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TNN cartoons are for ‘adults’

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The funniest thing at TNN these days is the ongoing lawsuit in which Spike Lee, apparently under the impression that he owns the name "Spike," has prevented the cable network from changing its name to Spike TV. (And gotten a couple of crazy judges to issue injunctions.)

New name or not, the new shows go on at TNN/Spike, which aims to be the cable network for men. Childish men, if the new animated series in "The Strip" are any indication:

Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon (8 p.m., TNN) proves that the folks at Nickelodeon were right when they ousted creator/producer John Kricfalusi from his own show a decade ago. This time around he's been allowed to do whatever he wants, and the results are abominable. "Adult Cartoon Party" isn't funny or clever, it's just disgusting.

Tonight's premiere is replete with Stimpy (the cat that sort of looks like a dog) propositioning Ren (the Chihauahua that sort of looks like a cat). As the episode opens, they're living in the mouth of a homeless man but move out when Ren is molested by the guy's epiglottis. So they move to a spittoon and start eating mucus.

It's actually much grosser than it sounds.

(TNN has rated this show TV-MA, the TV equivalent of R.)

Gary the Rat (8:30 p.m., TNN) is the best of the lot (with the exception of the "Ren & Stimpy" reruns at 9:30). Gary (voiced by Kelsey Grammer of "Frasier") is a lawyer who somehow turns into a rat. A real rat, as well as a metaphorical rat.

In the premiere, Gary represents an evil tobacco company. He can't be bothered to deal with his mother, even when she calls to say her nursing home is on fire.

"Gary the Rat" is crude — Gary utters a four-letter expletive when he sees himself in the mirror. His behavior is mean-spirited in the extreme, though it can be viciously funny.

TNN has rated this show TV-14.

Stripperella is considerably less crude than "R&S," believe it or not. Unless, of course, you're offended by animated nudity.

Created by Stan Lee ("Spider-man," "Hulk," "X-Men"), this is a parody of superheroes. The title character is Erotica Jones, voiced by and based on Pamela Anderson. She's a stripper (natch) who moonlights as secret agent 0069. (And that should indicate to you the level of humor here.) It's campy, it's off-color, it's alternately clever and stupid. But intentionally stupid to poke fun at the genre.

If you're turned on by animated breasts, you'll probably like "Stripperella." And, perhaps, you should consider seeking counseling. (TNN has rated this show TV-MA.)

E-MAIL: pierce@desnews.com