Who is Joe Cartoon?

Who is Joe Cartoon?

Who is Joe Cartoon?

Joe Cartoon’s rise to viral fame before the advent of social media can be attributed to the widespread sharing of his legendary animated flash cartoon, “Frog in a Blender.” This iconic creation quickly gained popularity and spread like wildfire across the internet, traveling from one inbox to another. The gross, dark and hilarious nature his content, coupled with the fact that it was absolutely “Not Suitable for Work”, captured the attention of viewers worldwide, and prompted them to share it with their friends. This viral email quickly lead to an artist called Joseph C. Shields becoming a Gen X legend, in his waders, from a small shack in Michigan USA.

Joe Cartoon’s creation, Frog in a Blender, is an “all shades of wrong” cartoon that went viral by email, back in the 90’s. The narrative revolves around a frog trapped inside a blender, desperately attempting to break free. You, the viewer, are in full control of his fate as you can choose to slowly blend the little fella, while he hurls abuse at you through the glass. Twisted? YES, disturbing dark humour, ABSOLUTELY! No matter how disturbed you were though, you almost always hit the blend button!

The artwork and humour of this popular online video have earned Joe Cartoon many fans across the globe. For many years, viewers have enjoyed watching the many hilarious characters created by Joe. His gross humour and incredible illustrations were constantly evolving, each new character becoming as iconic as the last. Joe Cartoon is quite possibly, the first viral internet star.

Frog in a Blender

The premise behind Joe Cartoon’s Frog in a Blender dates back to 1996 when Doug Mekertichian first posted it online. Since then, there have been a long line of famous caricatures, heading into the blender. Simon CowellHilary Clinton and of course, Trump have all had their spin, proving that the elusive artist is still very much active behind the screen.

Sadly the technology to make the buttons interactive, Adobe’s Flash Player is no longer supported. It has long since vanished into the dark depths of the GenX vortex, so most of the animations are only available on video these days. This is probably not a bad thing for Joe, as he was quoted in a Huffpost.com interview with Bob Cesca as saying he got bored of the push button stuff as “How many ways can you say, “You ain’t got the balls…no balls”? It was great fun for awhile but it just got old. I just lost passion for it.”

You can read the full Interview with Joe Cartoon here, and it was the first time I had ever seen him in the flesh!


Superfly (aka Supahfly), arguably the most well known character by Joe Cartoons. In each episode, Superfly finds himself in various scenarios, often centred around drinking or drug abuse. His famous catchphrase, “Oh, my freakin’ head, I’m so wasted!” adds a comedic touch and became a well used phrase in the 90’s.

The Gerbil

The Gerbil, a prominent character alongside Superfly, made his debut in the 1999 cartoon “Gerbil in a Microwave.” Throughout various episodes, he consistently finds himself in perilous situations that often lead to his demise. From being stabbed by a pencil in “Numbah 2 Pencil III” to being electrocuted in a light socket.

The Gerbil’s misadventures include getting shot, run over by a Hummer, and confronting Joe Cartoon for the alleged gerbil violence in “Gerbil Genocide.”

Thuh Greenfields

The Greenfields, a peculiar family involved in pot farming and performance art, encounter strange events. Jebidiah and Gertrude, the couple at the centre, were first seen in the 2004 series ‘Thuh Greenfields.’ These guys should definitely be given a wide berth if you are a more sensitive soul, or particularly fond of monkeys.

Lump the no Legged Dog

Lump, a legless canine, first appeared in the 1999 cartoon bearing his name. Lump hit the limit for me, as I found it just too far over the line. Everyone has a line, and Joe loves to push it to the limit and beyond.

Despite his limbless state, Lump showcases an array of tricks in the show. In 2002, he had a brief cameo in “Goanna Humpa” during a ‘technical difficulties’ scene. In the Greenfields series, he was featured when Jebidiah attempted to stop city destruction by spray-painting Lump as ‘Super Cow,’ although Lump lacks special powers due to his lack of legs.

What happened to Joe Cartoon?

Joe soon grew tired of the push button antics, and turned his talents towards observational comedy. He created a wide range of characters who were often based on real people, such as the President of the United States or comic book icons like Spiderman and The Hulk.
As a huge Joe fan at 50, I often find myself wondering if his work would strike a chord in the new, rather sensitive world we find ourselves in?

