By Chad Van Wagner
What the Hell is a Homestar Runner? Well, he’s kind of an albino penis-shaped guy with no arms and a voice like a less inebriated Pete Puma. He also happens to be the title character of one of the funniest original animated sites going.
First off, it should be said that Homestar himself isn’t the best character here. No, that honor goes to Strong Bad, a gruff-voiced, boxing glove-wearing goofball who dresses like a Los Straightjackets reject, and has a thing for ’80s hair metal, violence, and self-promotion. His weekly emails (updated every Monday) are the highlight of the site, covering everything from band names (“You should have a cool last name, like Van Halen, or Dokken, or, to a lesser extent, Z’Nuff”), to rave culture (“Techno”), to lost chances for hot threesomes (the “Sisters” installment). He pops up elsewhere on the site, too, and his popularity is such that he even built his own (stupefyingly inept) page, which manages to cram every design faux-pas into one simple link.
The rest of the site is far from a wash, however. The navigation is a little confused, but that’s probably intentional: There are hidden Easter eggs galore, and there’s no telling what an errant click of the mouse will uncover. There’s even something like fifteen different index pages (my favorite being the Atari 2600 parody, complete with Strong Bad being chased by one of those poorly animated Duck Hunt ducks.) There are other characters, like Homestar’s girlfriend Marzipan (“Everyone loves Tofu!”), Strong Mad (who is slightly less intelligent than bread mold), The Cheat (God knows what he’s supposed to be), and The Poopsmith (don’t ask).
Occasionally, the skits suffer from that hobgoblin of animation, being a little overly cute. Having a Mister Rodgers-esque “King Of Town” walking around might be funny once, but he’s just not that interesting. Also, the skits occasionally feel like they’re being pitched to young kids, which is odd, to say the least, when you’re laughing at a fairly astute silent film parody (“Kick The Can”).
Overall, though, the site’s quite good. And you can ask Strong Bad what to do about those embarrassing warts.