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Episode 239: Nerdist Podcast
John K.
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: John K.

The amazing John Kricfalusi comes to our Nerdmelt space with Chris and Jonah to talk about Ren & Stimpy, working with Ralph Bakshi, Laverne & Shirley in Space and the time he and Bob Clampett hijacked a parade float. PLUS! More George Liquor? Hopefully! Go to Kickstarter to support Cans Without Labels right now!

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  1. D says:

    John K: Overrated jerk with delusions-of-grandeur about his animation and his “humor”,and what makes great animation. His style is overkill, and the writing and plots of a ten year old.His stuff makes the old WB cartoons of the ’30s/’40s look like Ingmar Bergman.

  2. This is one of my favorite episodes! It, and my other favorites, gives me that molecular belly tingle, which surprisingly doesn’t have to be bathroomed out (is that healthy?).

  3. CD says:

    3000th time listening and I’m gonna need you to get him back on the podcast.

  4. Claudia says:

    @Brooke: Looks like the only female animator on Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures was Lynne Naylor…

  5. Brooke says:

    What was the name of John K’s former girlfriend who draws amazing female bodies? I rewound it several times and could never catch it. I’d like to check out her work if I could figure out her name.

  6. El Cas says:

    Loved this episode and the Crumpet parade story made me glad I had just parked my car when it started cause it would have made driving very difficult.

    @Patty Marvel and @toonsmyth You could just scan the drawing and upload it to flicker/photobucket/etc and just place the link in the thread.

  7. Crash says:

    Boy is it just me or did you have more edit points on this podcast than the last 3 combined?

  8. VINCENT says:

    LOL. It was draw with your whole arm. Rather than noodling (I was a noodler) all the little details.
    Great interview guys.
    Great Stories.

  9. Paul says:

    Oh man! I listened to the Will Ferrell episode and skipped this one and while the Ferrell episode was great this one is even better. Great stuff.

  10. Ross says:

    That was amazing. I’d read & heard about the amazing shenanigans the inmates of WB’s Termite Terrace would pull on each other(& Schlesinger), and that Clampett was considered a bit unhinged, even by them, but that parade story was perfect. Especially as I had a Beany & Cecil board game(based on the cartoon), as a kid, complete with a pull-string talk-box Cecil puppet that said things like, “Ahm comin’ Beany!” and, “Garsh–whatta big mouth!”

  11. Mark says:

    Chris, the drawing arm thing you mentioned is not some fictional idea even if John did or didn’t mention it. I’m sure at some point he has. It’s kind of standard. If you what to draw a straight line or better curve line freehand, you use your forearm to draw with not your wrist. Thanks, just an artist wannabe art nerding out on you.

  12. Tom says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for another great Nerdist podcast that licked my creamy center and oh so nutty chocolate covering. No words describe the joy I feel for my collection of incurable diseases… and – possibly even more so – the genius of John K. Much like you, Chris, Ren and Stimpy had an indelible impact on shaping my sense of humor and even more importantly, redefining and reinventing animation for me. Having grown up with animation in the form of Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, etc, it was already a fantastic source of entertainment for me, and John K. just took that world to a whole new level. I’m heading over to the kickstarter page RIGHT NOW!

  13. bsg says:

    Awesome stuff, you guys should try to interview Don Bluth.

  14. JetpackBlues says:

    This was great episode. Thanks for getting him on.

    Besides the total insanity of the characters, it was the throwback to mid-century modern art and design (albeit kitchy) in Ren & Stimpy had that appealed to me. Like a lot of the Chuck Jones cartoons I remember.

    Stuff designed before the space race, imaging what the future would be like. But John kept that rather bizarre look and feel in a post-space race world. Space Madness and Black Hole the obvious examples.

    Even the music and sound effects made it seem natural that we should be sitting in front of an old Predicta TV set, watching the show.

    Plus, just the catch-phrases that came out of the show:

    “Listen, you eediot….”


    “You look like a man who could really use some rubber nipples.”

    “Calll the poliiiiiice….”

    Ren & Stimpy was the beginning of the inmates running the asylum. As animators on the classics started their own studios and rebelled against their prior creations, making new characters and stories… it was a wonderful rebirth of animation.

    Guilty pleasure: I loved Fonz and the Happy Days Gang when I was a kid. I used to press the boom-box against the TV speaker every Saturday morning and record them on cassette, then play them back incessantly.

  15. Gregory says:

    Ever notice how John K kinda sounds like Norm Macdonald sometimes?

  16. Daniel A says:

    The best part of this episode: ‘Songs about trees.’

