It’s Time To Meet The Guy Behind “Hey Arnold!”
“Mail Order Interviews” are illustrated interviews with awesome humans conducted via mail. This particular one is with the fabulous Craig Barlett, creator of the beloved series “Hey Arnold!” among other brag-worthy accomplishments. Here’s what you need to know about him.
Remember the ’90s? Remeber Nicktoons? Then odds are that you remember a football-headed, plaid shirt that looks like a skirt-wearing, do the right thing-doing, little hat-rocking kid named Arnold. “Hey Arnold!“, created by the fabulous Craig Bartlett, is seriously one of the best cartoons ever made. It has it all — humor, heart, kids that can walk around in a big city after dark without an adult and never seem to get mugged, a crazy ice cream man, a kid that lives on chocolate alone, bubble gum shrines, adventure, romance, the coolest room in all of cartoon history, AND an obsessive poet/bully with a unibrow… how could you go wrong with that recipe?!
What you might not know is that Craig had his finger on the pulse of awesome kid’s television long before “Hey Arnold!” was even a twinkle in his eye. After graduating from Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington — where the likes of Lynda Barry, Carrie Brownstein, Matt Groening, and Michael Richards went — he worked at Will Vinton Studios where he learned the art of stop-motion and worked on lots of amazing projects including the flippin‘ California Raisin commercials (if you’re too young to know who the California Raisins are, do yourself a favor and do a quick search for them on Youtube… I heard it through the grapevine that you won’t be disappointed…)!
After leaving Will Vinton Studios, Craig went on to help animate the “Penny Cartoons” for “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse“!
He then went on to work on “Rugrats” before pitching “Hey Arnold” to Nickelodeon. I mean, come on! This is one powerful list! On top of all that (plus many more amazing accomplishments that weren’t mentioned here) Craig is the creator of one of the top-rated preschool shows on television today: “Dinosaur Train”. Oh! And did I mention that Craig happens to be married to the one and only Lisa Groening — as in Matt Groening’s sister — as in the creator of “The Simpsons” — as in Craig’s wife is the namesake for Lisa Simpson?! Craig! You’re making the rest of us look bad! Here’s what he had to say for himself, via snail mail, of course.