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The Oblongs is an American adult animated sitcom created by Angus Oblong and Jace Richdale. It was Mohawk Productions' first venture into animation. The series premiered on April 1, 2001 on The WB and cancelled due to public disapproval on May 20, leaving the last five episodes unaired.[1] The remaining episodes were later aired on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block Adult Swim in August 2002, with the series premiering on the network in production order. The series is loosely based on a series of characters introduced in a picture book entitled Creepy Susie and 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children.[2]

Three networks had a bidding war to win the rights to turn Angus Oblong's characters into a series: Fox, The WB and ABC. Warner Bros. won the bidding to turn Oblong's characters into a series and thus, the series was submitted to The WB. The show was produced by Film Roman, Oblong Productions, Jobsite Productions and Mohawk Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and the theme song for the series was composed and performed by They Might Be Giants. This was the only animated series to date to have been produced by Bruce Helford under Mohawk.

A total of 13 episodes were produced. All thirteen episodes of The Oblongs were released on DVD on October 4, 2005.

Setting and Premise[]

The series focuses on the antics of a family who live in a poor valley community. As a result of pollution and radiation exposure, they are all either disabled or deformed. The pollution is the direct result of the lavish lifestyle of the rich community known as The Hills, whose residents exploit and harm the valley residents with absolutely no regard for their safety or well-being.

Social Commentary[]

Many reviewers and fans see the series as a commentary on social stratification.[3]

Characters[]

The Oblong Family[]

  • Bob Oblong (Voiced by Will Ferrell) – Born with no arms or legs, Bob works at a poison factory called the Globocide. Despite his deformities, he is very chipper and sunny and modeled after various fathers from 1950s TV shows. Bob has a happy-go-lucky attitude. He is married to Pickles and is the father of Biff, Chip, Milo and Beth. The only time Bob had limbs was in the episode My Name is Robbie. While he mostly uses his mouth for tasking and moving his torso in ways that can help him get around, he can often drive with his mind in various episodes, or read a newspaper with his mind, as seen in Flush, Flush, Sweet Helga, which assumes that he may have mind powers.
  • Marie Kay Pickles Oblong (Voiced by Jean Smart) is a chain smoking alcoholic who was originally a Hill resident but moved to the valley after marrying Bob. Due to the hazardous atmosphere of The Valley, all of her hair has since fallen out (Something which is usually hidden by an extremely tall blonde beehive wig) and she is now regarded as an outcast by her former Hill friends. While not bitter about losing her privileged life, she often expresses disdain towards her self-centered former neighbors in the Hills. She is the mother of Biff, Chip, Milo and Beth.
  • Biff Oblong and Chip Oblong (Voiced by Randy and Jason Sklar respectively) are 17-year-old conjoined twins who are attached at the waist and share a middle leg. Biff is a hard worker obsessed with sports while Chip is more laid back. It is frequently implied that Biff is gay and attracted to their unnamed gym teacher.[4] However, there are instances when the two are seen lusting after girls together (Possibly implying Biff as bisexual). Biff and Chip each occasionally go into trances to give the other brother privacy.[5]
  • Milo Oblong (Voiced by Pamela Adlon) is the youngest son. Often referred to by other kids as a psycho, he is afflicted with numerous mental and social disorders and is on everything from Ritalin to Rogaine. Despite his afflictions, he is a very forthright and benevolent boy, though he envies the Hill lifestyle and wishes to rise above his economic status. He has a single hair sticking up on his head and a squint in one eye (Which also occasionally twitches) and often wears a shirt that says NO.
  • Beth Oblong (Voiced by Jeannie Elias) is the youngest child and only daughter, she has a warty, elongated growth growing out of her head. Despite her appendage, she is shown to be better adjusted than the rest of her family. In the episode Pickles' Little Amazons, it is revealed that the growth on her head is the result of eating meat containing bovine growth hormones. In the episode My Name is Robbie, it is revealed that her birthday is June 7.
  • Grammy Oblong is Bob's vegetative mother and the grandmother of Biff, Chip, Milo and Beth who resides in a motorized wheelchair and is unable to speak. Instead, she communicates using a green light which means yes, a red light which means no and a flashing red light which means she has soiled herself and that her adult diaper needs changing.
  • Lucky is the one-lunged family cat who chain-smokes cigarettes and wears an uninterested deadpan expression.
  • Scottie is Milo's narcoleptic dog, a result of perfume used on him during his tenure as a test animal at Globocide. Scottie was based on the short story Narcoleptic Scottie in Creepy Susie.

