‘Rugrats’ Creative Force
“View From the Rug Up” (TV Times, July 21) presented an inaccurate account of the creation and production of the Nickelodeon series “Rugrats.” As the story editors of the original five seasons of “Rugrats,” we’d like to set the record straight.
The piece presents Arlene Klasky and Gabor Csupo as the prime movers behind the show, and only toward the end of the article is Paul Germain mentioned in passing as someone they “created ‘Rugrats’ with.”
In fact, Paul Germain was instrumental not only in creating the series but in producing every one of the 65 original episodes. The main character, Tommy, was Paul’s creation and, in fact, was named after his own son. Paul also created most of the other characters in the series, and the original idea of doing a show about babies who could talk when the grown-ups weren’t around was his. He came up with the title, personally pitched the idea to Nickelodeon, wrote, cast, voice-directed and produced the pilot, and was creative producer, voice director and head story editor of every episode. Throughout, Paul was the key creative force behind “Rugrats,” and the television academy recognized his achievement with three Emmys.
The article states that Gabor and Arlene “are no longer involved in the show’s writing on a day-to-day basis.” They never were. In fact, neither ever wrote a single episode, and their input on script writing, for the most part, was minimal.
Gabor and Arlene are certainly to be credited with designing the striking look of “Rugrats,” as well as fostering a creative environment in which a unique, story-driven animated series could take shape, but to ignore the fact that it was essentially Paul Germain’s show is an unfortunate distortion of the facts.