Tripping the Rift

Last updated
Tripping the Rift
Tripping the Rift Logo.png
Title Card
Created by
Directed byBernie Denk
Jon Minnis
Starring Stephen Root
Carmen Electra
Maurice LaMarche
Jenny McCarthy
Gina Gershon
ComposerMario Sévigny
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39
Executive producers
  • Jacques Pettigrew
  • Michel Lemire
  • John Hyde
ProducerAndrew Makarewicz
Running time20 minutes
Production companies CinéGroupe
Film Roman
Original network Sci Fi Channel
Original releaseMarch 4, 2004 (2004-03-04) 
December 13, 2007 (2007-12-13)

Tripping the Rift is an adult CGI science fiction comedy television series. It is based on two short animations published on the Internet by Chris Moeller and Chuck Austen. The series was produced by CineGroupe in association with the Syfy network. Following its cancellation by that cable network, CineGroupe continued producing the series for the other North American and International broadcasters. [1] The series aired on the Canadian speciality channel Space in 2004. Canada's cartoon network Teletoon has been airing the series since August 2006. Teletoon participated in the production of the third season, and aired it in 2007. [2] A feature-length movie version was released on DVD in 2008.



The universe is modeled largely after the Star Trek universe, with references to 'warp drive' and 'transporter' beam technology, occasional time travel, the Federation and the Vulcans. The series also includes elements borrowed from other sources such as Star Wars , 2001: A Space Odyssey and Battlestar Galactica .

The general setting is that known space is politically divided between two superpowers: the Confederation (led by Humans, and a parody of the Federation from Star Trek) and the Dark Clown Empire (a parody of the Galactic Empire from Star Wars). The Dark Clown Empire is a totalitarian, tyrannical police state, led by the evil Darph Bobo. In contrast, the Confederation is technically a democratic and free society, but in practice, is dominated by mega-corporations and bloated bureaucracies. Ultimately, both superpowers end up exploiting and restricting their inhabitants, albeit in different ways. For example, the value placed on life is so commercialized in the Confederation that clearly sentient robots and androids are reduced to essentially slave-status. The Dark Clown Empire practices actual slavery, and while the Confederation does not, most of its inhabitants (including the Human ones) are openly described as living in wage slavery. The only place that anyone can truly be free is in the border region between the two superpowers, which is directly controlled by neither. This borderland is known as "the Rift", hence those outlaws on the fringes of society who cling to their freedom by moving back and forth around the Confederation/Dark Clown Empire border to evade detection are said to be "Tripping the Rift". The series follows one such group of outlaws led by Chode aboard the Spaceship Jupiter 42, taking odd-jobs and usually pursuing various get-rich-quick schemes.


Production and development

In 1997, Chris Moeller, who was working on the animated TV series King of the Hill and who had been producing animation shorts with Dark Bunny Productions, met Chuck Austen and pitched their idea for a science fiction comedy to animation studio Film Roman. In early 1998, they launched the first pilot Love and Darph on the Internet. The Chode character first appeared in the 1994 short, Wisconsin. [4] In 2001, Film Roman released the Oh Brother teaser for episode 2, and Chris claimed the full version was made, but its release was left up to Film Roman. [5]

In 2002, CinéGroupe acquired the rights to the five-minute short Love and Darph and approached animator Bernie Denk to direct the series, which was produced in association with Sci Fi US. Bernie Denk's team worked in Montreal on preproduction (character design, modeling and textures) while the Malaysian studio Shanghai Cartoon worked on animation using Autodesk 3ds Max software, lighting and compositing. Keyframe animation was chosen for its quality and animating control capabilities. [6]



Season 1 (2004)