Milo's Friends, The Clubhouse Kids[]

  • Helga Phugly (Voiced by Lea DeLaria) is an overweight toad-like girl who will eat virtually anything. She lives in a fantasy world, believing that she is pretty and popular and that the Debbies actually like her (She stubbornly believes this, as when told that the Debbies hate her, she covered her ears, shut her eyes and started stomping around humming very loudly). At times, she is shown to have a crush on Milo, leading to her kidnapping him in the episode Milo Interrupted. When her parents went on vacation and never returned, Helga was forced to live at home by herself, eating only rejected wedding cakes from a nearby wedding cake factory and the occasional animal that she spotted. Milo eventually locates her parents when Mrs. Hubbard, a Bible-thumping, gun-toting old woman, tries to adopt Helga.[6] Her last name, Phugly, is derived from the word fugly, which is a term short for fucking ugly.
  • Creepy Susie (Voiced by Jeannie Elias) is a melancholic goth girl who speaks with a deadpan French accent and appears to float instead of walk as her legs are never shown. She is obsessed with death and has a problem with pyromania, but it has been revealed she does enjoy hula hoops.
  • Peggy (Voiced by Becky Thyre) is a girl who has one breast and lacks a lower jaw, causing her to spit and talk with a lisp. Despite her deformities, Peggy is cheerful and upbeat. The daughter of a male gay couple, she dreams of being president and marrying a handsome speech therapist.
  • Mikey (Voiced by Jeannie Elias) is a boy saddled with a dangling, doubled posterior. Standard underwear will not fit him, so he wears his grandmother's old bra like backwards suspenders. He is also known to habitually probe his nose and ears with his finger. Because of his larger deformed posterior, he takes jokes about the area more literally especially since they often come true soon after. As a running gag, he is inflicted with severe misfortune in almost every appearance, ranging from being stung by bees to being attacked by dogs.

The Hills Residents[]

The following are residents of the Hills:

