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Hungry in the 30s

The Old-Timey era (also referred to as the 1936 era) is the collective name for the Homestar Runner toons said to have been made in the 1930s; they are in essence a pastiche/tribute to the cartoons of the time. The toons are in black and white and have intentionally sloppy edits, a grainy and scratched appearance, and a soundtrack filled with static and pops. The characters look and sound different from their modern-day counterparts, and often have different personae, much in the way that the characters in the earliest Mickey Mouse and Looney Tunes cartoons are noticeably different than later incarnations.

Most of the toons from this era, explicitly set in the Great Depression, center around The Homestar Runner, Old-Timey Marzipan and Fat Dudley's quest for food, and Old-Timey Strong Bad's attempts to foil them with the help of his sidekicks The Strong Man and The Sneak.

This era spans from 1933 with Kick the Can to the 1937 release of That A Ghost. The early "1933" toons did not have sound and were much more cartoony than the later Old-Timey cartoons, with heads coming off, body-parts changing and characters flying away, among other things. (See the variants from Kick the Can.) Toons released in later years featured sound and were more realistic.

It appears as if the Old-Timey world is actually entirely gray, rather than filmed with outdated camera equipment. Old-Timey characters are still gray when appearing in more colorful time periods, and Strong Bad was still in full color when he appeared in the black-and-white Old Timey world in the email alternate universe. In 20X6 vs. 1936, when The Homestar Runner went to Planet K, he was in black and white, with slight visual errors appearing over him (as in the full cartoons) and crackling audio whenever he spoke. However, the Ballad of The Sneak establishes The Sneak as being "small and smart and yellow".

Each new toon appears to take place in a later year than previous toons. It is possible that the Old-Timey dates are following the current date, with a difference of slightly less than 67 years. Kick the Can, dated 1933, was released in 2000. Later cartoons released in 2003 are dated 1936, and That A Ghost, released in 2004, is dated 1937. Should this be true, then the Old-Timey timeline would be:

1933Kick the Can
1934Main Page 10
1935little animal
1936Parsnips A-Plenty, 50 emails, 20X6 vs. 1936, 2 emails, Ballad of The Sneak, Mr. Shmallow
1937flashback, That A Ghost
1939highschool, Marzipan's Answering Machine Version 13.2, alternate universe


See also the Characters page.

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