Everyone’s favorite misfortune-addled wallaby finally returns to television next month, when Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling arrives on Netflix. The one-hour special’s August 9 release date was announced earlier this week on Netflix’s Family Twitter account, alongside a new 30-second teaser trailer. “I just wanted my show back!!” screams Rocko, as the citizens of O-Town lift him to the skies for apparently saving the town. A live broadcast from NEWSCHUNK then declares “90’S CARTOON SOLVES PROBLEM$,” as a ticker delivers other related stories: “‘THAT WASN’T TECHNICALLY A REBOOT BUT THE SIGN SAID REBOOT’ STATES PEDANTIC JERK ON THE INTERNET.”
— Netflix Family (@netflixfamily) July 16, 2019
In the new one-off special, Rocko, Heffer and Filbert have been trapped in space for 20 years, and must now come to terms with the bizarre techno dystopia that series locale O-Town has become. The entire original cast returns to reprise their roles, with Carlos Alazraqui as Rocko, Tom Kenny as Heffer Wolfe, Doug Lawrence as Filbert, Charlie Adler as Mr. and Mrs. Bighead, Linda Wallem as Dr. Hutchinson, and Rocko creator Joe Murray as Ralph Bighead. Steve Little, who provided a bevvy of voices for Murray’s other Nickelodeon cartoon Camp Lazlo, voices a new character named Cowboy.
It’s been a long road to get here, folks. Nickelodeon first announced that it was working to bring some of its legacy Nicktoons back to life in 2015. A year later, Nickelodeon said that it had started production on a one-hour Rocko’s Modern Life special, which was under the direction of series creator Murray and would feature all of the original cast — it was originally to premiere sometime in 2018. Static Cling‘s only other trailer debuted at San Diego Comic Con in 2017, and production officially wrapped in February of 2018, but since then, we ain’t seen hide nor tail of Rocko’s return to O-Town.
(That little joke about a “PEDANTIC JERK ON THE INTERNET” is a reference to the first trailer, by the way — Rocko’s iconic intro sequence is reworked to match the modern era, and a giant sign that once said “O-TOWN” now reads “REBOOT.” This new special takes place after the original series, however, which means that it isn’t a reboot. Pedantic, but accurate!)
One has to assume that there’s some reason why Static Cling has been sitting on a shelf for more than a year, but whatever it is, people ain’t talkin’. I’m just glad this thing is finally going to see the light of day — I watched Rocko’s Modern Life with my dad every Saturday growing up, and it provided one of the core bonding experiences that still brings us together now. I drew my dad a Rocko birthday card last year for crying out loud, and I’m 32 years old. We both own the complete series on DVD, and many family in-jokes are rooted in moments from that incredible show. I’ve been waiting for almost five years to get to enjoy new Rocko with my Dad again, who turns 65 later this year. Since we all must come to terms with the relentless march of time, it’ll be nice to have Rocko go through it with us.