  • George Klimer (Voiced by Billy West) is Bob's rich and snobby boss. He represents the power and arrogance of the people of the Hills. George is very condescending to his employees, especially Bob and James. He is also implied to be racist and anti-Semitic. He is husband to Pristine and father of Jared and Debbie Klimer.
  • Pristine Klimer (Voiced by Becky Thyre) is the wife of George and mother to Jared and Debbie. Pristine was good friends with Pickles before she married Bob, but abandoned her once she went to live in the Valley.
  • Jared Klimer (Voiced by Pamela Adlon) is the arrogant son of George and Pristine and brother to Debbie. He likes to taunt The Clubhouse Kids, along with his equally snobbish best friend Blaine. He calls Milo Obdong. In the episode Get Off My Back, Milo retorts with the information that a rumor of Jared and Blaine claims the two have had sex with each other. Jared even said he goes to therapy in Milo Interrupted episode.
  • Blaine (Voiced by Billy West) is Jared Klimer's best friend and usually picks on the other kids with his buddy. Although the two are usually just friends, many believe the two are gay, usually being together often.
  • Debbie Klimer (Voiced by Becky Thyre in most episodes, Pamela Adlon in some episodes) is the only daughter of George and Pristine Klimer and sister of Jared. She is the leader of the Debbies and is considered the most beautiful and popular girl in school, even though all of her friends are identical. Like most of The Hills residents, she often treats the people in the Valley with cruelty. She is the only Debbie with her last name known, besides Debbie Bledsoe.
  • The Debbies (Voiced by Becky Thyre in most episodes, Pamela Adlon in some episodes) are a popular clique of identical girls who all look exactly the same and are all named Debbie. Despite them all being identical, each Debbie is the daughter of a different wealthy Hills resident, with no relation. They seem to be a symbol of how most popular people tend to be conformists and lack individuality. The Debbies are often cruel to the Valley kids, especially Helga, who aspires to be accepted by them.
  • Johnny The Mayor Bledsoe (Voiced by Billy West) is the town's mayor and a masked pro wrestler. He is corrupt and his daughter is a Debbie.
  • Debbie Bledsoe (Voiced by Becky Thyre in most episodes, Pamela Adlon in some episodes) is the daughter of the mayor we only focus on her when she is given a locket on her birthday from her daddy Mayor Johnny. She gets upset when Helga wears it, but is happy getting it back and repaired only to lose in the sewers again by a launched Helga.
  • Leland Bergstein (Voiced by Billy West) is the kids' homeroom teacher who is shown to be weak and easily cowed by the Debbies and the rich residents of the town. It is revealed that he lives in the Hills as seen in the episode Milo Interrupted.
  • Sheriff Pepper (Voiced by Billy West) is Hill Valley's inept and corrupt sheriff. He favors the people of the Hills and provides better law enforcement for them.
  • Dr. Hofschneider (Voiced by Billy West) is the Oblongs' condescending and uninterested doctor.
  • Mrs. Hubbard (Laraine Newman) is the town's Bible-thumping, gun-toting old woman who is appointed czar of child and family services after a disturbance in the Hills is blamed on valley kids. She is a spinster who never married or had children. She wears a chastity belt called The Forni-Guard 2000.

The Valley Residents[]

The following are residents of the Valley:

  • Anita Bidet (Voiced by Billy West) is the owner of the bar Pickles frequents called The Rusty Bucket. Her name is a play on the phrase I need a bidet. It is implied that she is transgender. Anita's assumed male form (When originally named Andy) is seen during a flashback of how Bob and Pickles met. Although when questioned about it in the present, Anita claims that she had a brother.
  • Nurse Rench (Voiced by Laraine Newman) is the school nurse who is described by Peggy as a godless butcher without a shred of legitimate medical training. She has a scary operating contraption in place of her right arm, has four breasts arranged in a pattern resembling a cow's udder, and a deformed left hand.
  • James (Voiced by Billy West) is Bob's hunchbacked co-worker. He is a people-pleaser and lacks self-esteem, buying friends on eBay to attend his bachelor party. He's shown to be infatuated with Anita.

Minor Characters[]

