Every once in a while you’ll think about a favorite cartoon that you used to watch as a kid. You’ll drop everything to find it on the internets and when you do track it down on YouTube you’re shocked to see that years later you find the show to be total garbage. The jokes aren’t as funny as you remember, the animation is just plain terrible, and the plotlines seem kind of silly and far-fetched. After complaining to your friends about how bad it is, you decide to give it another watch, and look at that… the show isn’t so bad after all!
Cartoons are a weird thing because when done wrong they’re silly and unbelievable and not fun to watch. However, when done properly, they can tap into something special and connect with you on a personal level. When the whole world is saying that a show is no good, you’re secretly watching it on your phone with the volume turned down way low. Sure you’re a fan, but there’s no reason you have to announce it to the world, right? Here are 15 cartoons you don’t want to be caught watching (but you secretly do).
15. REN AND STIMPY: ADULT PARTY CARTOON
What do you when you have a successful tv series? Do a spinoff! The Ren & Stimpy Show, created by John Kricfalusi, ran for five seasons on Nickelodeon and followed the animated adventures of a dumb cat and a weird chihuahua. Although the show was off to a rocky start, it became a cult hit due to its quirkiness and its insanity.
Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon premiered on the cable network TNN (which later became Spike). One episode had Ren and Stimpy live inside a spitoon after living in a homeless man’s mouth. Another episode had Ren go to therapy. Six episodes were made but only 3 aired! The series received an MA rating for explicit sexual dialogue, but if you’re a fan of the original series, we predict you’ll probably get the DVD that includes the unaired “lost” episodes!
What’s better than former 1990s rap sensation MC Hammer? A Saturday morning cartoon version of the popular rapper! Throw in a pair of talking magical dancing shoes that, when worn, transforms ordinary Stanley Burrell into the superhero Hammerman! If you loved parachute pants, big glasses, and gold chains, this was the show for you!
The more the show is described, the sillier it sounds. The shoes were formerly worn by Burrell’s grandfather, the superhero known as Soulman. Also at the end of every episode, a puppet version of the shoes would speak to an audience of kids. The show only lasted for one season, but if you need your MC Hammer fix, go no further than these 13 episodes! You’ll find they’re 2 legit 2 quit!
13. ALLEN GREGORY
Raise your hand if you remember the short-lived animated show Allen Gregory, which ran on Fox for only seven episodes. The series was created and voiced by actor Jonah Hill and followed Allen as he, due to a loss of finances, attended public school. Like most animated kids, his view of the world was much more adult than normal for a 7 year old.
When the show premiered, it received universally bad reviews. However, you probably watched it because of the cast. Those with a good ear could recognize the voices of Jeff Goldblum, Lisa Kudrow, Keith David and French Stewart as one of Allen’s dads. Jonah Hill is one of the funniest actors and writers around with lots of fans, so we bet at least a few of you have seen this show.
The Darkstalkers animated television series that ran for only 13 episodes was based on the Capcom video game. The game was a fun, 16-bit battle between such characters as Bishamon the ghost samurai, Gallon the werewolf, Lord Raptor the undead musician, and the golem Victor von Gerdenheim. The video game came out in 1994 and the tv show came out one year later.
If the game sounds bizarre and kinda fun, well, that’s because it was. Unfortunately, the television show was not, called by some as the worst video game cartoon in history. Ouch. It was supposed to be the ’90s answer to Ghostbusters, but it fell short of its promise. Darkstalkers only lasted for a season, but on second viewing some might agree that it’s so bad it’s kind of good. Note: we did say “kind of.”
Produced by comedian Daniel Tosh, Brickleberry ran for three seasons on Comedy Central and followed the adventures of park rangers (and a talking bear cub named Malloy) in a fictional National Park. It even had the vocal talents of Tom Kenny from SpongeBob SquarePants. Episodes dealt with such topics as bear diets, half-eaten goats, and missiles that turned people gay.
There was some debate to the quality of the Brickleberry humor. Some thought it was a strong lampoon of pop culture and envelope-pushing comedy, others found it to be offensive and crude just for the sake of being offensive and crude. It did last three seasons and fans to this day vocalize how much they actually liked the show. Were you a fan as well? Did you read the comic produced by Dynamite Entertainment? Would you admit to either of those?
10. THE BROTHERS GRUNT
The Brothers Grunt first started out not as an animated show but on 30 second promotions, in which they were pooping out the MTV logo. Eventually they were able to score a run as a television show. If they look weird and vaguely human, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. They primarily ate cheese and came from a parent that was more toad than person.
When the show came out, people found their appearances absolutely repulsive and because of this, hard to watch. However, in later years the show developed a cult following for its style and content. The show ran for 35 episodes, but thanks to the internet, you can find an additional 10 episodes of lost content online. The show was created by Danny Antonucci, who went on to create Ed, Edd n Eddy.
How can you not love a Saturday morning cartoon? How can you also not love the animated superhero versions of your favorite sports stars? ProStars aired in 1991 and featured the voices of sports icons Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Wayne Gretsky as their cartoon avatars fought crime on the screen. The trio prevented kidnappings, fought against gangs and battled mad scientists. Why didn’t this show run for decades?!?
First off, although the athletes (minus Michael Jordan) appeared in live action segments during the show, the main characters were actually voiced by other actors. Some also found the material to be a little too preachy and while it is about athletes fighting crime, there was still an unrealistic quality about the trio. However, in repeats on the internet, people found it to be a fun snapshot of Saturday morning cartoons during the 1990s.
