Thursday, September 25, 2008

Homestar Runner: Too quotable to ignore

If the word "burninating" has entered the lexicon of someone around you, or if someone has ever asked you if you were "asking for a challeeeeeeenge?!" then you can place the blame squarely on tight pants.

I mean, uh... Homestar Runner.

Homestar Runner is a cornucopia of humorous entertainment, driven by a cast of characters of various shapes, sizes, and dispositions. The website mainly consists of short and long Flash-animated cartoons featuring these characters.

You'll also find retro-style video games, fan art and photos, downloadable content, musical guests such as They Might Be Giants and Da Vinci's Notebook, lots of swag to buy, and much more.

The site has evolved since its inception in 2000, and it's common to find fans who "miss the good old days of Homestar Runner," but those who have stuck with the site know that, despite periods here and there where the cartoons are a little stranger or where the jokes aren't as funny, Homestar Runner is still going strong and continues to provide great laughs.

In fact, I'm posting this in honor of the site's 200th Strong Bad E-Mail, the part of the show where one of the characters, Strong Bad, reads viewer-submitted e-mails and makes fun of them.

Strong Bad E-mailWikipedia can tell you more. I, however, think it's high time that you stop reading and start watching. Well, at least read a little bit more and then start watching.

First-time visitors might be intimidated by the sheer number of options, but fret not, 'cuz I've got you covered.

Point your browser to Watch the intro, and then click on the "first time here?" button on the main page. Note that there are also links all along the bottom of the page that'll get you to where you need to go.

Now, you're free to explore the site. If you're just looking for some basic exposure to the site, check out these three links, but if you want my advice on how best to experience it all, ignore these links and keep reading.

Big toon: "A Jorb Well Done"

Strong Bad E-mail #58: "dragon"

Teen Girl Squad #1

As a rule of thumb, always begin with the oldest cartoons: start at the bottom of any given list of toons or Strong Bad E-Mails and work your way up.

Specifically, take a look at all of the following, in whichever order you please. There's a huge amount of content, and a reasonable person will take several days if not several weeks to go through everything, so take a break if you're feeling overwhelmed:

- All the big toons from 2000-2002, especially "A Jorb Well Done" (don't be surprised if you're not as fond of the others from that period; you can always come back to those later)
- The first 50 Strong Bad E-Mails
- All the short toons from 2000-2002
- All the holiday toons from 2000-2002
- The Powered by The Cheat songs "The Cheat Theme Song" and "Everybody to the Limit"
- All the entries on the Characters page
- The Archive, accessible from the H*R icon on the main page

After that, keep going with the rest of the Strong Bad E-mails, the big toons, the short toons, and the holiday toons.

The evolution of Homestar RunnerAlso, start slowly going through Marzipan's Answering Machine, Teen Girl Squad, Puppet Stuff, and the other Powered by The Cheat toons except for "Crazy Cartoon" and "Mile," which appear in Strong Bad E-mails.

You should also eventually check out the Games Menu, though many of the games are referenced in Strong Bad E-mails, so it might not hurt to wait on playing them until you're pretty far in the Strong Bad e-mails to maximize the comedic impact.

And, of course, there are oodles of Easter Eggs, or hidden things to click on, all over the site.

So... get clicking!

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