GREETINGS AND WELCOME TO THE KIDS WEAR CROWNS DOT NET, IT’S DOT COM!
Oh internet. In your early days you were full of blocky dial-up, America Online, poorly rendered 3D models of dancing babies and nobody really having any idea of what they were supposed to do with you. Then DSL became a thing and people began to get really creative. Enter the flash cartoon.
Newgrounds had already been a thing long before DSL connections became commonplace, it housed a few games and began hosting flash cartoons by the late 90s. Come January 1, 2000, a new series launched that would shape the early days of the internet. Two brothers, Matt and Mike Chapman, created a flash cartoon series based on a children’s picture book they once crafted called “Homestar Runner Enters The Strongest Man In the World Contest”.
The site experienced moderate success and hits through their various features, namely the cartoons and games featured. One of the most popular shorts in the series were the “Strong Bad E-mails” which featured titular breakout character, Strong Bad answering e-mails from his fans.
The series mix of iconic and memorable characters, along with a style of comedy that was appropriate for kids but touched at a bit of adult humor. That ability to straddle the line without it being blatantly obvious whether or not the series was for kids or adults is what really made it stand out. Especially when you start talking about some of the absolute bangers they made out of comedy sketches:
Or the unofficial Everbody to the Limit Remix:
When you have a series that can feature such a dominating character in Strong Bad, a clueless, absentminded, adorable idiot in HomeStar, and a memorable cast featuring the likes of The Poopsmith, Bubbs, The King O’Town and the rest of the strong family.
It’s just amazing that flash series like HomeStar and Sprite Comics like The Neglected Characters were able to thrive in that day and age. It was before social media was really a thing and people couldn’t really share sites that like that so easily. We should really appreciate how wide things like that spread as a testament to how good they truly were.
And with that, I leave you with my favorite Coach Z track: