HomestarRunner.com used to be one of my favourite online haunts before Youtube. It’s biggest feature was the utterly hilarious flash animation cartoon series, Strong Bad Emails, where the cartoon character Strong Bad (because he is Strong and Bad, duh) would answer emails from viewers.
The site itself started off in 2000, but I only became a fan in 2004, just after graduating from medical school. Every Wednesday without fail, I would run home from work and log onto my computer for a new Sbemail. Whilst watching it, I would laugh myself silly and this injection of energy would carry me through to the end of the week.
Okay, I know that A Becky Lee discovered Strong Bad emails way before I did, but the person who actually introduced me to the site was the Aged P. She’d come up to the UK to visit me and we were chatting in my living room one evening.
I believe the conversation we had went something like this:
Debs G: What’s Meimei doing nowadays?
Aged P: Ah the usual. Everyday she goes on the computer and watches the internet.
Debs G: What website is she looking at?
Aged P: That thing, you know, the cartoon with the guy called Something Bad who wears a mask and talks in a scratchy voice like “Rarr rarr rarr rarr”.
Debs G: You mean Batman?
Aged P: No, not Batman. That guy. With the mask. He wears gloves and types on a computer and his name is like “Something Bad” and he has a pet, a yellow one which goes “weekweekweek”. It’s quite funny.
Debs G: I don’t know this one! Let’s find it. (Brings up Netscape – yes, this was a LONG time ago – and types “Cartoon website with bad guy in mask gloves computer”)
Up pops HomestarRunner.com and the Aged P points to the name “Strong Bad” in triumph. We click on it, and here’s the first Strong Bad email I ever watched.
The Aged P and I laughed ourselves silly and proceeded to watch video after video. Oh yes, I was completely hooked.
Here’s another one of my favourites:
And of course, who could forget the infamous Trogdor the Burninator?
I was so sad when the site stopped its regular weekly updates around 2009. This was because Matt Chapman, one of the Brothers Chaps who created the site and all its content, became the writer and director of the currently popular children’s programme, Yo Gabba Gabba (which, by the way, bears a striking resemblance to this Sbemail). I haven’t introduced the kids to Yo Gabba Gabba yet, but I am thinking about doing that soon!