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The Itchy & Scratchy Show

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The Itchy & Scratchy Show
The Itchy and Scratchy Show.png
TV Show Information
Genre: Cartoon
Starring: June Bellamy
Homer Simpson (Former)
Country of Origin: United States
Channel: Channel 6 (Current)
First Appearance: "The Bart Simpson Show"


The Itchy & Scratchy Show is an animated TV show and a segment of The Krusty the Klown Show on Channel 6. The show involves a anthropomorphic mouse named Itchy repeatedly killing a anthropomorphic cat named Scratchy for no real reason. The show contains a huge amount of blood and gore and cartoon violence. It is a parody of Tom & Jerry and Herman & Katnip,, but exaggerated to be more violent and gory, unlike Tom & Jerry which only had slapstick humor. There are at least 1,328 episodes of the show.[1] Itchy, and other Itchy style mice are almost always the aggressors, and like its inspirations, are almost always the victors.

Most of the time, each Itchy & Scratchy episode is based on some kind of theme that The Simpsons episode is being aired as. For example, The Itchy & Scratchy episode "diePod Slaylist" shows Scratchy listening to a MyPod when Itchy turns the volume to extreme levels to make Scratchy's eyes explode, which is related to Lisa receiving a MyPod.

History[edit]

Chester J. Lampwick invented Itchy in the year 1919 and owns the rights to Itchy. Lampwick was also known as the "father of cartoon violence." Roger Meyers, Sr. (1890–1985) plagiarized Itchy and established Itchy and Scratchy Studios in 1921. Originally Itchy was called "Itchy the Lucky Mouse" (a parody of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit).[2] He starred in his first cartoon made by Lampwick, "Manhattan Madness".

Scratchy starred in his first cartoon in 1928, entitled That Happy Cat. The film, which is about fourteen seconds of animation showing the cat whistling and tipping his hat, did very poorly. It is unknown who created Scratchy, or if he was plagiarized by Meyers Sr. in the same way that Itchy was.

Later in 1928, Itchy and Scratchy starred in their first cartoon together entitled "Steamboat Itchy" a parody of Disney's Steamboat Willie featuring Mickey Mouse.

Along with the cartoon shorts, Itchy and Scratchy were featured in a wartime radio series,[3] at least two films - Pinitchio and Scratchtasia,[4] and television commercials for Laramie cigarettes.[5] An X-rated Itchy & Scratchy movie titled "Itchy & Scratchy meet Fritz The Cat" was created during the 1970s. According to Comic Book Guy, only bootleg copies are available "because of its frank depiction of sex and narcotic consumption".[2]

At one point, additional characters were added to the pair on a show titled Itchy & Scratchy and Friends Hour: Uncle Ant, Disgruntled Goat, Flatulent Fox, Ku Klux Clam, Manic Mailman, Dinner Dog and Rich Uncle Skeleton. These characters parodied the addition of superfluous, two-dimensional characters to TV shows in an effort to draw viewer interest.[4]

Itchy and Scratchy Studios is currently run by Roger Meyers, Jr. (born 1956), the son of the cartoon's "creator." Itchy and Scratchy Studios was bankrupted after being sued by Lampwick for $800 billion, but was saved after receiving a large cash settlement from the government over its use of Mr. ZIP.[2]

The Itchy and Scratchy Show airs as a segment on the Krusty the Klown show, though it moved to the Gabbo show during the latter's short-lived run.[6] The show underwent a non-violent retooling following a protest campaign led by Marge Simpson, but after Marge was later discredited, it returned to its original violent format.[7] The show has spawned an Academy Award-winning film adaptation,[8] amusement parks,[4] and a musical.[9]

The show is animated in South Korea. June Bellamy (a takeoff on voice actress June Foray) voices both Itchy and Scratchy.[10]

Poochie[edit]

Poochie, a short-lived character on the show.

Poochie was a dog character added to the Itchy & Scratchy lineup. The producers believed the cartoons were getting stale, and needed a new character to reinvigorate the show, despite the objections of one of the show's writers, who "at the risk of sounding pretentious", felt that Itchy and Scratchy comprised "a dramaturgical dyad". Homer Simpson got the job of voicing Poochie, who was introduced in the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon, The Beagle Has Landed. A product of marketing department thinking, Poochie was near-universally despised, and was killed off in his second appearance, despite Homer's objections.[10]

Theme song[edit]

List of cartoons[edit]

Non-canon[edit]

Donut Homer.png The contents of this article or section are considered to be non-canon and therefore may not have actually happened or existed.

Treehouse of Horror[edit]

In the Treehouse of Horror IX segment "The Terror of Tiny Toon", Bart and Lisa entered their television and were attacked by Itchy & Scratchy. At the end of the story, they broke out of the TV into the real world: Fortunately they were not a threat, as they were the same size as "real-world" cats and mice.

