The Rocko's Modern Life FAQ

Lisa (Kiczuk) Trainor interviews George Maestri, story writer for Rocko's Modern Life

I'd like to thank Mr. Maestri for doing this interview!

October 17, 1997

LK: What made you decide to join the crew of Rocko's Modern Life?

GM: I was there fairly close to the start, so I didn't really join the crew, it kind of formed around me. I was already working with Joe on "My Dog Zero," the film he made prior to Rocko. He and Nick Jennings pulled me aside and asked if I would consider helping them out on a project Joe had in development with Nickelodeon. I wound up doing some development and animating on the pilot, and from there I moved to LA to work on the series as a writer.
LK: What was your favorite episode, and why?

GM: Probably "The Good, the Bad, and the Wallaby," simply because it was one of the first that I wrote.

LK: Which character would you say is most like you? :)

GM: Filburt. I'm not as much of a hypochondriac as he is, but I am twice the nerd.

LK: What was your typical day in the studio like?

GM: The writer's job was to come up with strong stories that were also funny. That involved generating bucketloads of short premises for stories that we would pitch to Joe - usually over burgers at Rocky's on Lankershim. Most of the premises never saw the light of day, but those that he liked, we would flesh out into a more complete outline, and those outlines that got past both Joe and Nickelodeon actually became shows.

LK: How did you come up with your story ideas? Was there any story in particular that came from your real life?

GM: Some of them are from life, some are from thin air. "Bye Bye Birdie" is actually a real story - when I was 12, I was charged with watching my neighbor's bird while they went on vacation. It dropped dead two days later. "Bedfellows" is every roommate from hell I've ever had, though I never had a nudist for a roommate.

LK: After all is said and done, how do you feel about Rocko's Modern Life? Was is everything you wanted it to be?

GM: It was my first real job in the animation business, and as such it will always be a very special show to me. The crew on that show was also terrific, and I still keep in touch with many of them to this day.

LK: Is there a reason for Rocko not having a last name?

GM: We never thought of one that we liked. For about three days during develoment, he was called Rocko Stretchbrain, because his brain tended to pop out at odd moments. We dropped that rather quickly, and just kept it "Rocko."

LK:Are you working on any projects right now? Could you tell us about them?

GM: I just finished a stint as Animation Producer on the Comedy Central series "South Park." I set up the animation side of the show, hired most of the artists, and developed some unique methods for animating cut-out characters using computers.

The End!

Copyright © 1997 Lisa (Kiczuk) Trainor
The contents of this interview may not be reproduced in part or in full without the permission of Lisa (Kiczuk) Trainor

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