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Klasky Csupo logo

The logo from 1998-2008.

Klasky-Csupo is a multimedia entertainment production company located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, founded by artist/producer Arlene Klasky, animator Gabor Csupo and their niece Attila Csupó.

HistoryEdit

1980sEdit

Klasky-Csupo was started in 1982 in the spare bedroom of a Hollywood apartment where Klasky and Csupo were living while married.

Klasky Csupo was initially distinguished by its work on logo designs, feature film trailers, TV show titles, promos and spot ID's for a wide variety of clients, in the process earning a reputation as the industry's most imaginative and innovative studio. Building on its success, the studio opened its first facility in Hollywood in 1988 at the corner of Fountain and Highland Avenues. The studio soon grew to include six buildings that have become well known in Hollywood --- in true Klasky Csupo style, the exterior walls of the buildings are decorated with large murals of its characters.

The studio's first big break came in 1987 when James L. Brooks of Gracie Films hired the studio to produce the title sequence for a new comedy series called The Tracey Ullman Show. In addition to the main title, Klasky Csupo was given the opportunity to produce a series of one-minute cartoons which featured a group of characters called the Simpsons, created by Matt Groening. Klasky Csupo produced and animated all 34 shorts, and when it became one of the most popular segments on the show, Fox Television began airing a weekly half-hour series entitled The Simpsons. Klasky Csupo produced every episode for the first three seasons of the series. The studio shared the 1989-1990 and 1990-1991 Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program with Gracie Films. In addition to that, Klasky Csupo produced the hit video "Do The Bartman". Klasky Csupo animator and colorist Gyorgyi Peluce conceived the idea of the Simpsons characters having yellow skin, and Marge Simpson having blue hair, opting for something which "didn't look like anything that had come before." Klasky Csupo was also responsible for an error during the episode "Homer's Odyssey" in which Waylon Smithers was animated with the wrong color and was made African American. In 1992, Gracie Films switched domestic production of The Simpsons to Film Roman. Csupó was "asked [by Gracie Films] if they could bring in their own producer [to oversee the animation production]," but declined, stating "they wanted to tell me how to run my business." Sharon Bernstein of The Los Angeles Times wrote that "Gracie executives had been unhappy with the producer Csupo had assigned to The Simpsons and said the company also hoped to obtain better wages and working conditions for animators at Film Roman." Of the 110 people he employed to animate The Simpsons, Csupó made 75 redundant.

1990sEdit

In 1991, Klasky-Csupo began producing Rugrats, an animated show for Nickelodeon. Their next major series was Duckman for the USA Network. The show revolved around the home life and adventures of a dim-witted and lascivious private detective duck named Eric Duckman. The series ran from 1994 to 1997. During the same time Nickelodeon released Klasky-Csupo's second Nicktoon series, AAAHH!!! Real Monsters. During this time Klasky Csupo ended production on Rugrats, due to the fact that they thought they were going to be cancelled after all the 65 episodes were aired (originally, due to the 65 episode rule). However, there were left-over specials, due to the fact that Nickelodeon, instead of cancelling the show, saw potential in the show, and wanted to resume the show's run. The specials were so successful that Nickelodeon, instead of cancelling it, renewed the show for an additional season in 1996, and it aired in 1997.

In 1993, Klasky Csupo worked with popular comedian Lily Tomlin and her partner Jane Wagner to bring the irascible little girl, Edith Ann, to television in two half-hour animated specials for ABC Television. The first, "A Few Pieces of the Puzzle," aired in January 1994 and received excellent critical acclaim and the second, "Homeless Go Home," aired in May 1994 to even better critical response and ratings.

In 1995, the studio debuted, Santo Bugito, the first Tex-Mex animated comedy. Created by Arlene Klasky, "Santo Bugito" is the story of a tiny town of 64,000,000 insects located on the border of Texas and Mexico. Music-driven and Latin influenced, the series stars Cheech Marin, Joan Van Ark, Tony Plana, William Sanderson, George Kennedy, Marabina Jaimes and David Paymer. "Santo Bugito" is highlighted by the music of Mark Mothersbaugh and a distinctive look.

