Rocko's Modern Life: "Rocko's Modern Christmas"Season 2 Episodes 6
Airdate: December 22, 1994
Rocko's Modern Life is by far my favorite Nicktoon and tied with The Adventures of Pete & Pete for my favorite Nickelodeon show. This will be a delight for all of us.
The Christmas episode begins with Rocko and his dog, Spunky, stepping out of their house into the gray sky and cold weather. Rocko is wearing some orange pajamas and holding a sled. He is disappointed that it has not snowed yet. I guess he did not look out a window before getting dressed up. The cloud that hangs over Rocko's house (a metaphor, perhaps?) tries to poop out some snow (yes, poop it out) but cannot get anything out.
Here's some Rocko trivia for ya. This cartoon takes place in a town called O-Town. Now, when the boy band craze broke around 97-98, a lot of those groups came from Orlando, Florida. That's how I learned that O-Town was a nickname for Orlando, which was also where a lot of Nick shows were produced. So, I am inclined to believe that O-Town is a fictional portrayal of Orlando. Based on how shitty O-Town is, I am positive this is the case.
Which makes it odd that Rocko expects it to snow here. Then again, Rocko is an Australian immigrant. He must not know that only the northernly states get snow in the winter.
Rocko sees some new neighbors moving in across the street. They have lots of Christmas stuff, which excites Rocko. Note: the neighbors are not those fat rats who wear hard hats. Those rats are the stock characters who are always seen performing labor intensive work. In O-Town, the rats are the Mexicans. In the real world it's the other---
You know what? I won't go there today. It's Christmas time!
Rocko decides to get into the holiday cheer by inviting his friend, Heffer the cow, over for a small Christmas party. But Heffer's family invites themselves over, so this is going to be a bigger party than Rocko planned. By the way Heffer was adopted by a family of wolves. It's funny because he is a cow. Heffer was raised by wolves.
Rocko also invites his neurotic turtle friend, Filbert, over. But Filbert's girlfriend, Dr. Hutchinson (she used to be a surgeon, but she just couldn't cut it) tells her friend and soon word spreads all over town. Whoah! This party has gotten out of hand before it's even started!
Meanwhile, the cloud tries to get himself to squirt out snow by drinking prune juice. It's a joke any elementary school kid such as myself could enjoy.
Rocko and Spunky go to the mall to get some party supplies. Heading out, they see the first of their new neighbors. It's a short yellow fellow in a weird hat who does not speak. I think some weird religious cult moved in.
Before entering the mall, Rocko and Spunky stop inside a tent where Filbert and Heffer are selling Christmas trees. The selection is pretty poor. Rocko picks the one that is actually a tree.
Heffer cuts down the tree with a chainsaw, which means that the tree must be rooted to the ground. Which means this tree was growing in the parking lot of a mall, and Filbert and Heffer set up their tent around it.
That's not the weirdest thing about this scene. When Heffer first touches the tree with the chainsaw, it makes this face likes it's getting aroused by the sensation. That tree is into some tree BDSM. Unfortunately, the tree and Heffer never worked out a safe word, and the tree dies when Heffer chainsaws through it.
The mall is crazy. Instead of a mall Santa, they have Fruitcake Man. He does not enjoy himself. "I feel nothing," he tells a small, crying child before the child bites into his fruit face, sending Fruitcake Man into shock and most certainly death.
I always found the way he flatly delivered the line "I feel nothing" very funny. It's the thing I remembered most about this episode for years afterward. I repeated the line every so often as a little kid, which could have gotten me sent to counseling. Luckily, my parents were never concerned about my emotional well-being and ignored it.
The little yellow neighbor thing followed Rocko to the mall. It scurries into a shoe store but is manhandled by the vicious alligator salesmen. They don't know if it is a pixie or a leprechaun but they are going to kick its ass.
Rocko hears the commotion and goes into the store to help his neighbor. The alligators are eager to sell Rocko shoes, so Rocko has them go into the backroom to get his size and escapes with his neighbor. I think the writers really hate shoe salesmen.
Rocko takes the little yellow dude home. Turns out he is an elf. Christmas elves have moved into the neighborhood. The head elf reluctantly invites Rocko in for coffee. He is sort of a grump. It must be from all the responsibility and pressure that comes from being the head elf at Christmastime. Also, he's gotten old and realizes that being a Christmas elf is all he'll ever be. He had dreams, people, big dreams. The head elf in the stop motion Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer movie was a dick as well.
The elves are all named after tools. Except Mango. The head elf "was feeling fruity" that day.
Rocko asks if the elves can make it snow. The head elf says no. Only one elf had the power to make it snow. His name was Mitch, he had three legs and disappeared in a blizzard. How ironic.
Man, whenever I hear the name Mitch, I think of Mitch Hedberg, my favorite comedian. His death made me so sad.
Mitch the human is different than Mitch the elf. He can make the sun shine...with only his smile.
Rocko's next door neighbor is a toad named Mr. Bighead. His wife is Mrs. Bighead. The show implies they have sex a lot. They have a bedroom game which involves Mrs. Bighead throwing plates in the air and Mr. Bighead breaking them with his long toad tongue. Mr. Bighead is one of those bitter old men who are always watching his neighbors with binoculars and will call the police if someone parks a car on the street an inch too close to a driveway. Mr. Bighead hates that elves have moved into the neighborhood.
Filbert has set up the tree in Rocko's house. Heffer is back at the lot entertaining men by dancing in a grass skirt and getting quite the crowd. This is all sorts of creepy.
