Punch Drunk on Goddamn Liquor and John Kricfalusi

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A few weeks ago on episode 84, we had a discussion about cartoons from the 1990s. While looking back we came to the conclusion that it was indeed a golden era of animation that surpassed anything ever seen before thanks to Fox Kids, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and a few other rogue cable channels.

During the discussion we briefly touched on Ren and Stimpy, and the show’s creator John Kricfalusi. During this hunk of the conversation we briefly touched on Kricfalusi being a pioneer in online animation, specifically his flash animation series from 1997, The Goddamn George Liquor Program.

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Even though I’m the one who brought it up, I hadn’t actually watched The Goddamn George Liquor Show since 1990-god-knows-when. So my recollection of it was pure nostalgia. Curiosity got the better of me, however, and I took the Internet to find it.

Watching it is like going back in time due to the limitations of the technology available at the time. When the show debuted online in October 1997, only 20-25 percent of the households in America had internet access, and that access was the brbrbrbrbr-screeeeeee-chugga-chugga-screeee kind, courtesy of companies like AOL. Broadband access didn’t start making its way into the average US home until 2000 and later.

Watching The Goddamn George Liquor Show today is kind of like going to a silent movie, but instead of seeing dialogue cards in the film, actors do live voice overs from within the theater. The movements are jerky, the audio timing is slightly off, and the comedy sound effects are very Three-Stoogesesque.

It’s still funny though, and that’s what is important.

Kricfalusi was among the first to embrace the Internet as a no-holds-barred playground for creativity. It was perfect for a guy who had already encountered creative conflicts with Nickelodeon, which led to the censoring of Ren and Stimpy. After George Liquor he went on to do several more online flash cartoons like Weekend Pussy Hunt through his company SpumCo Studios.

Kricfalusi closed the doors at SpumCo not long after a disastrous relationship with SpikeTV regarding Ren and Stimpy.

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While he doesn’t have a current mega-hit cartoon in production like he did in the 1990s, and really, how many times does that happen to one man in one lifetime, he is still pursuing his creative vision.

You can keep up with the latest from Kricfalusi on his blog.

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