Fart Humour Done Correctly
‘Son of Stimpy’ is one of the standout classics of the series. Not only is it completely absurd, it also caused a ruckus at the time for its plot. In it, Stimpy farts and believe that the offending gas has been transformed into a character, a ‘son’ if you will, whom he calls “Stinky”. Stimpy spends much of the episode searching for Stinky and convincing Ren that he exists.
At the time (and apparently still to this day) controversy surrounds the episode. Naturally, much of it centers on the potty humour of the episode and the central theme of farting.
Which is sad in a way because as supposedly rock bottom as Son of Stimpy is, the whole farting aspect is just one small part of the overall episode. The rest is about Stimpy searching for his long lost ‘son’ and the struggles he faces in his quest. This is where the real humour of the episode lies and supports the over-arching absurdity that people will often search for something that cannot be found.
Is it appropriate for kids? I can’t see why not. I mean, flatulence is a natural and essential bodily function. We make fun at crying and burping, why not farting too? In hindsight, Son of Stimpy is almost quaint in a way. The controversy around it serves to remind us of a different time, a time before fart gags and before they permeated animated features to the extent that they have.
While it may not be the greatest or most clever cartoon ever broadcast, Son of Stimpy nonetheless represents the high-water mark for toilet humour on TV that has never been equaled before or since.