  • Yvette (Voiced by Michelle Ruff) is an additional member of the Debbies, the only one who does not carry the same name. An extraterrestrial masquerading as a human, she has long blonde hair in a ponytail. She takes an interest in Milo, though only to experiment on his brain. When it appears that Milo has been killed, she is forced to self-destruct, as it is more cost-effective than returning to her base of operations. She only appeared in the episode 'Misfit Love.
  • Principal Davis (Voiced by Debra Wilson) is the African-American principal. She appeared in the episode Disfigured Debbie.
  • Homeless Bill (Voiced by Billy West) is Hill Valley's resident street urchin. He appeared in the episodes Narcoleptic Scottie and Bucketheads.
  • The Girl with a Beak (Voiced by Becky Thyre) is an aptly named, bird-like classmate of The Clubhouse Kids. She often is spurned by the kids despite their own maladies. She was never given an actual name. She appeared in the episodes Narcoleptic Scottie and Bucketheads.
  • Coach (Voiced by Will Ferrell) is Biff and Chip's school gym teacher, with whom Biff has an unhealthy obsession. He also teaches the sex and driver's education classes. However, he seems to confuse the two. He appeared in the episode Bucketheads.
  • Verdelle Diver (Voiced by Lea DeLaria) is the regional coordinator of The Li'l Amazons, a Girl Scouts-like troop. She and the organization in general are implied to be lesbian (Hence her last name, referring to the slur muff diver). Verdelle hits on Pickles frequently during Pickles' court-ordered tenure as Beth's den mother. She appeared in the episode Pickles' Little Amazons.
  • Tommy Vinegar (Voiced by Maurice LaMarche) is Pickles' ex-boyfriend. He got rich after Pickles taught him how to be cool and popular and then promptly dumped her after all his coolness went to his head. He appeared in the episode Bucketheads.
  • Velva, the Warrior (Voiced by Pamela Adlon) is a version of Xena: Warrior Princess, whom Beth adores. Her name is a pun on vulva and her show has heavy lesbian/anti-male overtones (All of the villains are male while all the heroes are female), not to mention blatant advertising of Velva merchandise and numerous genital references. Her sidekick is named Majora, she has a horse named Fallopious and a pet bird named Placentor. She appeared in the episode Heroine Addict.
  • Dusty (Voiced by Becky Thyre) is Bob's one-time co-worker and a lifeguard. It is heavily suggested that she has had a lot of cosmetic surgery. She appeared in the episode My Name Is Robbie.
  • Courtney (Voiced by Becky Thyre) is Chip's girlfriend who only appears in Get Off My Back. Not much is known about her, but she seems to be live somewhere in the Valley. Her deformity is unknown, however. She also gets easily annoyed, as shown when she wishes that Milo would also go into a trance alongside Biff, during a date with Chip and accuses him of trying to grab her breasts. However, she seems to be easily moved, as Milo is able to prevent her from abandoning Chip when he says that his brother thinks she has a beautiful soul.

Broadcast[]

The show premiered on April 1, 2001 on The WB but failed to find an audience. On May 20, 2001, The WB aired Disfigured Debbie, the second episode produced, as the season finale, leaving five episodes unaired. Reruns of the first eight episodes, and the five remaining episodes, premiered on Cartoon Network's late-night programming block, Adult Swim, from August 4 to October 27, 2002. Reruns of the series continued to air on Adult Swim until March 27, 2023.

In Canada, the series aired on Teletoon as part of Teletoon Unleashed. In Australia, the show premiered on the Nine Network on December 8, 2001,[7] however due to insufficient ratings, it was withdrawn after one episode,[8] but was eventually shown in a late-night/early morning time slot. The series aired from October 1, 2004 to September 29, 2006, on TBS's late-night programming block, Too Funny To Sleep and aired on TBS again from September 16, 2013 to December 23, 2016, and again on TBS's Animation Situation block from April 19, 2021 to March 24, 2023.

Home Media[]

The entire series was released on two disc DVD set in the United States on October 4, 2005.

DVD name Release date Ep # Features
The Complete Twisted Series October 4, 2005[9] 13 It's an Oblong World – The show's concept, characters and casting, The Art of the Oblongs Angus Oblong-guided tour of his original artwork for the series and An Oblong Picture Book – Angus Oblong drawings gallery.[10]

Awards and Nominations[]

The Oblongs won the Artios award in 2001 for Best Casting for Animated Voiceover – Television Mary V. Buck Susan Edelman.[11]

  1. Template:Cite book
  2. Template:Cite book
  3. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2001-03-30/entertainment/18183263_1_pamela-segall-adlon-oblongs-jeannie-elias 'The Oblongs' Shapes Up As A Toxic Treat
  4. https://screenrant.com/oblings-jokes-not-funny-outdated/ 10 Jokes From The Oblongs That Have Already Aged Poorly
  5. Episode 10, Get Off My Back
  6. Milo Interrupted
  7. Template:Cite web Template:Dead link
  8. Template:Cite news Template:Dead link
  9. Template:Cite web
  10. Template:Cite web
  11. Template:Cite web
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