1. Rocko’s Modern Life
Rocko’s Modern Life is based around the surreal adventures of an Australian-immigrant wallaby named Rocko, and his new life in the city of O-Town. The show explores his American lives of his friends: the gluttonous steer Heffer, the neurotic turtle Filburt and Rocko’s faithful dog, Spunky. The show is laden with adult humor such as innuendos and satirical commentary about society.
The first element I like about Rocko’s Modern Life is all the wacky situations Rocko gets himself into. The show takes the most menial tasks like vacuuming and doing the laundry and makes them into an entire plot. No matter how crazy the plot becomes everything seems to always work itself out in the end. Rocko isn’t the only one who causes his problems though, his friends Heffer and Filburt are known to create problems for him or exacerbate the problems. I like the wacky situations because they make the show fun to watch and make me want to see how the problems will get resolved in the end.
My favorite wacky situation that Rocko, Heffer and Filburt got themselves into was in the episode “Boob Tubed” in which Heffer, who has been watching too much TV, gets his brain sucked into the TV and Rocko and Filburt have to travel inside the TV to find it.
Another element I like about the show is the adult humor. One comedic device the show uses is double entendres which basically means a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either two ways; rather obvious or more subtle. The shows does this a lot and leads to some very funny things being implied. The show is also known to use innuendos which means an insinuation about a person or thing of a derogatory nature. I remember the show having a lot of those aimed at many different characters. The final comedic device the show uses is satirical commentary about society. This just means that the show parodies a lot of things based on real products and places.
While most of the adult humor was allowed to air by Nickelodeon there is one example of an episode that was banned after its second airing. That would be the episode “Leap Frogs” in which Bev Bighead who feels unloved by Ed, invites Rocko over to do some chores and tries to seduce him. Of course when the network, Nicktoons TV, started airing the show the episode was reinstated into the shows run.
The final element I like about the show is all the varied characters.
Heffer is Rocko’s best friend, a glutton and loves to party. Heffer’s last name is Wolfe and was raised by a family of wolves who decided not to eat him as a child and adopted him instead. When Heffer is referred to as a “Big Fat Cow,” he objects to it by saying “steer.”
Filburt is Rocko’s other best friend and a neurotic, hypochondriac turtle wearing Woody Allen style glasses. He was a recurring character in Season 1, who worked many different jobs such as a supermarket cashier and DMV clerk, before being written into the storyline as Rocko and Heffer’s friend in Season 2. Filburt has an extremely weak stomach and even the slightest wrong movements can give him nausea and cause him to say, “I’m nauseous… I’m nauseous…”. He eventually started a family with Dr. Hutchinson, a bubbly cat with a hook for a hand. Two of their children are turtles, one is a cat and the fourth one looks similar to Heffer do to Heffer having sat on that particular egg during the incubation period to keep it warm.
Ed Bighead is Rocko’s neighbor and a toad. He vehemently despises Rocko and his friends and sees them as the bane of his existence. Mr. Bighead is aggressive and crass to most people. He works at the large Conglom-O corporation in middle management. Ed seems to have bad luck where ever he goes which causes him to be very cynical. His catchphrase is, “I hate my life.”
Bev Bighead is Ed’s wife and also a toad. She assumes authority in the Bighead household. Unlike Ed, she actually enjoys the company of Rocko, Heffer and Filburt. She is a party animal and known to be very compassionate.
One element of the show I’m not so fond of is the stories based on Bloaty the tick and Squirmy the Ringworm who live on Spunky. For some reason or other I’ve never really liked them and usually wait through the episodes with them in it to get back to Rocko. Luckily they weren’t in many episodes anyways.
Besides that part of the show I really enjoy the rest of Rocko’s Modern Life and have ranked it as my number 1 favorite Nicktoon. I was so excited when Shout! Factory started making season sets of this show that I have bought the whole show on dvd. I wish more episodes had been made but the 52 that were made are very good and are worth watching due to the wacky situations, adult humor and an ensemble cast of characters.
Places to watch it: streaming on Amazon Prime and DVD Season Sets.