Rocko’s Modern Life, the best of Nickelodeon’s Nicktoons (do not @ me), is returning in 2018, 22 years after the animated series aired its final episode. The one-hour special will reunite creator Joe Murray with the original voice cast, including Carlos Alazraqui (Rocko), Tom Kenny (Heffer and Really Really Big Man), “Mr. Lawrence” (Filburt), Charlie Adler (Ed and Bev Bighead), and Linda Wallem (Dr. Hutchinson). With the possible exception of Ren & Stimpy, Rocko’s was Nickelodeon’s weirdest show, with a reliance on surreal gags and “adult” jokes that kids wouldn’t understand until years later.
So naturally, the hand-drawn special has a bonkers premise.
Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling brings the characters back to Earth after being lost in outer space since 1996. Rocko has trouble accepting this 21st century modern life, while Heffer and Filburt embrace every aspect of new technology, social media, and the endless diversity of food trucks. Rocko believes that his nostalgia for the past can save him from the tortures of the modern world.
That’s way more out there than, say, the Rugrats spinoff All Grown Up! or the approaching Hey Arnold! TV movie. For one thing, it means Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt have been trapped in space for over two decades. Also, Rocko, Heffer, and Filburt have been trapped in space for over two decades. (I hope they brought a refriger-izer.) Murray and Nickelodeon only have one special planned, at least until Static Cling becomes a major hit and Rocko fans finally get what they’ve been waiting for: a gritty remake of Wacky Delly.