  1. 03/04/2004 "God is Our Pilot" [7] Chode and Gus hijack a time-traveling vacation ship to the dawn of time, and accidentally kill God, causing a reality where impossible things happen because of God's death.
  2. 03/11/2004 "Mutilation Ball" The Federation will drop all charges against Chode if he can bring in Malik, a retired Mutilation Ball player for one last game...and things get complicated when T'nuk has sex with Malik and discovers that he's a robot while the real Malik has become a bloated mess whose being exploited by his wife.
  3. 03/18/2004 "Miss Galaxy 5000" Chode enters Six (who despises beauty pageants because of how sexist and demeaning they are to women) in a beauty contest against the daughter of his archenemy, Darph Bobo. Meanwhile, Gus trains T'nuk to be a beauty pageant contestant.
  4. 03/25/2004 "Sidewalk Soiler" Chode is set to be executed for spitting gum on a planet where littering is punishable by death.
  5. 04/01/2004 "The Devil and a Guy Named Webster" Chode sells his soul to the Devil to avoid a catastrophe and his only hope is Emmanuel Lewis (TV's Webster).
  6. 04/08/2004 "Totally Recalled" Gus's model has been recalled while Chode gets a visit from his grandfather.
  7. 04/15/2004 "2001 Space Idiocies" Chode is suckered into a scheme by Darph Bobo to corrupt a planet of primitives.
  8. 04/22/2004 "Power to the Peephole" The crew arrive on planet Floridia 7 in the middle of the Dark Clown Confederation's presidential election. Chode is chosen to get dirt on the Dark Clown Federation's candidate, George Goodfellow, while T'nuk takes a page from Monica Lewinsky's autobiography and tries to trick Goodfellow into sexually harassing her so she can get famous.
  9. 05/06/2004 "Nature vs. Nurture" Chode trades places with his long lost twin brother, the king of Muldavia 5.
  10. 05/13/2004 "Aliens, Guns & A Monkey" On the way to deliver a monkey diamond, the crew get stuck on a planet where everyone carries a gun.
  11. 05/20/2004 "Emasculating Chode" Darph Bobo kidnaps Whip (who feels like he's being treated like a child) and severs one of Chode's tentacles, which causes Chode to have a crisis over his masculinity.
  12. 05/27/2004 "Love Conquers All...Almost" Chode plays matchmaker to the children of his mortal enemies (Darph Bobo's daughter and Commander Adam's son) in order to get money to repay a huge debt.
  13. 06/03/2004 "Android Love" Six comes across an old boyfriend working in a male strip club.

Season 2 (2005)

  1. 07/27/2005 "Cool Whip" [8] Whip becomes famous on a planet after accidentally taking control of the ship.
  2. 07/27/2005 "You Wanna Put That Where?" Chode and company try to sell off cases of lubricant to a planet where homosexuals are the minority and heterosexuals are discriminated and punished for being straight.
  3. 08/03/2005 "Honey, I Shrunk the Crew" After Chode steals his identity and credit card, Darph Bobo seeks revenge.
  4. 08/10/2005 "Ghost Ship" After running out of fuel, the crew must face their greatest fears on a ghost ship.
  5. 08/17/2005 "Benito's Revenge" Chode's grandfather is caught up in one of Darph Bobo's schemes.
  6. 08/24/2005 "All for None": Chode's crew quits after Chode won't give into their demands for better amenities.
  7. 08/31/2005 "Extreme Chode"
  8. 09/14/2005 "Roswell"
  9. 09/21/2005 "Santa Clownza"
  10. 09/28/2005 "Chode and Bobo's High School Reunion"
  11. 10/05/2005 "Creaturepalooza"
  12. 10/12/2005 "Chode's Near-Death Experience"
  13. 10/19/2005 "Six, Lies and Videotape"

Season 3 (2007)

  1. 09/06/2007 "Chode Eraser"
  2. 09/13/2007 "Skankenstein" [9]
  3. 09/20/2007 "To eBay or Not to eBay"
  4. 10/11/2007 "23 12"
  5. 10/18/2007 "Chuckles Bites the Dust"
  6. 10/25/2007 "The Need for Greed"
  7. 11/01/2007 "Hollow Chode"
  8. 11/08/2007 "Raiders of the Lost Crock of */@?#!"
  9. 11/15/2007 "Witness Protection"
  10. 11/22/2007 "The Son Also Rises"
  11. 11/29/2007 "Extreme Take-Over"
  12. 12/06/2007 "Battle of the Bulge"
  13. 12/13/2007 "Tragically Whip"


The show aired on Space in Canada and the Sci Fi Channel in the United States in March 2004. Sky One began airing the show in the United Kingdom in early 2005. Space and the Sci Fi Channel aired the second season in the fall of 2005. In Australia the show appears on the Sci Fi Channel.

In Latin America it appeared on Adult Swim. In Russia, a music television channel Muz TV aired season 1 & 2 in 2007, and season 3 in early 2008. Later it aired on channel 2x2. In Germany, DMAX (TV channel) is showing season 1 & 2 starting in March 2009. In Bulgaria, PRO BG is airing season 1 & 2 starting in September 2009 and season 3 in October 2009. Other major territories include France, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and Central Europe. [10]

Re-runs of the show aired in Canada on SPACE. In 2006, the series was picked up for rebroadcast on Razer and The Comedy Network.

