Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rocko's Last Name Revealed! | Rocko's Modern Life | NickSplat | Nickelodeon

What happened to Arnold's parents? How does CatDog go to the bathroom? What is Rocko's last name? Some of Nickelodeon's biggest mysteries have thankfully been solved, like the mystery of Arnold's parents, whilst some mysteries, like CatDog's, will probably be left up to the viewers imagination. However, a new bit of information has been revealed - Rocko's last name!


In the original comic strip conceived by Joe Murray, Rocko was actually called Travis and based on a real-life wallaby Murray encountered at the zoo. Murray only switched the character name to Rocko because he felt it made him sound more like a fighter. Rocko’s surname was never revealed on the show, however, and it became something of a running gag. In an interview with The Rocko's Modern Life FAQ, George Maestri, a story writer for Rocko's Modern Life, revealed that the reason why Rocko's last name wasn't revealed on the show was "We never thought of one that we liked. For about three days during develoment, he was called Rocko Stretchbrain, because his brain tended to pop out at odd moments. We dropped that rather quickly, and just kept it 'Rocko'."

However, it turns out that Rocko did actually have a surname, which was revealed in the Jerry Beck book, Not Just Cartoons: Nicktoons! He was born Rocko Rama, or Rock-O-Rama (or Rocko Wallaby Rama, to give him his full name), in reference to Murray’s penchant for adding O’s to the titles of pretty much everything on the show, such as Conglom-O Corporation – a comment on America’s habit of homogenizing almost everything.


Joe Murray, the creator the beloved Nicktoons series, also revealed Rocko's last name in his amazing book, “Creating Animated Cartoons with Character”, which also features really early concept artworks for the series, and encouraging advice and stories from Murray as well as other notable cartoonists.

In fact, the original incarnation of Rocko’s Modern Life was markedly different to the one that made it onto Nickelodeon. In the original presentation to Nickelodeon, Murray outlined his vision, which included the idea that Rocko had a sister named Magdalane with two infant kids.

But when it came time to make the show, Murray had a change of heart, believing Rocko worked better without a sibling. By the time season two came along, Murray looked set to reverse his decision, after writing an episode entitled “Wake Up Maggie” which introduced Rocko’s sister as a narcolepsy-suffering wallaby. The script was not well received by Nickelodeon executives, however, and her introduction was once again stalled.

Later, when Murray began facing questions from the press over the lack of female role models on the show, Nickelodeon executives suggested introducing the character as a means of appeasing the criticism. He responded by dropping her altogether, hoping to send a message about interference to the network.

Another amazing Rocko’s Modern Life fact is that, before he became a Nickelodeon star, Rocko's best friend, Heffer Wolfe was actually an MTV star, appearing in a ID spot (ident) that aired on MTV in 1989; the ID spot depicts Heffer as flying out of a television with the MTV logo branded on his buttocks, and the ident looks a lot like the opening titles of Rocko’s Modern Life!:



One last Rocko’s Modern Life fact for this post: Rocko’s Modern Life was titled Rockos modernes Leben, and actually featured a fully translated theme song (titelsong)!:



Check out these fantastic early Rocko’s Modern Life pictures from Murray's fabulous “Creating Animated Cartoons with Character” book, via Nico Colaleo on Tumblr, and get set for Nickelodeon's brand-new TV movie, Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling, premiering 2018 on Nick! Don't forget to pick up the latest issue in KaBoom!'s brand-new Rocko’s Modern Life comic book series!



Watch all your '90s Nickelodeon favorites on NickSplat, your late-night destination for your favorite childhood Nickelodeon cartoons and live-action shows! NickSplat doesn't question football-shaped heads, but embrace them - along with Reptar bars, a Big Ear of Corn, orange soda, and even slime for Pete (and Pete's) sake. Make your slime-covered Nickelodeon childhood dreams come true every night at 10pm ET/PT, only on TeenNick USA! #NickSplat!

More Nick: SDCC 'Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling' Sneak Peek | Rocko's Modern Life | Nickelodeon!

Sources: Tumblr /@AtroxChobatsu's Tumbl-o-rama, Screen Rant, Nickelodeon Wikia, Wikipedia, ToonZone Forums /@AllenJ.
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