Also that year, Klasky Csupo also established Class-Key Chew-Po with Chris Prynoski & John Andrews to continue the successful commercial animation business that had grown from the company's initial work in main titles and graphics. Class-Key Chew-Po had been an immediate success, building an impressive client list with work for companies like 1-800-COLLECT, Oscar Meyer, Taco Bell, Kraft & Nickelodeon. In 2001, the company founded Ka-Chew, a live-action commercial division.

After Duckman was cancelled in 1997, Klasky-Csupo began producing The Wild Thornberrys for Nickelodeon. The cartoon, premiering in 1998, revolved around a girl who could talk to animals.

On December 23, 1998, CEO Terry Thoren concluded an eleven-month negotiation with Mercedes-Benz and moved the company into the state of the art studio in the heart of Los Angeles. Between the late-1990s and 2000s, Klasky-Csupo began producing new shows Rocket PowerAs Told By GingerSanto Bugito and Stressed Eric.

Also in 1998, Klasky Csupo took on the daring challenge to redesign McDonald's most sacred icon - Ronald McDonald. The worldwide corporate headquarters commissioned Klasky Csupo to develop 6 animated videos which was distributed directly to consumers via McDonald's restaurants - 14,000 in the United States and 21,000 worldwide. A number of units were sold.

2000sEdit

In 2001, in honor of the Rugrats 10th Anniversary, Klasky-Csupo released a two-part special entitled, All Growed Up. The special featured the famous babies as pre-teenagers. It was popular enough that a series based on that special premiered in 2003. The series was put on hiatus in 2006 and officially canceled in 2008. Several previously unaired in the US episodes aired on Nickelodeon in November 2007 and August 2008. Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys are the only Klasky Csupo shows to have theatrical movies based on themselves.

The company was also active in producing recorded music with the labels "Tone Casualties" and "Casual Tonalities". Gabor Csupo was a good friend of Frank Zappa and occasionally collaborates with Mark Mothersbaugh, who did most of the music, for Rugrats. Klasky-Csupo also produced a number of projects in commercial advertising, including a series of direct-to-video features (The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald) for the McDonald's fast food chain.

By 2004, Klasky-Csupo shut down production on most of its shows, including Rugrats, and in 2006, shut down production on all their shows except the new pilots they created. After 20 years since The Simpsons animation departed to Film Roman, Klasky Csupo started to have its animation credit in the ending credits of a Dexter's Laboratory music video ("Dee Dee and Dexter" by They Might Be Giants) and Futurama (Rough Draft Korea first, then Film Roman third with the 4th season and on).

In fall 2006, Klasky Csupo announced development of 28 new animated pilots (which were sold to Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., The N & MTV until that year), which were to be up for sale at a later date, and posted to their YouTube channel in 2012:

  • Big Babies
  • Chicken Town
  • Junkyard Teddies
  • Commander Bunsworth
  • Wiener Squad
  • Ace Bogart, Space Ape
  • Eggheads
  • Grampa and Julie, Shark Hunters (based on the Nick Magazine strip and slated to feature Dustin Hoffman as Grampa)
  • Zeek and Leo
  • Ricky Z
  • Immigrants (TV series)
  • Rollin' Rock Starz
  • Ronnie Biddles
  • Sugarless
  • My Stupid Cat
  • Twinkle
  • Schmutz
  • Psyko Ferret
  • What's Cookin
  • Hogsters
  • Kevin's Kitchen
  • Citizen Tony
  • Stinky Pierre
  • You Animal
  • Chuck Sweet
  • Bench Pressly
  • Bukowski
  • Prison
  • Gesar
  • Little Freaks
  • El Maximo

The animation designs in these pilots are in various styles, instead of the typical style that Klasky Csupo was famous for in the 1990s. As of 2010, some of the cartoons had yet to be finished. Gabor Csupo posted the remains on his YouTube channel.

2010sEdit

In April 2011, kachew!, Klasky-Csupo's live-action commercial division, was absorbed into 6-Point Media.

