If the name Klasky Csupo doesn’t sound familiar to you, it should. If you had a child or were a child who lived in North America during the 1990’s, then you undoubtedly watched at least a few episodes of Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, or Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. Even if not, it’s hard to believe you haven’t seen an episode of The Simpsons, which was produced by the Klasky Csupo company for its first three seasons.
We also appreciate this duo for the hard work they have done in advancing the cause of funny nameology, to which they’ve made some fantastic contributions.
Hungarian-Americans Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo married in 1979, and formed Klasky Csupo in the spare bedroom of an apartment where they were living in 1982. Early on, they distinguished themselves by doing inventive work on logo designs, movie trailers, TV title sequences, and promotional videos, and in 1988, their studio opened its first facility in downtown Hollywood. The studio facility’s walls would later be famously covered with murals of their characters.
That same year, they got their big break when they were given a contract to design the title sequence for The Tracey Ullman Show and, in what would prove to be more important, a series of one minute “teaser” cartoons for a proposed show called The Simpsons. As proof of the role that funny-named people have in shaping history, Klasky Csupo animator Gyorgyi Peluce came up with the idea of givingThe Simpsons a never-before seen look – with the characters having yellow skin and several having blue hair.
Though their role in producing The Simpsons would end after three seasons, during that time, Klasky Csupo began production on Rugrats, the firm’s biggest hit to date. The show struggled initially, and in 1993, production was put on hiatus. However, when the last few episodes aired in 1994, and other episodes were seen on reruns, Rugrats started to get a lot of attention, and the firm started producing the show again. From 1995-2000, it was the highest rated show on Nickelodeon and the highest rated kids show. We can see why they liked it – because every main character had a funny name!
- Tommy Pickles and his brother Dylan “Dil” Pickles. Their parents are Stu Pickles and Diane “Didi” Kropotkin Kerpackter-Pickles
- Angelica Pickles, Tommy’s cousin. She is daughter of Charlotte and Drew Pickles
- Chucky Finster, Tommy’s scaredy-cat friend. Chucky’s dad is widower Charles Norbert “Chaz” Finster II, who later marries Kira Watanabe-Finster.
- Phil and Lil DeVille, Tommy and Chucky’s friends. They are the twin children of Howie and Betty DeVille.
The show aired until 2004, and its 13 seasons is still a record for the longest-running NickToon. Klasky and Csupo divorced in 1995, but remained business partners, and went on to release several other popular cartoons, including Duckman, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberrys, As Told by Ginger, All Grown Up, Spy vs. Spy, and Rocket Power.
P.S. If you want to get in touch with your creative side and have a little fun, our Nipsey Russell poetry contest is still open. We’ll be posting the winning entries (with a link to your blog) in an upcoming post. We’ve been bringing in between 200-500 hits per day lately, so it’s a great chance to get some exposure to a new audience who appreciates good writing and wordplay.