August 12, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016
Rocko Crew 2016

Rocko Crew 2016

Rocko’s Modern Life Special- Yes It’s Real

This seems like a formality since it’s all over the internet, but I am free to say finally that we are doing a Rocko’s Modern Life made for TV Movie, air date unknown. I was approached by Chris Viscardi of Nickelodeon back in the early part of the year to see if there was interest, and I hemmed and hawed about it for awhile. Called Doug Lawrence and some of the other guys from the show,, should we even do this? The original episodes were so great, why mess with it.  Martin Olson and I started laughing about some of the things we could do with the “new” Modern Life,, it became more appealing. After a meeting with Nick Execs that they promised not to water it down,( which they have not) I agreed to move forward. I got Martin Olson and Doug Lawrence to help write the outline, but my attempts at ‘putting the old band together” for the storyboards were mostly met with “I’m too busy” or ” I’m under contract, sorry”. So I got Cosmo Segurson ( who was one of my directors on Lazlo) to co-direct, and brought in Tom Smith ( former student of mine and Storyboard guy at Stoopid Buddy studios) and an animator from South Park Dan Becker. Both are HUGE Rocko fans which was very valuable when doing the board.

This interview I did a couple of weeks ago and released yesterday sheds some more light on the project:

Basically, Rocko Filburt and Heffer have to deal with Modern Life in 2016,17, 18 and there are lots of twists and turns. I’m very happy with it. We are done with the storyboard ( which was split up with the 4 of us, myself included) and are now moving into production.

I will keep this blog posted with developments and interesting quirks from the progression of production.

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20 Responses to August 12, 2016

  1. This is very exciting news indeed!

  2. This is just so awesome, i’m so excited! Please keep us updated Joe!

  3. Ben says:

    Congrats Joe!

  4. Chris M says:

    Even though I grew up with Lazlo rather than Rocko, I still say congratulations, Mr. Murray, and I can’t wait until the release!

    Now, I doubt you have any reason to worry about this being a flop like so many other recent revivals for a few reasons.

    You have as many members of the old crew on board as you can manage, and the ones you’ve brought in are very familiar with and passionate about the subject matter.

    Other revivals which have gone belly-up such as the 2016 Powerpuff Girls (*shudder shudder*) is because they include almost no members of the old production crew, would rather bank on the old series’ successes, pander quite unsuccessfully to current viewers by filling episodes with and basing them around emojis and memes and other nonsense rather than trying to provide substantial content, and generally just not having a lot of heart in their making.

    Mr. Murray, you’re all set for a successful revival special. You’ve got a good mix of old and new, you’ve got a dedicated and seasoned staff, and above all you’ve got lots of spirit to inject into it.

    You’re good to go.

    Best of luck, and I hope Camp Lazlo gets a similar treatment a few years down the road! 😉

    –Chris M

    • Joe Murray says:

      Hi Chris, Of course I did have feelings like it could flop. But I told Nickelodeon I definitely did NOT want to do a simple re-hashing of the old show, that this would need to break some new ground, which it does. Even though we have some call backs, it is mostly new material going in some new fresh directions. I hope the fans feel like we did it justice. Joe

      • Chris M says:

        I’m sure the fans will appreciate it very much, and I’m confident new viewers will find an appreciation for the original show too.

    • Noel says:

      Man I miss Camp Lazlo I hope it does too chris

  5. I’m pretty excited about this. I trust this will be a good special.

  6. Nick Fortunato says:

    First Hey Arnold and now this! Awesome! I can’t wait to hear Carlos, Mr. Lawrence, Tom and Charlie back in action again! The reunion a few years back was amazing, who would of known Rocko would be revisited again. I’ve always been a fan of Nickelodeon(I was raised on it) but I was disappointed in the quality of programming it had the last few years and I wished that it would be able to harken back to its glory days and recapture that magic. And now it has. So glad the Chris Viscardi is calling the shots now(I’m a huge Pete & Pete fan) and reached out to you and Craig Bartlett to bring your characters back to life. Congrats. I can’t wait to see it.

  7. Zidders Roofurry says:

    Joe-first off let me say thank you from the bottom of my heart. The 90’s was a pretty rough time for me. Thanks to Rocko my friends Joe Aglione & Joe Souza had something fun to bond over. We were (and still are) a lot like Rocko (Joe A.), Hef (me) and Fil (Joe S.). It provided us with a lot of laughs and Joe A. and I still have a lot of awesome memories (Joe S. we haven’t seen in years, unfortunately).

    Second-I wish you all the best with this. I’m grateful Nick gave you creative space. This comeback reminds me of another recent cartoon comeback that’s been very successful so far-the return of Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County. He seems to be enjoying the adoration his return has received. I hope that you receive as much love and appreciation (and get as much satisfaction) from this as he is from drawing Bloom County again.

    OK-Done gushing. Thanks again for all the laughs and for the artistic inspiration and best of luck with Rocko’s Way More Modern Modern Life. 🙂


  8. Kelly Lake says:

    Congrats, Joe! Can’t wait for this!

  9. Charles DeVillier says:

    Mr Murray,

    I am an avid Rocko fan my whole life. Have all four seasons on DVD and make any kid who comes around experience the pilot, haha. They usually want more. I had my 21st birthday cake done in purple with blue triangles. I just can’t say how excited I am for the special and relieved that you’re back, too.

    If you need a voice– I’ll do it for free. I want to be part of this so bad I can’t stand it.

  10. m says:


    We totally need the mirror right now. I watched a sunset the other night and I think almost every other person on the beach was filming the sunset with a cellphone so they could share on social media. What ever happened to enjoying the moment?

    My brother in law was talking about an app which finds out information about your browsing habits and likes, and generates messages that actually do the chatting for you to potential dates.

    It’s like we’ve created this separate buffer-class of robot people who will live our lives for us.

    Will Smith is going to bail us out.

    You know… When they take over.

  11. I can’t wait when this happens! I can’t wait to see Rocko, Heffer, Filburt, The Bigheads, And Dr. Hutchinson again, They’ll be there, Right mr. Murray?

  12. Paul Smith says:

    Must be nice to be able to do the coda to such a terrific series. Looking forward to it and best of luck.

  13. Clopez says:

    I grew up on this show, it will be great to see it in air again!

  14. Noel says:

    I guess Stephen Hillenburg is really busy working on the next season for Spongebob,but i’m so pump to hear about it I can not wait for it to be done,are you going to voicing Ralph Bighead again?

  15. trollllerrrrr says:

    All I know is there better be an O’ Bama joke somewhere in there!

    Also I think I ask this whenever I show up: what’s with Rocco’s parents being Roos?

  16. Jesse says:

    SO STOKED ! favorite cartoon of all time returns

  17. bloopblopp says:

    Will this effect ur PBS show in any way?

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