    Fun fact: The Sons of The Pioneers ‘Tumbling Tumbleweeds’ were in the opening shot of The Big Lebowski.

  17. It’s funny when he points out the Korean animating mistakes in the show. I always thought that stuff was intentional and made things funnier in an unexplained way.

  18. Hubert M. says:

    John K. seems like a cool cat. Is it wrong that I sorta remember The Fonz in Space cartoon? I was definitely at the right age for it back in the day.

    I’m gonna have to dig up some old Ren & Stimpy cartoons now. It’s been too long. I need a refresher course.

    Did anyone catch the name of the other podcast John was on recently? I couldn’t quite make out the name Chris mentioned and I’d like to hear more animation stories.


  19. Patty Marvel says:

    @toonsmyth -Good question. I think it was mentioned in an earlier thread, but I can’t recall which one. Maybe go to a hostful episode, click on the artist’s name at the base of the picture and ask them how they did it?

  20. toonsmyth says:

    @ Patty Marvel: It’s a great concept, but how do you go about submitting artwork?

  21. Patty Marvel says:

    This is the Happy Days cartoon discussed in the podcast:

    Yeah, there’s a cartoon that was long dead and buried in the recesses of my mind until this podcast. Um…thanks?

    To the artists posting in this comment thread – I’ve an idea for a Hostful pic but I haven’t any skills to create it. It’s based on the Charlie’s Angels logo seen here:
    In the left hand position would be Chris’s silhouette either holding an iPhone (don’t forget the white earbuds) or a giant latte, in the right hand position would be Jonah talking into a microphone with the cord dangling down, and standing proud and tall in the center position would be Matt holding a burrito aloft. Rather than flames behind them, there’s the red Nerdist logo on a yellow background. The white caption could be either “Nerdist Angels” or “Nerdist Podcast.” I’d make it myself but I have zero artistic skills. If any artist reading this wants to take a stab at my idea, go crazy with your bad self.

  22. toonsmyth says:

    that was just EPIC. I would recommend having more animation directors as guests, but I can’t think of anyone who would be NEARLY as interesting…. Except Matt Groening, maybe. Thanks for another great episode.

  23. DavidH says:

    My first comment, but I had to jump in on this episode. This was a great interview, and it was fantastic to hear. In a broader sense, John K is one of the great heroes of modern times – I remember, like Chris, when those first episodes hit the air, and was so blown away by them that they changed my perception of what was possible in television, let alone animation. Quotes from ‘Space Madness’, to this day, are still a part of our language (“It is not I who is crazy …”).

    Keep the spirit alive, John, and thank you for everything!

  24. 00gonzo says:

    Really excellent episode. If you like this podcast, I recommend you read John K’s blog. Just like this episode, John uses his blog to share all of his wisdom and experience. The man is a sage and an American treasure.

  25. Azz says:

    What happened with the glitch at the end?


  26. Whatever Joel says:

    Here’s a link to the clip John K was talking about where Stimpy just had black eyes.

    And the Bob Clampett story, just classic!

  27. toonsmyth says:

    a HUGE inspiration and artistic influence on my work! Whenever I do lip synch, I try to think in a John K. mindset and REALLY put some expression and detail into it. I look forward to listening to this during production tomorrow morning. Feel free to click on my name here to view some of my work… Not that I’m plugging myself or anything. 😉

  28. Brandon says:

    Goddamned GREAT podcast, one of my favorite episodes (being biased since I work in the industry). Love hearing the old school stories that show how an animator’s personality truly shows in their work. And Chris, your knowledge of animation history and your love of Ren & Stimpy made your interview all the better.

    More animation guests, please! Maybe Dan & Swampy from Phineas & Ferb, Brian & Michael from Avatar: TLAB, Bruce Timm & Paul Dini.

  29. Matt Grandis says:

    I want to listen, but Downcast doesn’t show this episode. Now I have to download it manually 🙁 #ultimatefirstworldproblems

  30. David says:

    Why is there a glitch at 1:08:36?

  31. Justin says:

    Jesus, if I had listened to the last podcast…nevermind I’m going to hide.

  32. Scott says:

    God I love John K. It looks like he’s getting close to getting the donations for the cartoon.

    I can not wait 8 months.

  33. John says:

    That was superb. Those Bob Clampett and Ralph Baskhi stories were amazingly hilarious.

  34. Justin says:

    Ha! I just recommended him in the last podcast comments. Funny. I’m a little behind on ideas.

  35. Hector Martinez says:

    YESSSS!!!! Finally! So excited!

  36. Jacky Dan says:

    As a beginner character designer and somewhat animator, I am so excited to hear this podcast. Love when hearing people in the animation field whether it be voice actors or artists