I find it hard to imagine someone not knowing who the Homestar Runner crew is. At the least they should know Strong Bad. This site was one of those odd moments where I can’t recall when I found it or how. I do recall one thing though.
I was way into Strong Bad. To this day I can’t escape his mannerisms and speech havings. Oh riiiiight, mobile devices. The website is pretty much the greatest example of what is missing from websites today. The main site was originally all Flash, but now it’s something else that still doesn’t run on my phone. All is not lost though, they do have an official YouTube channel.
The show is on the far end of PG closing in on PG-13 but not quite getting there. It would feel right at home with a 4 to 5PM Cartoon Network timeslot. It’s sorta all over the place with it’s humor. At times almost shockingly blunt with it’s innuendos to sometimes as absolutely wholesale wholesome as a Disney show show from the 80s. Like um… Under the Umbrella Tree?
Pretty sure that was Disney or atleast shown on Disney. I was usually home with like post eye surgery medication so I could be wrong. But anyways Homestar Runner, or HR from here on out, has a few main categories of content. The longer more narrative focused ‘Toons, The shorts, the holidays specials, miscellaneous stuff, and the main draw here Strong Bad eMails. The SBmails, pronounced suh-bee-males, actually have a long running plot into themselves.
From upgrading his computer to finding out how he spends his days with his “The Cheat”. No detail is wasted with these guys. Which as we know repetition builds comedy. The running jokes are some of the best I have ever heard, but the one offs are so dang quotable. I used to have the DVDs and they lived in my PS2 like forever. Until one of my friends borrowed them and I am pretty sure I don’t talk to them anymore since I have no freakin’ clue where they are. It’s not a big loss though I can still catch them online.
The length of each episode can differ wildly usually getting longer as the series goes on. Just before we move on I should point out not all the website content is on YouTube as well as the actual site has these clickable easter eggs in each episode. They sadly are lacking in the YouTube uploads.
It isn’t really that important. Honestly nostalgia could be poking me about them more than I can realize, but they just brought something special to rewatching episodes. Sometimes finding a new spot or usually a word I missed that tosses up a funny and relevant picture. It is part of what makes HR so dang special. That coupled with the charming characters, absurd but relatable plots, and it’s tongue in cheek self referential humor keep it enjoyable time and time again.
Heck it even has guest stars in a few episodes, went on tour with They Might Be Giants, had a video game series, have a currently available? board game, and all without ever posting advertising on their site. I honestly don’t know how they did it. It all started out as Mario Paint doodles and a hand drawn kid’s book to a beloved internet icon that stays comfortably in the background. Even to this day they stay somewhat active. Largely on Twitter from what I can tell.
If we are to take it a bit deeper the writing only gets better as the series goes on. So revisiting some older stuff can be less enjoyable. That is true for most things. Barring the Simpsons, that show is working backwards. So I urge you to dive in from the early stuff moving forward. It will be an educational romp filled with important info life changing graphs and instructions.
The humor really hits home because well it’s half crowd sourced. Strong Bad eMails are real emails sent in by fans. I admit I sent more than a few and still wished I would have got a reply on “How much mayonnaise is to much mayonnaise and how do I inform the sandwich artist of that fact” it is an issue I still struggle with to this day. Now all the way back at episode 3 he was dropping some knowledge down on us.
The show starts to build out it’s characters more as the series goes on to the point where I can honestly say I feel I almost know them. Not in a creepy basement full of pictures of Bubs with the eyes cut out kinda way, but a they are very well written and been a part of my life so long kinda way.
The video games were amazing in there own right. I started buying Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People on the Wii. Then switched over to PS3 when there was a sale on them. Not that it matters much now because after TaleTell Games closed not even the PC version is still up to purchase.
It was truly a point and click masterpiece. Fitting for the series because the creators’ love of those old style games is very apparent. Oddly enough even the slower paced set up of the games versus the animated show the humor was never compromised. Taking the time to stroll around Free Country, USA has just as much charm and visual appeal as any scene from the show.
HR never hurried itself. Sure they have jump cuts and scene transitions, what show doesn’t? Though HR took the time to set a mood. Characters would just walk into frame. Customers at Bub’s Concession Stand rarely start a scene at the counter unless a new character is coming into frame as the focus. I know it seems like an odd point to make, but that is HomestarRunner.com it’s charming and odd. It’s a passion project that oozes love from all it’s warm buttery nudguels. I know you are probably as sick of hearing this as I am, but things are kinda scary right now.
All this Covid talk gives me the jibblies. Homestar and the gang are comfort food for your soul. Family fun but never pandering as well as beautifully stylish designs that just scream 2000s internet. Do yourself a favor and check some out already will ya?! Since I don’t know how to end this thing…