If you don’t feel like going through all 15 reels of film in that, don’t worry, you’re not really missing out on anything terribly exciting. There are a few that stand out above the rest, particularly the ones in the stack of three. If you’re going to watch any of them, I’d say go for those. Once you’re satisfied with watching Homestar kick around a can and have weird crap happen, we can move on to another really bizarre old cartoon, The Reddest Radish. My excitement cannot be underestimated.
- Strong Bad is still obsessed with winning competitions. I think this and A Jumping Jack Contest are the last ones where this is a major part of his character. (I’m going to consider “needing to be the center of attention” to be a separate trait)
- Homestar kicks a can in this cartoon. Because we haven’t seen enough of that yet. He does it in Where My Hat is At also. It’s kinda weird how that’s a recurring theme in these old cartoons.
- I don’t know why, but the part where Strong Bad and company run off and leave a ghostly image behind that also runs off is probably the funniest part of this cartoon. It’s like… seriously, what?
- I think at this point, The Brothers Chaps just like exaggerating and making fun of their characters. They did it a lot in Yello Dello, and here, Homestar’s voice is very whiny and elongated. After this, the animation style and voice acting will more of less reach a level that they’re comfortable with, and the weirdness of these old toons starts to slowly disappear.
Alright, so that’s two really weird experimental animations out of the way, now time for a third. Except this one doesn’t really qualify as an animation, and this one actually spawned quite a few follow-ups. Behold, the first iteration of Marzipan’s Answering Machine.
I’ve also got a bit of a personal story with this one. Back in the day, the menus for the Toons and Games pages were totally different than they are now. They used to look something like this:
Notice how Marzipan’s Answering Machine is on the Games page? So is Strong Bad Email, actually, and it isn’t even labeled as such. It just says “E-mail Strong Bad”. So way back when I first started looking through the site, I got to the Games page, tried “Audition with Marzipan”, since it was the one on the top of the stack, and I found it to be pretty boring. I don’t remember if I actually went to Marzipan’s Answering Machine or not, but if I did, I think something led me to believe that it was just for recording your own voice and then playing it back. Somehow I missed the fact that it actually had sound clips on it that were worth listening to. And likewise, after going through the other games and finding them somewhat mediocre, I managed to skip over the “E-mail Strong Bad” option as well, since I figured it wasn’t worth bothering with.
And then this is the part where anyone who knows anything about Homestar starts laughing at my misfortune. Thanks to me overlooking something on the Games page that looked like it would be for sending a fictional character an email and then getting an automated reply, I managed to miss the majority of the cartoons on the website. I don’t know what my excuse is for ignoring it in the First Time Here thing. My guess is that I only watched it once, didn’t actually choose any of the options, and then forgot about it. But yeah.
Next time, we’ll be looking at those older games. But first there’s still a couple other toons I’d like to get through, one of which is actually pretty decent. It’s the first Holiday Toon on the website – Homestarloween Party.
- The egg-throwing game thing at the start is really bad. The collision detection sucks majorly, and even if it didn’t, I still can’t imagine it being any fun. Good thing the rest of the toon makes up for it. I’ve gotta point something else out though – the game was put in to play while you’re waiting for the cartoon to load. Remember when Flash cartoons like this actually took a couple minutes to load on dial-up internet? Good times.
- The Gremlin has a flux capacitor in it. Bubs’s rambling description of it (apparently from the movie Dazed and Confused) does not mention this.
- This is the first appearance of The Goblin, the Gremlin, the sad kids, and that particular robot. Yes, they will all reappear in the future.
- The character models in this one are still a little dated, but they’re pretty close to the current ones. It’s kinda weird that this would be the first cartoon they appear in, since everyone’s wearing a costume that will never be seen again.
- I know I’m biased, but I think Strong Sad’s part of the story was the best. Yes, it’s incredibly depressing, but that’s exactly why it’s hilarious. I particularly love the way he says “And none of them lived”.
- I recognized about half of the costumes in this one. When I watched this 12 years ago, I had no idea who Flavor Flav, Rerun, Kurt Cobain, Slim Goodbody, or Gorbachev were. And even now, I only know them because these costumes inspired me to look them up. This will be a trend for future Halloween cartoons – expect there to be at least one really weird, obscure costume per year.
Just one more toon for today, and then we’ll almost be done with the relevant material added to the site in 2000. Remember how I said I wasn’t going to need to give a warning before most cartoons anymore, because most of them are going to stand on their own pretty well? Yeahhhhh, this one does need a bit of a disclaimer. First of all, I didn’t find it all that funny (except for a part at the end), and secondly, some people might actually find it a bit offensive. Let’s just get this one over with. A Holiday Greeting, everyone.
So next time, like I said, I’ll be taking a look at some old games and stuff, and then, depending on how long that takes, probably go straight into some 2001 toons. It’s either that or go through the Museum (and other old stuff that isn’t actually linked to anywhere on the site), but I’d rather watch some more quality material before looking back at the old, unfunny stuff. That can wait for a while longer.