Censored Rocko!

Some "censorship" in Rocko's Modern Life is more or less self imposed.  Visual gags like censor bars and strategically placed props used in "nude scenes" serve two purposes:  1) They make the characters a little more real by implying that they are anatomically correct.  2) The gags themselves can be hilarious parodies of the usual techniques.

Nudist party sequence

One of the best examples of this is the nudist-party scene from Bedfellows.  When Rocko discovers the party in his backyard, we pan across the crowd - at first seeing typical devices like characters partially hidden behind tables and bushes and other props.  A shapely female character comes into view, but just as she turns to face the camera her naughty bits are blocked by arrows striking a target in front of her.  Finally, a sunbathing moose with nothing around to block our view rolls to face the camera, and is quickly shielded when a Buick drops from the sky. This all takes place in just a few seconds.  There's a lot to be said about leaving something to the audiences imagination.

One scene that doesn't leave all that much to the imagination is Heffer's encounter with a milking machine in The Good, the Bad and the Wallaby.  We see the farm hand enter the stall where Heffer is sleeping carrying the milking machine.  We then cut to a bust shot of Heffer's reactions, complete with appropriate slurping sound effects.

Barn Scene TGTB&TW

  According to writer/director Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, the scene was originally supposed to have hearts appearing in Heffer's eyes at the climactic moment.  Sure it wasn't going to make it, they described the scene to the Nickelodeon people anyway - "we described the scene, and then waited for the axe to fall, but all they said was 'can you change the hearts to stars?', we said sure, and it went in."  Whatever happened, it was worth it.  It's the best scene in a great episode.  Down the line, however, Nick rethought the decision and removed it.  More such stories in the "More Post-production Censorship" section below.

Motel/Desk Clerk

Some things, however, do get cut.  Recognize this scene?  Unless you saw the first broadcast of Road Rash in 1994, you probably never saw it.  Those of you who did may have  noticed that an entire scene has been cut from Road Rash.  Basically, Rocko and Heffer stop at a seedy motel advertising "hourly rates" and ask the oriental-horse desk clerk for a room.  The exchange goes something like this:

Desk Clerk:
Sorry, we full-up.  Won't have  room for [He glances at his watch] another
twenty minutes.  You wait?
[A buzzer gets his attention.]
Oh, we have premature departure.  You can have room now.  How long you
Just 'til tomorrow.
Desk Clerk:
[Admiringly] All night? [whistles] Wheeeooo!  Okay.



The only thing left in the edited version is an outside shot of the motel, with even the original audio of this shot replaced by something more acceptable.

Like to see an MPEG of the above scene?   It's approximately 1 MB, and includes the censored motel sound effects, including the reaction when a sleeping Heffer mistakes Rocko for his "dream girl".
Click here.

Later in Road Rash, after the scary looking bikers fix the weenie-mobile, the gang-leader reads a list of repairs.  In the earliest version I have there is a gap in the audio between   "...rotated your tires, gapped your plugs..." and "...Here's your complimentary road-map and air freshener."  According to an interview of writer Jeff "Swampy" Marsh on Dan Abrams web page (see Links), the original line was "...retorqued your johnson-rods...".  This was removed because of sexual connotations.  Later the phrase "...retorqued your curtain rods..." was substituted.

Chokey/Chewy Chicken

Perhaps the most noticeable bit of prudery that shows up is the switch from the "Chokey Chicken" to the "Chewy Chicken" restaurant name in the fourth season.  I'd like to know what led to that decision.  Was it viewer complaints?  Was it part of a deal to get a "Y" rating?  If anybody out there knows anything about Nickelodeon's decision making process works, please let me know.

More Post-production Censorship!

As Rocko's Modern Life went into reruns, Nickelodeon continued to cut into the original work.  Here are some of the most obvious examples:

Both scenes dealing with Heffer's romantic attachment to a milking machine were removed from the episode The Good, the Bad, and the Wallaby.

In Snowballs, Heffer walks out of this shot after refusing to pay ten dollars to use the restroom.  The original version's off-camera zipper sound effects were removed.  However,the shot of Heffer's name written in the snow was kept in.

The entire episode Leap Frogs, in which a neglected Bev Bighead tries to seduce Rocko, was pulled from the schedule. 

The Rocko Zone:  www.infinet.com/~otown      Last updated 12/3/97