The year is 1999.Â The Matrix, The Sixth Sense, American Beauty, and Stanley Kubrick’s last filmÂ Eyes Wide ShutÂ were released in theaters.Â Freaks and Geeks, The Sopranos, Providence, andÂ Who Wants to be a Millionaire?Â debuted on TV. The 90’s were coming to an end andÂ there were big discussions about what was going to occur when the year 2000 would come.Â Would there be futuristic devices likeÂ flying cars and food pellets likeÂ The Jetsons?Â Would the internet crash causing a huge disaster? WouldÂ the world come to an end and the Second Coming of Christ happen? ButÂ if you were a kid, you wouldn’t care about that.Â Around theÂ last year of the 20th century, many changes began to occur, especially in animation. More on that later.Â On January 17, 1999, Nickelodeon had aired their new Nicktoon: a show calledÂ The Brothers Flub.
The show was about two alien brothers named Guapo and Fraz who work as couriers in a company called RetroGrade Interdimensional Courtiers led by a mean alien woman named Tarara Boomdeyay. The brothers would travel around the galaxy in their spacecraft called the Hoog to deliver packages to various planets. The planets would be a hippy planet filled with beatniks or a planet that had larger than life game pieces like a pinball machine.
They would also interact with their co-workers such as Valerina, who was a level-headed mature alien who gets her work done and Squish, an older alien. Each episode has Guapo and Fraz travel into a different planet and doing their work lazily. They get themselves in crazy hijinks that end up in a big adventure.
The show was created by Laslo Nosek and David Burke and the production company behind it was Sunbow Entertainment, the same company who producedÂ G.I. Joe, Gem, Inhumanoids, Transformers,Â andÂ My Little Pony.Â Before the show was released, there were some huge advertisements going intoÂ The Brothers FlubÂ such as toys, flyers, and children’s vitamins. From Sketchers to Carls’ Jr. to KFC, there were high hopes for this show to be a hit because of the company’s reputation of producing good cartoons. “The series will attract kids both male and female.Â The Brothers FlubÂ will fit right into the Nickelodeon time-slot because the show is ‘Nickelodeon-like’, said Laura Sullivan, the senior director of Sony Wonder in a 1999 interview withÂ PromoÂ Magazine.
The show lasted for one season ending its run on January 8, 2000, less than a year after it aired. The show was panned by critics saying that it was “mean spirited”, “clunky”, and “anÂ Aaahh! Real MonstersÂ clone without the charm”. Almost no one watched it. Kevin and I haven’t even heard of this show when it first came out andÂ we wereÂ Nickelodeon junkies. When rediscovering it, I found it to be nothing special. It was clunky, not funny, and already been done before. I had already seen duos get into gross, funny humor withÂ Ren and Stimpy, Aaahh! Real Monsters, Rocko’s Modern Life,Â andÂ The Angry Beavers. The Brothers FlubÂ was trying to catch up with the craze. That’s fine and all except that there are three problems to this.
1. The craze of gross, disgusting humor that Nickelodeon was known for was already starting to wane at this point.Â Kids were already mature enough to not laugh at poop and fart jokes. IfÂ The Brothers FlubÂ would have came out in the early 90’s, maybe it would have been a bigger hit. But in the year 1999,Â kids and teensÂ wanted to see something more catered to them: more adult, more creative, more wittier, and more funnier. Which brings me to #2.
2. There were other shows that were coming out at 1999 that was starting to hit the market.Â Ed, Edd, and Eddy,Â Family Guy, andÂ Batman BeyondÂ came out at the same month asÂ The Brothers Flub.Â Not to mention a similar concept ofÂ The Brothers FlubÂ came outÂ two months laterÂ in March 1999 that was funnier, more creative, had memorable moments, and better characters. That show wasÂ Futurama.
3. Animation was taking a different turn around 1999. Thanks to Pixar, people were more interested in 3D thanks to the huge success ofÂ Toy Story, A Bug’s Life,Â andÂ Toy Story 2.Â Not to mention that Kids’ WB changed their programs from shows produced likeÂ Animaniacs, Freakazoid,Â andÂ Pinky and the BrainÂ to anime. Shows likeÂ Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z,Â andÂ PokemonÂ kicked off the anime craze like wildfire. Not to mention movies such as Hayao Miyazaki’sÂ Princess Mononoke.Â
For the production company Sunbow, it was their lowest point ever. Eventually, they shut their doors in 2003 due to bankrupcy.
Overall,Â The Brothers FlubÂ was a show that was 6 years behind the ball and has since been forgotten. It wasn’t creative, new, or innovative compared to the other shows that wereÂ airing at the time.Â Look past that and you see a show that was clunky and a bit mean spirited. I don’t recommend checking it out.
While that was a bit of a low point in Nickelodeon, it would make up for it with their biggest Nicktoon yet that would debut a few months later. Tune in next time as we discuss all about it.
Hope to see you around Old School Lane soon. Thanks for reading.