Homestar Runner (body of work)

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Homestar Runner (often abbreviated as HR, HSR or H*R) is primarily an animated Flash cartoon available through homestarrunner.com. Although originally conceived as a book written for young children, the site is perhaps most popular with (and has been gravitating toward) young adults.

Contents

Cartoons

The Homestar Runner cast, as shown on the Everybody Everybody Poster.

The cartoons nominally center on the character Homestar Runner, a somewhat dim but goodhearted athlete. The character Strong Bad, however, is often more popular among fans, mostly through his near-weekly updates of Strong Bad Email, short cartoons in which he answers actual viewer email. Strong Bad works closely with his sidekick The Cheat and uses his brother Strong Mad as the muscle in his operations. Together, the three prey on Strong Bad's awkward and constantly depressed brother Strong Sad. Many of the site's features—music, games, main pages, etc.—are based on things from the Strong Bad Emails.

Several other characters fill out the world: Homestar's environmentalist girlfriend Marzipan, his best friend Pom Pom, their coach Coach Z, local concession stand owner Bubs, The King of Town, and his Poopsmith. Rounding out the cast is Homsar, an odd-speaking character created on account of (and in mockery of) a poorly written email to Strong Bad.

Another popular feature on the website is Strong Bad's crudely drawn comic series Teen Girl Squad. The comic parodies four archetypal high-school girls and their equally archetypal quest for attractiveness, popularity, and love, which is continually frustrated by their violent deaths in every episode.

The website, built mostly out of Flash animations, is filled with hidden Easter eggs: if a certain area on the page is mouse-clicked at the right time, an additional cartoon or screen will appear. For example, in the Strong Bad Email studying, viewers can view a hidden Web page about a book that Strong Bad mentions. Also, at the end of the e-mail vacation, you can click on one of five postcards to hear what Strong Bad thinks of the particular place he has visited.

Nearly every Monday, some sort of update, such as a short, a longer cartoon, a Strong Bad email, an online Flash game, or real-life merchandise like CDs and action figures, is added to the website.

Background

The Brothers Chaps making the 100th Strong Bad Email, as seen in the DVD feature "Making of Email 100".

The series is the product of Matt and Mike Chapman, who typically call themselves "The Brothers Chaps." Matt Chapman provides the voices of the male characters, while Missy Palmer, Mike's wife, does that of Marzipan. Mike Chapman provides the stilted voices for The Cheat's amateurish Flash cartoons. Many other contributors also help with the series.

Because the Brothers Chaps run their own website, they have a creative freedom that they would not have doing a regular TV show. Though the site sells Homestar merchandise, it has no advertisements, and a few of the cartoons parody advertising, with products like Fluffy Puff Marshmallows. The Internet has allowed them to reach a large audience that they wouldn't have access to otherwise. Originally, they developed Homestar Runner as a labor of love, and for their own amusement. It has grown large enough that merchandise sales pay for all of the costs of running the website. An article in the Chicago Tribune on July 24, 2003, reported the retired parents of the Brothers Chaps were spending a lot of time dealing with the business aspects of the website.

References

Content for the above was taken chiefly from the Wikipedia article for Homestar Runner found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestar_Runner. As such, this article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See Also

External links

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