Video games[edit]

A video game named The Itchy and Scratchy Game was released for Sega Megadrive/Genesis, Game Gear, Super NES and Game Boy.[11] Another game, Itchy and Scratchy in Miniature Golf Madness, was released for Game Boy.[12] A level of the SNES/Genesis game Bart's Nightmare also prominently features Itchy and Scratchy. There was a special unlockable level in the The Simpsons Wrestling where only Itchy and Scratchy are playable.

The characters of Itchy and Scratchy also appear in The Simpsons Game, featured in the level Grand Theft Scratchy in the form of pimps and hoodlums.

Behind the Laughter[edit]

Origins[edit]

The Itchy & Scratchy Show first appeared in Tracey Ullman Show short "The Bart Simpson Show", which originally aired November 20, 1988. They are based on Tom and Jerry and other cat & mouse cartoons. As a child, series creator Matt Groening and his friends would fantasize about an ultra violent cartoon and how much fun it would be to work on a show like that.[13] The names "Itchy" and "Scratchy" were inspired by "Pixie and Dixie", who were mice on the cartoon show Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks.[13] David Silverman, a director and producer for The Simpsons, states that the show is based on Herman and Katnip.[14]

Development[edit]

"Itchy and Scratchy" cartoons are often added when a show needs expanding[15] or when there is an issue that the writers wish to satirize.[16] The shorts are often hard for the writers and take a long time to develop and come up with a title for the short and in the end they do not fill up a large amount of time.[17] Writing the Itchy & Scratchy cartoons is quite often a group effort, with it being pitched out one gag after another.[18] Itchy & Scratchy are a favourite of John Swartzwelder, who has written many of the episodes that centre around them and quite often pitches the ideas for the shorts.[17]

In several episodes centering around the production of The Itchy & Scratchy Show, such as "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show", the show's staff are shown. Almost all of them are caricatures of the actual staff of The Simpsons. In the first scene at the production table the person in the lower right corner, wearing a squid T-shirt, is David X. Cohen. On the left side, the furthest away is Bill Oakley with Josh Weinstein next to him. Next to Weinstein is George Meyer, who is the writer who speaks out and gets fired. The animator shown designing Poochie is supervising director David Silverman. Others who appear include Dan McGrath, Ian Maxtone-Graham, Donick Cary, Ron Hauge, Ned Goldreyer and Mike Scully, who had to be added in later, as the animators "didn't have his photo" from which to get an accurate likeness.

Itchy is voiced by Dan Castellanata and Scratchy is voiced by Harry Shearer.

Cultural influence[edit]

In a 2006 article IGN.com ranked Itchy & Scratchy in tenth position on their list of the "Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral Characters", citing that "the Itchy & Scratchy Show shines a nice mirror on cartoons, showing just how funny cartoon violence really is."[19] In 2007, Vanity Fair named "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show" the sixth best episode in the show's history, describing it as "a classic satire of network influence, obsessed TV fans, and programs that survive long after the shark has been jumped, the episode is a meta-celebration, a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal to everyone who claimed that the quality of The Simpsons had declined over the years."[20] Todd Gilchrist called it a masterpiece, stating it "could easily be packaged and sold by itself."[21] Comic Book Guy's phrase "Worst. Episode. Ever" was named as a quote that could be used in everyday life, as well as being one of the most popular quotes from the show, by The A.V. Club.[22]

Appearances[edit]

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(intro heard)

References[edit]

  1. "Whiskey Business"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Day the Violence Died"
  3. "The Old Man and the Key"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Itchy & Scratchy Land"
  5. "HOMЯ"
  6. "Krusty Gets Kancelled"
  7. "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge"
  8. "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie"
  9. "Girls Just Want to Have Sums"
  10. 10.0 10.1 "The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show"
  11. The Itchy and Scratchy Game. IGN.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.
  12. Itchy and Scratchy in Miniature Golf Madness. IGN.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Groening, Matt. (2002). The Simpsons season 2 DVD commentary for the episode "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  14. The David Silverman Interview. Retrieved on 2006-09-19.
  15. Scully, Mike. (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Girly Edition" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  16. Jean, Al. (2002). The Simpsons season 2 DVD commentary for the episode "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Reiss, Mike. (2002). The Simpsons season 2 DVD commentary for the episode "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  18. Groening, Matt. (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "Girly Edition" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  19. Eric Goldman, Dan Iverson, Brian Zoromski (2006-09-06). Top 25 Simpsons Peripheral Characters. IGN.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
  20. John Orvted. "Springfield's Best", Vanity Fair,. Retrieved on 2007-07-13. 
  21. Gilchrist, Todd (2006-09-22). The Simpsons - The Complete Eighth Season. Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
  22. Bahn, Christopher; Donna Bowman, Josh Modell, Noel Murray, Nathan Rabin, Tasha Robinson, Kyle Ryan, Scott Tobias (2006-04-26). Beyond "D'oh!": Simpsons Quotes For Everyday Use. The A.V. Club. Retrieved on 2007-09-22.