In 2012, Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo resurrected the company. Along with Craig Singer, they created “Ollie Mongo”, the story of a teenage skateboarding zombie who lives 200 years in the future. The Ollie Mongo comic book came out in the summer of 2012. They are also working on "Splaat", a webseries featuring the character from the Klasky-Csupo "Robot" logo.


Klasky-Csupo productionsEdit

Television shows
Title Original run Created by Produced by
The Tracey Ullman Show (26 two-minute bumpers) 1987–1990 Created by Tracey Ullman Gracie Films & 20th Century Fox Television
The Simpsons 1989–1992 Created by Matt Groening
Animation studio on the original shorts, and Seasons 1-4 only.
Gracie Films & 20th Century Fox Television
Sesame Street (Monster in the Mirror featuring the Simpsons and Alphabet Jungle) 1991-1992 Sesame Workshop
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (television special) 1990 Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó HBO
Rugrats 1991–2004 Created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain Nickelodeon
"Recycle Rex" 1992 Designed and created by David Cutler Disney Educational Productions
Edith Ann: A Few Pieces of the Puzzle (television special) 1993 Created by Lily Tomlin ABC
AAAHH!!! Real Monsters 1994–1997 Created by Gábor Csupó and Peter Gaffney Nickelodeon
Duckman 1994–1997 Created by Everett Peck CBS Television Distribution & Rene and Osburn Productions
MADtv (Spy vs. Spy cartoons only) 1995–2009 Created by Fax Bahr and Adam Small QDe & Warner Bros. Television
Santo Bugito 1995–1996 Created by Arlene Klasky
Developed by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó
Klasky Csupo
The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald 1998–2003 Direct-to-video Klasky-Csupo and McDonald's Studios
The Wild Thornberrys 1998–2004 Created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, Steve Pepoon, David Silverman and Stephen Sustaric Nickelodeon
Stressed Eric 1998–2000 Created by Carl Gorham
Developed by Absolutely Productions
First season only
Absolutely Productions & BBC
Rocket Power 1999–2004 Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó Nickelodeon
What's Inside Heidi's Head? 1999 Created by Nancye Ferguson and Mark Mothersbaugh
Company's first live-action series.
Noggin
As Told by Ginger 2000–2006 Created by Emily Kapnek Nickelodeon
All Grown Up! 2003–2008 Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó
Spin-off of Rugrats
Nickelodeon
Angelica and Susie's Pre-School Daze 2005 Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó
Spin-off of Rugrats
Nickelodeon
Rugrats: Tales From The Crib 2005-2006 Created by Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó
Spin-off of Rugrats
Nickelodeon


Acquired preschool programming
Title Original run Created by Produced by
Blue's Clues 1996-2006 Created by Traci Paige Johnson, Todd Kessler, Angela C. Santomero  Nick Jr.
Little Bill 1999-2004 Created by Bill Cosby  Nick Jr.
Motion pictures
Year Film Release date Directors Notes productions 
1998 The Rugrats Movie November 20, 1998 Igor Kovalyov and Norton Virgien The first Rugrats movie. Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
2000 Rugrats in Paris: The Movie November 17, 2000 Stig Bergqvist and Paul Demeyer Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
2002 The Wild Thornberrys Movie December 20, 2002 Cathy Malkasian and Jeff McGrath The first Wild Thornberrys movie. Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies
2003 Rugrats Go Wild June 13, 2003 John Eng and Norton Virgien A crossover with two shows, Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys. Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies

2008

Immigrants (a.k.a. L.A. Dolce Vita)

October 30, 2008 (Hungary)

Gabor Csupo Based on an unseen Spike TV series; released on DVD in US in 2009 Warner Bros. Pictures


Selected commercials

  • Noggin
  • Nicktoons Network
  • Franco-American
  • Cartoon Network
  • Mucinex
  • Taco Bell
  • ABC
  • Kraft
  • Nick Jr.
  • Animax
  • Burger King
  • MTV
  • Bratz
  • Hallmark
  • Keebler
  • Radio Disney
  • E!
  • Mattel
  • The Movie Channel
  • NBC's Saturday morning block
  • Nestlé

See alsoEdit