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SDCC: ‘Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling’ Raised the Nostalgia Bar for Nickelodon

Nickelodeon is on a nostalgia tour this year at San Diego Comic-Con and you know what? Not a single person hates it. This year they’re bringing us all sorts of updates, panels, and previews for old school favorites like Rocko’s Modern Life, Hey Arnold, and Spongebob Squarepants. 

Up first was Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling, which is set to premiere on Nickelodeon in 2018. The panel consisted of show creator Joe Murray and director Cosmo Segurson. The original voice cast is also reprising their roles for the TV special, so Carlos Alazraqui (Rocko), Tom Kenny (Heffer), Mr. Lawrence (Filburt), Charlie Adler (Mr. Big Head and Mrs. Big Head) were there as well. To make matters even better it was Carlos Alazarqui’s birthday! How perfect is that?

Fan Fest had the opportunity to talk with creator Joe Murray, Carlos Alazraqui who voices Rocky, and Charlie Adler who voices Mr. and Mrs. Big Head before the panel began. Here are some of the things that we learned!

What was the process behind Rocko being rebooted?

When Nickelodeon called Murray and asked him to a special or short to bring the show back he wasn’t too sure at first.

Murray: I wasn’t too hot on the idea. It was kind of like, I don’t want to mess with anything… and we had such an amazing crew and like do I really want to do this? So I said I’ll get back to you on it.

So, unsure of what he wanted to do, he called up some of the original writers from the show, including Martin Olsen, to for their take.

Murray: We started talking about ideas and I came up with and idea that I wanted to do and so I kind of pitched it like thinking that they weren’t going to do it and I said, ‘if you do this idea, then I’ll do it.’ And they go ‘okay’. Like really? Oh ok. Alright. Let’s do it!

 What made them decide to pick the Static Cling up where they did?

The characters in the TV special find themselves returning to Earth after living in outer space to find that a lot has changed and the world they left behind is no longer there.

Murray: It worked it’s way completely into the premise because they were away for 20 years and they come back and how are they dealing with it now? The whole thing is that Rockco missies The Flatheads, his show is not around anymore when he comes back.

Alazraqui chimed in, making a great observation about the ability to adapt the show for the new time period.

Alazraqui: You couldn’t really do the stranger things and go back the 80s…If you take the old premise and add it to this generation then you can find a new audience.

What one thing should the fans know about Static Cling?

One thing that Murray really stressed was that audiences can expect to see the same show that they loved back in the day, but there will definitely be some current content as well.

Murray: There is a lot of news…it’s not all nostalgia. We pay homage to what we do.

Adler: It’s socially relevant.

Alazraqui: Pay attention to the food trucks! It’s part of our modern culture… everything’s a food truck!

How has the process changed since the series ended?

Murray: The technology has changed. We aren’t working with film anymore. When they showed the first footage that came back, I was like there’s something seriously wrong with this…then the director came back and said “it’s in HD, Joe.” We are going to put a little bit of grain on it.

Could there be more Rocko after this TV special?

Murray: I think we are going to have to wait and see. I would open to it and I told them I would be open to it. It’s been such a great experience and everyone’s been great.

Alazraqui: It would be a blast. We had so much fun doing it….we hope we get to continue it in some fashion.

The characters and backgrounds are getting minor updates but they will look just as lively and animated as you remember! It was important to Murray that they maintained a lot of the feel and animation that made the series so beloved back in the day. Expect to see some added grain in there as well for your 90s viewing pleasure.

A Nickelodeon press release about the show gave some great insight as well.

Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling brings the characters back to Earth after being lost in outer space since 1996. Rocko has trouble accepting this 21st century modern life, while Heffer and Filburt embrace every aspect of new technology, social media and the endless diversity of food trucks.  Rocko whole-heartedly believes that his nostalgia for the past can save him from the tortures of the modern world.

Want to watch the exclusive sneak peek released at SDCC? Watch the video below and be transported back to your childhood!