When the first two games were released, it was already decided that Earthworm Jim was not going to stop there. It was planned to be multifaceted. Earthworm Jim was something that didn't have to be limited to one area of the Media or Arts. This was planned at the time. Along with the first two games came a TV Show, promotional comic books and toy line.
Doug TenNapel was the executive Producer for the show. The other producers were Roy Allen Smith, David Perry and Kathi Castillo. Douglas Langdale was the show's main writer. Other writers included John Behnke, Thomas Hart, Rob Humphrey, Jim Peterson and Steve Roberts.
It had a memorable Theme Tune which was written by Will Anderson.
Universal Cartoon Studios created a different style for Earthworm Jim in comparison to the original video games. In particular the style of humour and the direction it took was very different. Its humour was a mix of pop-culture reference, irony and some old fashioned slap stick for good measure. It made references to famous films and old sitcoms. Some of these included "I Love Lucy", "The Wizard of Oz", "Dune", "Star Trek" and "Citizen Kane". There were twenty three episodes made. The show lasted for two American seasons, and was eventually cancelled in 1997 by Warner Brothers.
Episodes that aired in 1995
Episodes that aired in 1996
Earthworm Jim was voiced by Dan Castellaneta (Homer in The Simpsons). Originally the voice director for the show Ginny McSwain, was said to have wanted the actor Matt Frewer for the role of Jim. Castellaneta had come in for one of the supporting roles.
He was a good choice for the TV Show Jim and matched the off-the-wall, light-hearted and comical mood of the show.
The episodes didn't follow a set out story or plot. They were independent to one another, so didn't need to be watched in sequential order. They jumped from various themes which varied from lost egg beaters to children's popup books that held the secrets to destroying the universe.
There were several noticeable differences between the games and the TV show. All the characters were re-designed for it to suit the themes of the show. The strength of the cartoon show was in its quality of writing which was very intelligent and humorous.
New characters (unique to the TV show) were introduced.
The TV Show was eventually cancelled in 1997.
The TV Show was designed for a specific audience and the current values or trends in Warner Brother's line up for that time. Perhaps the broadcasters aired the show towards too young an age group for it's style of humour which was very developed and clever. It didn't get the high ratings it needed to last a third season unfortunately. It had a VHS release.
There was a DVD release by Madman on June 1st 2011 for Australia and New Zealand. It was also released for the US and Canada by Millennium on the 10th July 2012.
Doug TenNapel's first published comic book was about Evil The Cat. It was published in 1991 by Mocking Bird Press.
A three book edition comic produced by Marvel Absurd was made in 1995. It tried to be more intone with the game as well as the TV show while adding some new ideas from the writers to fit in with the story.
They were written by Dan Slott (Ren & Stimpy comics, Batman Adventures, Avengers, She Hulk) and drawn by Barry Crain, Manny Galan and Carlos Garzon.
A UK comic based more so on the TV Show was also produced around the same time which was published by Arcadia. This was pencilled and inked by Tim Perkins.
There was even an Earthworm Jim Action Figure Trailer that came with Earthworm Jim 1 & 2 The Whole Can o' Worms.
Along with the show came a toy line by Playmates. Their designs were based on the TV show character design so their success was balanced on how long the show would air.
They were good quality on the whole. The action figures included:
The box packaging was nicely designed and illustrated.
Here is the description from the back of the Deep Sea Mission Jim figure box.
Fear not, my water licking lads! I, Earthworm Jim, have come to rescue you all! I have converted my super suit to allow me to traverse the great barrier below. Notice my watertight helmet and extra oxygen tanks - very stylish.By the Great Worm Provider! Is that Bob & #4 I see approaching with a giant mechanical bay shrimp? Why, yes, it is! Quickly, I must whip out my Stick-it-to-'em Spear Blaster and aim for the giant mechanical shrimp's eyes. Oh, Great Wiggling Worm, he has no eyes! The horror, oh the horror! In mere moments, I will be a worm-stain on his mechanically sharpened shrimp teeth. He does have teeth, I can see that!
Deep Sea Snott, my Spears please. Thanks, my snorting sleeve-wipe of a friend. Just a little to the left...there, got 'em! Now it's blind shrimp cocktail for everyone! But before I dine, I must rid this under-water world of the evil that is Bob & #4. With my Real Water Shooting Gun with Jetpack Water Storage, I shall pre-soak them until they shrink into nothingness. I love this job!
Equipped with my Special Mission Deep Sea Suit, I have once again defeated evil on its own turf - making the waterways safe for all fishes to eat, sleep and play! Oh, Amazing Annelid, who holds the sky above out heads, is that Professor Monkey-for-a-Head with a giant mechanical Sea anemone? No, it's just Deep Sea Snott with a case of the bends. See you all later, my water-wallowing weirdos!
Whoa, over yonder breaking wave, is that a surfin' cow I see? Cowwwamoooga!
All the large figures in the line were articulated or had a special action of some kind. Jim's head was made to pop out of his suit by pressing a button on his back. There were different versions of Jim made - an Underwater Jim and a battle damaged Jim which had different special attacks. The underwater version had a water gun.
There were prototypes made for Queen Slug for-a Butt, The Hamstinator, Professor Monkey for a Head, Samuri suit Jim, Copter Jim and the Worm Cycle however they were never released.