Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Shaven Yak

Greetings Friends,

Does anyone remember the cartoon series The Ren and Stimpy Show from the early 90s? It was the precursor to today's "cartoons for adults" genre, which includes Family Guy, South Park, King of the Hill, etc. I won't include The Simpsons in my list because that one is in a class by itself. Reams of text can be, and have been written about The Simpsons, but they're not the topic of my post.

I fell head-over-heels for Ren Hoek, the nasty little animated Chihuahua, and his sidekick, Stimpson J. "Stimpy" Cat, the first time I saw their show in a local bar I used to hang out in near where I was living. It was 1991 and I spent a lot of time in this place (It was on the way home from the commuter train station). The owner of said bar was completely enthralled with Ren and Stimpy as well, and would tape the episodes and show them continuously during business hours. He was an ex-Pan Am employee who opened up his drinking establishment with the proceeds from his golden parachute after Pan Am flew off into the sunset. I had some fun and interesting times in that place, and it was walking distance from my apartment, so I never had to worry about getting behind the wheel in a drunken stupor - not that I ever would have.

The Ren and Stimpy Show was fairly controversial back in those days; granted, there were no irate Muslims issuing fatwas against its creator, John Kricfalusi, but the show did ruffle a few feathers with its storylines and questionable language. When the only real animated competition was MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head, I'd say Mr. Kricfalusi was a bona-fide visionary.

The Shaven Yak was one of the ancillary characters, and I believe Kricfalusi was mocking the king of all mythical childhood heroes: Santa Claus. The above image is an action figure you can purchase at, and I've thought about getting one. I've long since pitched my VHS tape collection, and would also love to replace my Ren and Stimpy tapes with DVDs. Especially now that you can obtain the episodes in all their uncensored glory. 

You can view the clip of "Gilden Yak's Shaving Day" here. The audio is a little wonky, but it's definitely worth a look. And, almost 20 years later, I still find it as funny as I did after 2 Bloody Marys (served in pint glasses with extra Tabasco).

I hope my little trip down memory lane has livened up an otherwise dull Wednesday. Now, don't forget to leave some hot lather on the bathroom counter tonight, and you, too could wake up to a nice sinkful of shaving scum!

I intend to be back on Friday with something a little less juvenile. But, I make no promises. 


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