This Stimpy Original Production Cel from the Rubber Nipple Salesman episode is an original from one of the most loved cult classic of independent animation.
The Ren & Stimpy Show is an American animated series created by John Kricfalusi for Nickelodeon. The series follows the adventures of title characters Ren, an emotionally unstable chihuahua, and Stimpy, a good-natured, dimwitted cat. It premiered on August 11, 1991 as one of the original three Nicktoons, along with Rugrats and Doug. Throughout its run, the show was controversial for its off-color humor, sexual innuendo, dark humor, adult jokes, and violence. This controversy contributed to the production staff's altercations with Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices department. The show ended on December 16, 1995, with a total of five seasons and 52 episodes.
Ren & Stimpy received mixed to very positive reviews during its original run. It would go on receive widespread critical acclaim after its run, and has since developed a cult following. The series is often cited as paving the way for animated shows like Beavis and Butt-Head and South Park. A spin-off for adult audiences, Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", aired in 2003 on Spike, but was cancelled soon after its debut.
According to animator William Wray, John Kricfalusi created the characters Ren and Stimpy in 1978 for "personal amusement" while studying at Sheridan College in his native Canada. He was inspired to create Ren by an Elliott Erwitt photograph, printed on a postcard, called "New York City, 1946", showing a sweatered chihuahua at a woman's feet. Stimpy's design was inspired by a Tweety Bird cartoon called A Gruesome Twosome where the cats in the animation had big noses.
When Nickelodeon approached Kricfalusi, he presented three shows, among them a variety show titled Your Gang or Our Gang with a live action host presenting different cartoons, each cartoon parodying a different genre. Ren and Stimpy were pets of one of the children in Your Gang, serving as a parody of the "cat and dog genre". The network's Vice President of Animation Production Vanessa Coffey was dissatisfied with the other projects but did like Ren and Stimpy, singling them out for their own series. Production of the series's pilot episode began in 1989 after Kricfalusi pitched and sold The Ren & Stimpy Show to Nickelodeon. The pilot was produced by Kricfalusi's Los Angeles-based animation company, Spümcø, and screened at film festivals for several months before the show was announced in Nickelodeon's 1991 cartoons line-up.
The creators of Ren & Stimpy did not want to create an "educational" series, a stance which bothered Nickelodeon. Parents groups decried the series. Some segments of the show were altered to exclude references to religion, politics, and alcohol. The episode "Powdered Toast Man" had a cross removed from the Pope's hat and the credits changed to "the man with the pointy hat". The same episode had a segment featuring the burning of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights which was removed, while in another episode the last name of the character George Liquor was removed. Several episodes had violent, gruesome, or suggestive scenes shortened or removed, including a sequence involving a severed head, a close-up of Ren's face being grated by a man's stubble, and a scene where Ren receives multiple punches to the stomach from an angry baby. One episode, "Man's Best Friend", was shelved by Nickelodeon for its violent content. The show's spin-off, Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", debuted with this "banned" episode.