8. THE PROBLEM SOLVERZ
If you live in the town of Farboro and you need a problem solved, you need not go any further than Horace, his cyborg brother Roba and the furry monstrosity known as Alfe, collectively known as The Problem Solverz. The animation was accomplished with Adobe Flash, allowing production to occur much faster than traditional hand-drawn animation. This same visual style was embraced by some, but mostly rejected by others.
Featuring bright colors and hypnotic designs in almost every scene, The Problem Solverz ran for one season on Comedy Central in 2011, but was later picked up for a second season by Netflix in 2013. Considering how shows like Full House and Voltron have seen new life thanks to Netflix, could we possibly see a third season in 2018?
7. SECRET MOUNTAIN FORT AWESOME
Slog, Festro, the Fart, Dingle and Gweelok were five Disgustoids that were banished from society (you just need to look at them to understand why) and sent to live on Secret Mountain Fort Awesome. The show ran for two seasons but episodes were a lean 11 minutes long, allowing for a maximum amount of absurdity and minimal amounts of sense. The Disgustoids stole the sun, cloned themselves, and gave all their money to a Nawibawabi prince, just to name a few of their adventures.
The show only lasted for two seasons and although had a short run during its time won an Emmy, Annie Award and an award at the 2012 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. The spinoff, Uncle Grandpa, had a healthy five-season run. Were you a fan when it first aired?
6. FANBOY AND CHUM CHUM
If you ever wanted to be dressed as a superhero all of the time, then Fanboy and Chum Chum was the series for you to watch. The two CGI animated characters walked around Galaxy Hills wearing superhero attire every darn day and were obsessed with the hero Man-Arctica, who kind of looked like the winter version of Batman. Like most kids that wear masks and avoid reality, they get into tons of trouble and misadventures.
The idea of kids as superheroes was a fun one. The two kids had their headquarters, Fanlair, in a water tower, and often visited comic book stores and attended the town’s movie theater. However, people had mixed responses to the show, saying the voices of the characters were annoying and the jokes in the show were sophomoric. But kids as superheroes? That always has a place in our hearts.
5. FATHER OF THE PRIDE
Some cartoons suffer from poor animation and production value, but not Father of the Pride, a primetime animated sitcom that aired on NBC and was produced by DreamWorks Animation. It was a big budget production that centered around the white lions that worked as performers for Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas. It had heavy promotion and was produced by Hollywood bigwig Jeffrey Katzenberg! What could go wrong?
Critics found the show to be high in concept but low in comedy. The show also couldn’t afford to not hit home runs; each episode cost over $2 million, making it one of the most expensive comedies on television ever, so it needed to go big or go home. Coupled with an actual incident in which Roy was injured by one of the animal acts, the show aired 13 episodes with two that never even aired.
4. DA BOOM CREW
We have all wished at one point or another to live out a video game or to be magically sucked into a game similar to the 1982 film Tron or the 1984 film The Last Starfighter. Da Boom Crew has a similar premise in which four kids get sucked into a reality that is very similar to the video game they created. Sounds like a good concept to base a cartoon on, right?
No, actually. Just how bad was Da Boom Crew? The show aired on the Kids’ WB and the ratings were so low that it was pulled off the air after only four episodes. Critics thought the writing was poor and the characters were stereotypical and flat. If you lived across the pond, you could watch all 13 episodes on Cartoon Network UK, but why would you? Anyone out there remember the show and liked it?
3. SANJAY AND CRAIG
Sanjay Patel was a 12 year old Indian-American boy. Craig was his talking snake sidekick. Together they starred in the animated Nickelodeon show Sanjay and Craig. Craig the snake was voiced by king nerd Chris Hardwick and the show was produced by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, who created The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Sanjay and Craig over three seasons adopted 100 dogs, go live in the sewer, view a butt transplant, and experience other crazy adventures in the town of Lundgren (named after Dolph Lundgren).
Although enjoyed by some for its quirky humor and the absurdity of the Craig character, some found the show to be unfunny with gross and vulgar toilet humor. Like most animated shows, it’s all about the sheer and utter absurdity of the situations. Of course, it’s got a talking snake, so you shouldn’t go in looking for much realism.
2. MEGA BABIES
A lightning bolt struck Meg, Derrick, Buck and Nurse Lazlo, granting all four with super powers. Along with their now super-smart Nurse, the Mega Babies defend Your City, USA from evil doers and bad guys. At the same time, this show is about their misadventures as babies with super abilities. Although Nurse Lazlo now has super-intelligence, you’d think she’d be a better babysitter to those children.
A baby in real life has either drool coming out of their mouths, snot coming out of their nose, and/or a diaper that constantly needs changing. The Mega Babies multiply this by tenfold, and in some scenes the babies fill their diaper and make it stretch several stories tall. The complaints were that every episode felt like one giant poop, fart or snot joke. In the show’s defense, they are babies, so for some the show was wonderfully silly, but for others it belonged in a diaper.
1. THE NUTSHACK
The Nutshack made history when it launched on MyxTV in 2007. The show was the first Filipino cartoon on American television, and followed the adventures of Phil, his cousin Jack, their uncle Tito and Horat their pet robot tarsier (look it up, they’re cute) living in San Francisco. The show’s episodes covered the odd situations they got into such as getting plastic surgery and creating an army of unstoppable babies.
The show had Filipino cultural references such as an old woman selling balut and Phil going back to the Philippines to find his real father. People were happy to see the show break ground as the first Filipino cartoon, but also criticized the characters for drifting too closely to stereotypes. The show only had two seasons, but there was a four-year gap between seasons. Do those fans of the show want to see it return?
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure show? Post your comments below!
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