt off.
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My Favorite Nicktoon
I was born in 1988, and in being so, I had the wonderful opportunity to experience all of the classic Nicktoons during my childhood. It surprises me that I'm the first to review Rocko, but I thought I should do it given that it was, in fact, my favorite Nickelodeon cartoon from my childhood.

What stands out to me the most about Rocko was the enormous talent of the writers to get past the Nick censors, which was no easy feat. Theses days, Rocko would probably have to make his home on a place like Adult Swim (It probably would have flourished in such an environment). The show's animation was fluid and colorful. I always preferred the animation of Rocko's Modern Life to Ren and Stimpy's. The core cast, unlike many Nicktoons, was also nice and small, allowing each character several limelight episodes. The humor always made me feel like I was watching something I shouldn't be.

In all, this is a show that should have lasted a few more years. Rugrats became Nick's cash cow at the time for better or worse and Rocko eventually became expendable. It's a tragedy that this show remains only a "cult" remembrance of many in Generation Y. Many of our children have no idea what it is, yet will know other shows we grew up with such as Rugrats or Spongebob because of their sheer longevity. This is something that should be remedied. The humor of Rocko's Modern Life should not be lost to us and I hope that we can continue to introduce this show to the next generation as an example of what was funny when we were younger.
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