90′s Nicktoons Nostalgics, stand up and “shout”! Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon are on the home stretch with Rocko’s Modern Life. This classic cartoon lasted a total of four seasons during its run on Nickelodeon. And on July 3rd, the penultimate season will hit store shelves courtesy of the good people at Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon. Season Three is rife with all the laughs that fans had in the show’s first two seasons. In Season Three, fans get to see Rocko investigate what he thinks is Ed Bighead’s murder. Also series creator Joe Murray takes on the barrage of sensational talk shows that pollute the airwaves. And Rocko has to face his nail biting problem in another episode.
In “Ed is Dead” series creator Joe Murray spoofs Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller, “Rear Window.” The episode opens with the Bigheads working in their yard one day. Ed and Bev are arguing over how little work Ed is doing. That night, Rocko swears he sees Bev use a trowel to kill Ed through the window of the couple’s house. When he sees her bury something in the yard and clean the trowel afterward, Rocko’s sure Bev killed Ed. So he goes into the Bigheads’ house to investigate what happened. When he runs into Bev, she invites Rocko to stay for dinner. But he freaks out and runs out of the house. Later, when Rocko confronts Bev, she reveals that she was actually working on a sculpture of Ed, and that was what she buried. So Rocko asks Bev where Ed is, it turns out that he was out getting a wart removed. Though Rocko thinks that Ed was getting his tonsils taken out. The whole thing ends full circle as audiences see the silhouettes of Ed and Bev kissing through their window.
“Ed is Dead” is just one of Season Three’s funny episodes. Another example of what makes this season so funny is the episode, “Speaking Terms.” Rocko and Heffer find themselves on the “Nosey” show after a big fight about Rocko’s birthday. One could argue that this episode even went so far as to spoof the queen of daytime talk herself, Oprah Winfrey, considering the joke about Nosey’s weight issue. The “twice told tale” format of the episode is nothing new to television. That aside, it’s a tried and true story format. Hearing Rocko and Heffer offer their own take on what happened regarding Rocko’s birthday is funny both times. And of course the reaction from both the audience and Nosey to the pair being friends again after Heffer’s mother chides them for fighting offers its own share of laughs, too. The real kicker, though, comes at the episodes end, when Filbert shows up with some aliens. Audiences will have to see the episode to get that joke.
“Speaking Terms” has plenty of great jokes that will make audiences laugh nonstop. It’s just one more piece of the puzzle that makes Season Three so fun. As fun as that episode and “Ed is Dead” are, there’s at least one more episode that stands out as one of the season’s best. That episode is “Tooth & Nail.” “Tooth & Nail” opens as Rocko, Heffer, and Filbert are eating out at the Scratch & Sniff Restaurant. Patrons have to order by scratching and sniffing items on the menu. the problem is that Rocko can’t scratch the menu because his fingernails aren’t long enough. Heffer confronts Rocko, telling him he has a nail biting problem. Rocko denies that. What makes this funny is that Rocko had just gotten through going after Heffer, telling him that he had an eating problem. It’s a prime example of art imitating life. Rocko ends up having to take a twelve step program to stop biting his nails. However, when the “twelve steps” discover he was using them for such a simple problem, half of them leave for Vegas, telling Rocko that he only needs six steps for this problem. The sixth and final step spoofs “A Christmas Carol.” It’s a Ghost of Christmas Future style figure that shows Rocko what he would become if he didn’t overcome his nail biting problem. This cures Rocko. And just as in “A Christmas Carol”, it all turns out to be supposedly a dream. The whole thing wraps nicely with the remaining six steps going bust in Vegas. They end up on the curb outside a casino, with two of the “steps” arguing over whether one of them has a gambling problem. It brings the episode full circle as it ends.
The episodes listed here are just a small sampling of what fans can expect from Rocko’s Modern Life Season Three. However, audiences will find their own favorites on the double disc set. And that’s what makes this show so great. Even years after it ended its run, the episodes from this classic episode are still relevant and funny for audiences of all ages. And now, thanks to Shout! Factory and Nickelodeon fans will get to re-live every episode from Season Three July 3rd.
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