ⓘ Gary the Rat

                                     

ⓘ Gary the Rat

Gary the Rat is an American adult animated series created by the Cullen Brothers for Spike and animated by Spike Animation Studios. It was produced by Grammnet Productions and Cheyenne Enterprises and distributed by Viacom.

It began as web episodes in flash animation on the internet in 2000, created by the defunct eStudio later re-structured studio BLITZ for Mediatrip.com. It consisted of 13 short episodes programmed in Adobe Flash which also included a game to occupy the viewer while the episode loaded in the background.

The network TV series aired on Spike in 2003, lasting for one season. It is rated TV-14 in the United States.

                                     

1. Premise

Gary "The Rat" Andrews is a self-centered, misanthropic defense attorney who awakens one morning to find that he has somehow transformed into a giant bipedal rat. Gary struggles to deal with his transformation and hold on to his status as a high-paid, if mercenary, lawyer. Until Gary figures out why hes like this he has decided to try and function the best he can in a "human" world. Outraged at his new appearance, Truman, a tenant in Garys expensive apartment building, has hired exterminator Johnny Bugz to get rid of Gary for good.

Grammer said of the character, "Gary the Rat has been compromising every scruple to the point that he compromises his humanity."

                                     

2. Voice actors

  • Ted Danson – Terry McMillian, con artist and suck up, joins the firm as their newest mergers and acquisitions lawyer.
  • Michael Keaton – Jerry Andrews, Garys cousin and con artist, wanted for forgery, polygamy and other offenses.
  • Kelsey Grammer – Gary "The Rat" Andrews, a successful and ruthless lawyer at Harrison, Camille, Beckett and Weiss who has turned into a 6 ft. rat.
  • John Corbett – Frank Spillogotoriettio, lawyer with Boywe, Cheatem and Howe.
  • Susan Savage – April
  • Joe Pantoliano – Anthony the Heel Stilletto
  • John Mahoney – Steele, resident at the Montana apartment building.
  • Camille Grammer – Betty, Mr. Harrisons Secretary
  • Betty White – Garys Mother, unseen and only appears as a voice on the telephone.
  • Rob Paulsen - Police Officer
  • David Hyde Pierce – Addison, resident at the Montana apartment building.
  • Seymour Cassel
  • Billy Gardell - Mr. Harrison, Gary’s boss and named partner at Harrison, Camille, Beckett and Weiss.
  • Kevin Michael Richardson
  • Spencer Garrett – Truman Pinksdale, President of the Montana Residents Committee.
  • Vance DeGeneres – Additional Voices
  • Marnie Alexenburg
  • Michael Panes
  • Kristin Bauer van Straten
  • Brooke Shields – Cassandra Harrison, Mr. Harrisons wife.
  • Jonathan David Cook
  • Robert Goulet – Himself
  • Mary Stuart Masterson – Caroline Swanson, Gary’s ex-girlfriend and an opposing lawyer.
  • Rick Gomez – Bud, a cheese delivery boy who is not very bright and mistakes Gary for being a dog.
  • Hynden Walch – Little Girl, witness in the Southern Tobacco Company case.
  • Wayne Knight – Garys rival, J. P. Wordley.
  • Robb Cullen – Johnny Bugz, a pest exterminator with a particular dislike of rats and pet cat called Boots.
                                     

3. Media

List of Web Episodes

Episodes were approximately 3 minutes long, programmed in Adobe Flash which also included a game to occupy the viewer while the episode loaded in the background.

List of Network Episodes

Each episode begins with Gary having a surrealistic nightmare in which he is killed. During each episode Gary receives telephone calls from his mother in which he heartlessly dismisses her.

                                     

4. Critical reception

Kevin McDonough of United Media gave the show a negative review, praising the voice actors but calling the show itself "virtually laugh-free." Phil Gallo of Daily Variety thought that the first episode was "too serious" and that Grammers character was derivative of Frasier Crane. Giving it one star out of four, Dean Johnson of The Boston Herald criticized the first episode as unfunny, and questioned whether the show would fit Spikes demographic.

A more favorable review came from Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who thought that Grammer was "well-cast" and that it was the "least crude" of the three cartoons airing on Spike at the time Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon" and Stripperella. Matthew Williams of Toon Zone gave a mixed review, saying that some elements of episodes were drawn out for too long, but that Grammer "saves the show from mediocrity" and that he considered some of the jokes funny.