Networks are known to go through changes, and Nickelodeon is no exception. Having launched both successful shows and infamous duds, the beloved channel has evolved through the years, something Joe Murray, the creator of the popular Nicktoon Rocko's Modern Life, was present for during the channel's growth.
Known for its surreal plots, clever writing and, perhaps most infamously, the vast amounts of adult humor that went over the target demographic's heads, Rocko's Modern Life is still fondly remembered by those who grew up watching the series, who are only now starting to get some of its more risque content. And said content probably wouldn't have made it into the show if Nickelodeon's executives weren't so loose when it came to that type of humor.
"Other shows were trying to acclimate to changing needs", Murray told Polygon, regarding the creative priorities of Nickelodeon at the time. "Things were always changing, as it always does. These networks keep changing and changing, especially in this new climate of streaming, now you get a 10 episode-order, and that's about it. 52 episodes was the [syndication] number. It's kind of a thing of the past. It's always changing. Executives change, things change, the mandate of the corporation always changes. It has to be."
"We snuck in there when things were still kinda loose and crazy", Murray continued. "I call it the "Wild West" sometimes, because there was a lot of people that we were getting now starting to work in television. There were stories of some execs at Nickelodeon who didn't see [the show] until it got on the air. It was kind of a crazy time, so it was perfect for what we did."
Still active in the world of animation, Murray has recently launched a new show on PBS called Let's Go Luna, which is aimed at a much younger demographic than Rocko. He will also return to the bizarre world of Rocko (Carlos Alazraqui) and his friends in a new TV movie, Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling, which has not yet been given a release date, but is set to air on Nickelodeon.