Mr. Bighead stops Filbert on his way back to the mall. To sabotage Rocko's party, Mr. Bighead tells the turtle that elves will be there and elves carry contagious foot fungi. Filbert is a hypochondriac, so he breaks out in hives at the mere thought of getting sick and dares not go to the party. He tells this to Dr. Hutchinson (she used to be a dentist, but got tired of always looking down in the mouth) and she tells her friend. Her friend is a foot, so of course he cancels. Foot fungus is AIDS to his people (gay feet).
Word spreads around O-Town. It even reaches the elves, but by this time, the gossip has morphed into it being "criminal, diseased trolls" who will be at the party. The elves don't want to be around that. Elves and trolls don't like each other. My only experience with this divide comes from watching David the Gnome, as a small child, where the main enemies to the gnomes were the trolls. Are gnomes and elves related? Perhaps, dear reader, perhaps.
Mr. Bighead keeps Mrs. Bighead from going to the party by distracting her with sex. At least that is what this creepy show implies. Mr. Bighead leaves and the scene lingers on Mrs. Bighead in the tub. The people who made Rocko were an odd bunch.
Let me tell you something about Rocko's Modern Life. It had some inappropriate stuff. There was an episode where Mr. Bighead wanted Rocko and his friends to form a bowling team. Rocko responds, "But we're already playing a game, Mr. Bighead." They are playing a board game that has a monkey perched with its butt sticking out. Everyone is holding paddles. I don't want to alarm anyone, but the game they were playing had to be "Spank the Monkey." They also often went to a fast food restaurant called "Chokey Chicken." I think a big part of producing Rocko's Modern Life was to see how many masturbation jokes they could get on Nickelodeon.
I told you.
Rocko's party is all set up, but no guests have arrived. Rocko puts on some music and sits down. The music is awesome. It's like some 80s rock/dance song and the lyrics are "We're gonna party party/We're gonna party party..." over and over.
Rocko looks at a family photo. He tries to call his mom and dad in Australia, but the lines are busy. Rocko is a wallaby, which he often has to inform people "is like a kangaroo but smaller." Rocko's little brother doesn't look very comfortable. Also, he seems too big to still be in his mother's pouch.
The little yellow elf is the only guest who shows up. He is so moved by Rocko's Christmas spirit that he sends a heart up to the cloud over Rocko's house, which makes the snow finally fall. The elf's heart was a cloud laxative of love.
The next morning, a large crowd is gathered outside Rocko's house, amazed that there is snow on his yard and no one else's. Mitch, the elf who went into seclusion, returns in a cab to tell everyone that the snow is here due to the little elf and Rocko's Christmas spirit. The townsfolk realize what dicks they were to Rocko and go to his party. Considering that the party was 12 hours ago and Rocko was asleep, it is still pretty rude of everybody. Oh, well, Rocko goes with it.
While the whole town is at Rocko's, Mr. Bighead is still at his house, acting like a grinch. The doorbell rings and the little yellow elf is there. He hands Mr. Bighead his invitation, which got lost in the mail. Mr. Bighead assumed he was not invited. Which is odd since, his wife and son went to the party.
Mailing out invitations didn't make much sense anyway. The party was in the evening, and Rocko mailed them out that afternoon. No post office is that quick, no sir, it can't be done.
Mr. Bighead's heart is warmed by this showing of generosity from the person whose life Mr. Bighead is always trying to ruin. The warmth ends when the elf whacks Mr. Bighead in the shins.
Bighead chases the elf, but gets tangled in some Christmas lights and and slides in the snow. He crashes through Rocko's house and gets caught on the ceiling, becoming a hanging Christmas tree. Everyone is amazed and does not help him.
Rocky is able to call his parents now. The phone and Spunky are stuffed between two fat people's butts. Rocko's Modern Life is like that. The first season was much worse, actually. I love Rocko, but the first season was pretty awful. It was basically copying the gross factor of Ren & Stimpy, which is weird, because who would want to copy Ren & Stimpy? There was way too much vomit in season 1. I did not enjoy the show until the second season, when the grossness was toned way down and the writers perfected the odd cleverness that I adored as a child. The show hit its stride when they added Filburt as a main character. In the first season, he was just a background character. To this day, if I catch Rocko in reruns and its a season one episode, I change the channel.
After the end credits complete, we are treated to a extra scene (called a 'pickle' in the biz) of everyone throwing out their Christmas trees the day after. Rocko's Modern Life was a bitter take on American consumerism.
Many of the people who worked on Rocko's Modern Life went on to that juggernaut of a Nicktoon, Spongebob Squarepants. The creator of Spongebob, Stephen Hillenburg was a writer on Rocko and the voice of Spongebob, Tom Kenny, voiced Heffer. I never got into Spongebob Squarepants. By the time that show came around, I was at the age where I was drifting away from Nickelodeon. I do see a lot of Rocko's charm in Spongebob, though.
I would love it if Spongebob Squarepants fans who were born in the 90s and 00s and are too young to have seen Rocko's Modern Life were to discover the little wallaby. I bet they'd like him. I don't know what time Rocko's Modern Life is on, if it still is. I think reruns air around 4am on Nickelodeon or Nicktoons, but I could have just hallucinated that one night when I was strung out on my cousin's Halloween candy. Man, I don't know how hard it is to take candy from a baby, but taking candy from a six-year-old is very easy, and oh so satisfying.