Earthworm Jim started life as a computer game on the good old 16-bit SNES but soon grew into a kids' cartoon which was actually too clever and funny to be a kids' cartoon. It was lamentably cancelled before long, but it still lives on in the hearts of those who once loved it (me included... sniff!)
The story: Jim was just a normal earthworm, dodging bird attacks and so forth one fine morning when suddenly an ultra high-tech indestructible super cyber space suit fell from space and landed on him. Thankfully, it landed with Jim safely in the neck-ring of the suit, so he was able to take control of it and use it as an exoskeleton in order to fight evil. Handily included with the suit were his ray gun which rarely does anything useful, and a rocket which he uses to get around on and which somehow fits in his suit pocket. There are a host of other characters involved, both friends and enemies including:
- Peter Puppy, Jim's sidekick. He is a cute adorable puppy until threatened with danger, upon which he mutates into a huge angry monster who can only be placated by being tickled. Peter is usually the brains behind the operations and often recites Dune's litany against fear in moments of crisis.
- Snott, Jim's pet green blob which lives in the backpack of his suit, and who doesn't get much airtime on the show.
- Princess What's-Her-Name, the object of Jim's unrequited affections, who believes she is the rightful ruler of her planet Insectika.
- The evil Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-Filled, Malformed, Slug-For-A-Butt, the actual ruler of Insectika, and Princess What's-Her-Name's not quite identical twin.
- Evil the Cat from the planet Heck, one of Jim's arch-nemeses who has as a sidekick the hopeless Henchrat. Being truly evil, Evil the Cat forces people to listen to elevator music, while Henchrat has armour made of Super Cheese designed to match Jim's ultra high-tech indestructable super cyber space suit.
- Professor Monkey-For-A-Head is an evil genius with, as you may have guessed, a monkey for a head. He was teased constantly as a child, and this fed the anger and bitterness which made him the villain he is. He builds elaborate machines with which to fight Jim, including a killer armchair.
- Evil Jim is Jim's evil twin, created when a photocopy of Jim had nuclear waste leaked upon it. Thus was born the evil green anti-Jim who epitomises all that Jim stands against.
- Bob the Goldfish is a killer goldfish with a Texan accent. He is from the planet La Planta De Agua, the name of which cannot be said without a yee-har! in the background. Being a fish, Bob is confined to a small goldfish bowl which is carried around by his dimwitted cat servant.
- The Great Worm Spirit is the force which created the whole universe, and to which Jim pays particular reverence. It is not uncommon to hear Jim exclaim "By the Great Worm Spirit!" when surprised or scared, two states of mind with which Jim is all too familiar.
- The Anti-Fish is an unstoppable force awoken by Bob the Goldfish whose only goal is to eat The Great Worm Spirit and thereby destroy the universe.
Each episode invariably consisted of one or more of the above evil villains attempting to destroy the universe/take over the world, whereupon Jim and Peter would fly off to confront him. Jim would whip out his ray gun and fire mindlessly, only to discover it was useless against such monstrous evil, thus forcing them to concoct a ludicrous plan to save the day although, more often than not, they would somehow stop the villain by sheer accident and dumb luck. Then, without fail, a cow would fall from the sky, landing upon one of the characters and ushering in the closing credits.
In all its sublime silliness, there were many memorable moments and quotes from this show, some of which were:
Narrator: We continue our story on planet Heck, where Evil the Cat worships at the altar of vileness...
Evil: I'm just watching TV!
Narrator: Same thing.
Jim: My favorite part about my job is meeting new people. Then, of course, pummeling them senseless.
Jim: Why do you hate the Queen so much? I mean, aside from her being a blood-thirsty despot?
Princess What's-Her-Name: Remember, if she asks, we are not rebels bent on her destruction.
Evil: Foolish worm! You have signed the universe's death warrant!
Jim: I have? Gosh! I really don't think I'm authorized to sign that...
Peter: Oh no, army ants! I hear they can strip the flesh from your bones in minutes!
Jim: Good thing worms don't have bones!
Peter: Yes, Snott, my delicate psyche has come horribly unglued.
Evil Jim: Curses! Foiled by the chilled dairy treats of righteousness!
There was also Jim's cry of "We're doomed I tell ya! Doomed!" which had many interesting variations...
- We're doomed I tell ya! Doomed! In case you weren't paying attention!
- We're doomed I tell ya! Doomed! In case you didn't hear me!
- We're doomed I tell ya! Doomed! For those of you at home keeping score!
- We're doomed I tell ya! Doomed! From the middle-english meaning condemned to ruination or death!
Jim's bizarre and childish sense of humour, coupled with ridiculous storylines (Jim finding the ancient Sword of Righteousness in a sandwich?) made this a classic show which appealed to young and old alike. How the evil bosses could be so callous as to cancel it I shall never know... Viva la Earthworm Jim!