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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles inspired countless knockoffs in the '90s, but the TMNT also paved the way for one of the most uniquely bizarre titles in video game history. Playmates Toys made a few bucks with their Ninja Turtles action figures but wanted a franchise of their own. Artist Doug TenNapel's drawing of an earthworm in a spacesuit captured Playmates' imagination and thus Earthworm Jim was born.
Earthworm Jim began as a video game for the Sega Genesis and the Nintendo SNES, but its wacky sense of humor simply couldn't be contained by one medium. In 1995, Kids' WB debuted the Earthworm Jim animated series, which ratched up the insanity to a new level. While many animated series of the era were action comedies, Earthworm Jim was a comedy with some action elements. It was also relentlessly ridiculous, an Adult Swim show before that was even a thing.
The series retained and expanded upon the eclectic characters from the video game. The Simpsons' Dan Castellaneta provided the voice of Earthworm Jim's animated incarnation and Kath Soucie voiced Princess What's-Her-Name. Meanwhile, Andrea Martin portrayed the evil Queen Slug-For-a-Butt and Charlie Adler was cast as Professor Monkey-For-a-Head.
Jeff Bennett was the series narrator as well as Earthworm Jim's best pal, Peter Puppy. Peter was essentially the series' Hulk, as he would transform into a monster when angered. And let's just say that Earthworm Jim’s hilarious approach to being a hero gave Peter Puppy plenty of material to get upset about.
For more Earthworm Jim details, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Everything You Didn't Know!