Tripping the Rift: The Movie

Anchor Bay released the 75 minute unrated Tripping the Rift: The Movie on DVD on March 25, 2008. [11] The story revolves around Chode's birthday party and the events that occur during and after it, all of which prompt his nemesis Darph Bobo to dispatch a time-traveling killer clown android to assassinate Chode.

The movie consists of footage from the season three episodes "Chode Eraser", "Skankenstein", "Raiders of the Lost Crock of *@#?!" and "Witness Protection" with new bits of additional footage stitching them together into a loosely cohesive whole.

While the movie was promoted as uncensored, only dialogue was left uncensored, with nudity still obscured by "censored" balloons.

The main DVD extra is "Captain's Log: Making of Tripping the Rift: The Movie". A Best Buy exclusive featured a second DVD with three episodes of the series centered on Six.

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Space Battleship Yamato</i> Anime series that started in 1974

Space Battleship Yamato is a Japanese science fiction anime series produced and written by Yoshinobu Nishizaki, directed by manga artist Leiji Matsumoto, and produced by Academy Productions. The series aired in Yomiuri TV from October 6, 1974 to March 30, 1975, totaling up to 26 episodes. It revolves around the character Susumu Kodai and an international crew from Earth, tasked during an interstellar war to go into space aboard the space warship Yamato, derived from the World War II battleship of the same name, in response to a message of aid from the planet Iscandar in order to retrieve a device which is able to reverse the radiation infecting Earth after being bombed by the Gamilas (Gamilons).

<i>Lost in Space</i> 1965–1968 American science fiction television series

Lost in Space is an American science fiction television series, created and produced by Irwin Allen, which originally aired between 1965 and 1968 on CBS. The series was inspired by the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson. The series follows the adventures of the Robinsons, a pioneering family of space colonists who struggle to survive in the depths of space. The show ran for 83 episodes over three seasons. The first season comprised 29 episodes that ran 1 hour apiece, filmed in black and white. Later, for seasons 2 and 3, the episodes would be 54 minutes long and shot in color.

<i>Firefly</i> (TV series) American space western television series

Firefly is an American space Western drama television series, created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive producer, along with Tim Minear. The series is set in the year 2517, after the arrival of humans in a new star system, and follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship. The ensemble cast portrays the nine characters who live on Serenity. Whedon pitched the show as "nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things."

<i>Martian Successor Nadesico</i> 1996 anime

Martian Successor Nadesico, sometimes referred to as simply Nadesico, is a Japanese anime television series produced by TV Tokyo, Yomiko Advertising and Xebec and directed by Tatsuo Satō, with manga artist Kia Asamiya providing original character designs, Keiji Gotoh serving as chief animation director, Mika Akitaka being the main mechanical designer and Takayuki Hattori composing the music. A manga adaptation by Asamiya was published by Kadokawa Shoten from 1996 to 1999. The manga, published in English by CPM Manga, has many significant changes from the anime.

Terry Farrell (actress) American actress, model (b. 1963)

Theresa Lee Farrell is an American actress and fashion model. She is best known for her roles as Jadzia Dax in the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and as Regina "Reggie" Kostas in the comedy series Becker.

Philip Proctor

Philip Proctor is an American actor and a member of the Firesign Theatre. He has performed voice-over work for video games, films and television series.

<i>Power Rangers in Space</i> US 1998 television series

Power Rangers in Space is an American television series and the sixth season of the Power Rangers franchise, based on the 21st Super Sentai series Denji Sentai Megaranger.

Mike Nelson (character)

Mike Nelson is a fictional character in the comedy science fiction television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Portrayed by actor/head writer Michael J. Nelson, Mike is a likeable temp worker from Little Chute, Wisconsin who comes to work for the mad scientists ("Mads") Dr. Clayton Forrester and TV's Frank in Deep 13 while they prepare for an evil-scientist audit in episode 512, Mitchell.

Adam Strange DC Comics fictional character

Adam Strange is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by editor Julius Schwartz with a costume designed by Murphy Anderson, he first appeared in Showcase #17.

Film Roman American animation studio

Film Roman, LLC is an American independent animation studio currently based in Woodland Hills, California and formerly in Burbank. It was previously owned by Starz Inc., which is now a division of Lionsgate, and later by Waterman Entertainment, the production company of producer Steve Waterman. Founded by veteran animator and director Phil Roman on October 26, 1984, it is best known for providing animation for the Garfield primetime specials, based on Jim Davis' comic strip of the same name. The studio also produced the animated series The Simpsons, The Critic, King of the Hill, Family Guy, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, The Goode Family, Dan Vs., and Beavis and Butt-Head.