The Dot Com Crash

Absolutely everything in the world of Joe Cartoon was created by him alone, from the illustrations, character design, voices, sound effects and animation. He really was a one man band of awesome!

Joe had deals with Shockwave and Atomfilms and was earning great money from his art, when all of a sudden, the dot com bubble burst and internet companies started dropping like Super Flies! The Dot Com Bubble crash of 2000 was a nightmare, but Joe was fighting another battle with his health, right at the time the crash happened. He became ill when one of his adrenal glands burst, and he was unable to complete the work for Shockwave due to ill health.

He literally dropped off the face of the planet for a while, with his one gland and his fishing rod. You can get to know all of his characters over on his website – Joecartoon.com

Joe lives to fish and spends most of his time away from the world in his 100 year old barn. He is married, with 3 kids and he has channelled his over flow of creativity into a whole new artform lately – MUSIC!

Introducing Cousin Joe Twoshacks

At the beginning of 2020, things took a turn for the worse for me. I was tirelessly working on building and expanding the Silk Purse Guild, burning the midnight oil to perfect the website. Come March, I hit the LIVE switch, expecting a life-altering moment.

Little did I know, amidst whispers of a peculiar cold or flu-like situation emanating from China. Lo and behold, my world did change, but not in the way I had envisioned. As the whole world turned on it’s head an eerie mix of dread and tension crept in, I found myself falling ill—uncharacteristically so.

It’s quite a nuisance since falling ill is a rarity for me! My doctor’s eyebrows practically hit the ceiling whenever I make a sudden appearance at his office, after years of radio silence. Talk about bad timing! Just when I needed medical assistance the most, I’m more likely to receive a parcel with Johnny Depp covered in Marmite than get a doctors appointment.

I won’t delve into the specifics, but I’ll share this – I’ve never truly grasped the depths of depression until my health failed. I found myself spiralling into a dark and overwhelming state. Then, at my lowest moment, during the early hours of the morning, a message popped up on my laptop, ironically in an email, from a friend in a distant time zone. This friend, whom I hadn’t seen in 25 years, somehow sensed my struggle and knew just the right thing to say to lift my spirits. This is what he sent me –

Debut Album “Rocks and Toads”

Joe has now picked up a guitar, and taught himself to play. The results are nothing short of astonishing.  This same friend gifted me a copy of his debut album, “Rocks and Toads,” and it never ceases to bring a smile to my face. Each song on the album is so obviously crafted by a cartoon animator.

Every track carries a distinct storyline that  unfolds on the inside of your eyelids as you listen. Joe’s signature humour shines through in every track, and I’m eagerly anticipating his next musical creation. I’ll leave you to get to know the all new, and incredibly talented Joseph C. Shields.

I can honestly say that he saved my bacon, pulling me up from the pit and getting me back on my feet again. After my surgery in 2022, it was a long and painful recovery. Step my step, with my headphones in, I got a little better everyday, and Cousin Joe Twoshacks was right there with me, in my headphones, every step of the way.

Fall in Love with Cussin’ Joe Twoshacks

You know, after plugging into “Rock and Toads,” I have to say “Every animator out there, listen up: if you haven’t tried your hand at music yet, now is the time my friend” Seriously, there’s not a single bad track on this album.

Each song is a mini comedy sketch that plays out in your brain. Imagine the most hilarious stories, but instead of watching them, you’re listening, and somehow, it’s even better. You’re not just hearing the tunes, you’re on a first-name basis with the characters by the end of it.

It’s proof that animators dabbling in music could be the secret sauce to creating something that’s not only earworm-worthy but also brings stories and characters to life in a way that sticks with you—like that catchy tune you can’t shake, but if it told you a joke.

Joe Shields, we salute you my friend. I’m going to leave this post with what has become the Silk Purse Guild theme tune in my office. This bad boy goes on with every negative comment, troll attack, criticism and put down. On the days when your mojo buggers off and you’re tempted to start dancing about on TikTok for likes and follows, just put this track on loud and sing along (in your fluffy bunny slippers). Let Cussin’ Joe Twoshacks remind you that you are absolutely fabulous, just the way you are!

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