Rosebud (<i>The Simpsons</i>) 4th episode of the fifth season of The Simpsons

"Rosebud" is the fourth episode of the fifth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 21, 1993. In the episode, Mr. Burns misses his childhood teddy bear Bobo on the eve of his birthday. After flashbacks reveal Bobo's journey through history, the bear ends up in the hands of Maggie Simpson. Burns does everything in his power to get Bobo back.

Terry Sweeney is an American artist, actor, and writer. He was a writer and cast member of Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, co-wrote the 1989 film Shag, and has written for the television series MADtv, Hype, and Tripping the Rift.

<i>Space Cases</i> Canadian science fiction television series (1996-1997)

Space Cases is a Canadian science fiction television series that aired on Nickelodeon for two seasons. Created by Peter David and Bill Mumy, it premiered on March 2, 1996 and ended on January 27, 1997 with reruns until 1998. It aired for a time on Nickelodeon's Saturday night block of shows known as SNICK, and on Nickelodeon UK, with reruns on Family and TVOntario in Canada. An episode aired on TeenNick in the US as part of its The '90s Are All That block on the night of October 14, 2011 for the block's U Pick with Stick line-up, and again on December 27, 2011 for Party Like It's the '90s. Space Cases returned once again on the night of January 1, 2016 on TeenNick during the new The Splat programming block but has not aired since; the first four episodes of Season One were aired. The show's premise revolves around a group of misfit students and two adults who are stranded far from home aboard an alien ship. Their attempts at journeying back see many dangerous adventures and controversies, with some occasionally more mature themes.

Ghostface (identity) Identity in the Scream franchise

Ghostface is a fictional identity adopted by eleven characters in the Scream franchise. The figure was originally created by Kevin Williamson, and is primarily mute in person but voiced over the phone by Roger L. Jackson, regardless of who is behind the mask. Ghostface first appeared in Scream (1996) as a disguise used by teenagers Billy Loomis and Stu Macher, during their killing spree in the fictional town of Woodsboro. The mask was a popular Halloween costume created and designed by Fun World costume company before being chosen by Marianne Maddalena and Craven for the film. The identity is used primarily as a disguise for the antagonists of each film to conceal their identities while conducting serial murders, and as such has been portrayed by several actors.

Mark Camacho is a Canadian film, television and voice actor.

Blue Harvest 1st episode of the sixth season of Family Guy

"Blue Harvest" is the hour-long premiere of the sixth season of the American animated television series Family Guy and the first part of the series' Laugh It Up, Fuzzball trilogy. It originally aired on Fox in the United States on September 23, 2007. The episode is a retelling and parody of the 1977 blockbuster film Star Wars, recasting the show's characters as Star Wars characters, created with permission from Lucasfilm on the condition that the characters had to look exactly like they do in the movies. The plot follows Peter as he retells the story of Star Wars while the electricity is out in their house.

David Nutter American film director

David Nutter is an American television and film director and television producer. He is best known for directing pilot episodes for television. In 2015, he received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, for his work on the HBO series Game of Thrones.

Richard Jones is a Canadian voice actor, voice director, writer and content developer. Since 1982, he's worked with Fox, Disney, Universal, Hanna-Barbera, Alphanim, Cinar and Nelvana. Jones has been nominated for a Gemini Award twice in 1988 and 2003.


  1. Rogers, Troy (n.d.). "Pushing Brand Boundaries with SyFy President David Howe". Archived from the original on December 31, 2009.
  2. Ball, Ryan (Nov 10, 2006). "More Rift being Tripped" . Retrieved Oct 16, 2019.
  3. "". Retrieved Oct 16, 2019.
  4. A chronological history Chris Moeller, Dark Bunny Productions
  5. Dark Bunny blog Chris Moeller, 2002-11-23
  6. Tripping the Rift: Interviews: Director Bernie Denk, 2004-04-24
  7. "Tripping The Rift (Улетный Трип).God Is Our Pilot.Сезон1.Серия 1". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved Oct 16, 2019 via
  8. "Tripping the Rift - Cool Whip". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved Oct 16, 2019 via
  9. "Tripping the Rift - Shakenstein". Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved Oct 16, 2019 via
  10. "". Retrieved Oct 16, 2019.
  11. "Tripping the Rift: The Movie". Anchor Bay Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2008-03-29.