Rembert Explains the ’80s: The Snorks

Editor’s Note: Welcome back to our series Rembert Explains the ’80s. Every so often, we’ll e-mail 24-year-old Rembert Browne a video from the 1980s that he hasn’t seen. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he’s watching it, then we’ll post those thoughts here. This week’s installment was selected by our Hollywood Prospectus editor/Aaron Rodgers Impersonator, Mark Lisanti: The Snorks (Episode 1). If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the ’80s, e-mail us at


0:01 Show: The Snorks. Come again?

0:04 Episode: “Journey to the Source.” Huh?

0:05 Writer: “Sandy Fries.” What kind of name is that? This already makes no sense.

0:24 Ew, what are those things? Are those the Snorks? What is a Snork? Must be a portmanteau of “Snooki” and “Pork.” Was Snooki named after the Snorks? I have so many dumb questions that should never be answered.

0:53 Is this show pre- or post-Smurfs? If it’s post, I don’t know if a show has ever copied another so blatantly. Am I 30 seconds away from witnessing 600 million male Snorks swooning over a female named Snorkette?

1:15 Oh yes, a girl sighting. Her name is Kasey. Probably short for Snorkasey.

PAUSE — Just so you don’t feel alone in your confusion, this is all I’ve figured out through the first 90 seconds:

Apparently, there are a ton of multiracial sea creatures that live in a community. They are in the middle of having a steam festival, which is apparently like the Bonnaroo of Snorkland. Just as the steam festival is beginning, something goes awry (Ticketmaster) and the steam festival is ruined. Once this takes place, a few Snorks decide that they need to get to the bottom of this. While all of this is happening, there are nonspeaking fish that get in the faces of the Snorks, photo bomb them, and then swim away.

That’s all I got. Horrible, right? I don’t want to keep going, but I have to or I won’t get my weekly allowance of Disney Dollars.

1:44 Actual Snork dialogue (Snorkalogue).

Snork 1: Why is there no steam?
Snork 2: I don’t know, son. I’ve checked the tumvurbulator. All the machinery works perfectly.
Snork 3: Well then how come there isn’t any steam?
Snork 4: Oh my starfish.
Snork 5: There’s no steam from the steam stream.


2:29 The first piece of information that sheds any light on their land is finally revealed. Apparently, without steam (from the steam stream), all the Snorks will freeze. Wow, I hope this is a one-episode show with the end being they freeze and then that’s it bye-bye Snorks forever. Please be bye-bye Snorks forever.

2:38 For the two of you actually invested in the Snorks not becoming extinct, would you like to know how they plan on not dying? Exactly how anyone would handle this crisis: A consultation with the great book of truths. I’m pretty sure this Snorks episode is played at Scientology day-care centers across the country.

2:48 In other absurd news, there is some sort of Snork government/counsel of elders. In order to solve the steam problem, they offer a reward of 500 pearls (human equivalent of one piece of iceberg lettuce) to anyone who figures out the steam predicament. This show is really dumb. If I find out someone in my family enjoyed this show in the ’80s, they’re changing their last name and getting banned from Metropolitan Atlanta.

3:17 Our main Snork characters, whose names I refuse to learn, find their Snork uncle (Snunkle) who happens to be a scientist named Galileo. Snunkle Galileo tells the Snorks that the problem with the steam has to do with the source. The only problem with fixing this problem is that it is beyond the limits. By “beyond the limits,” I hope that’s code for “the elephant graveyard.”

At this point, I’m so emotionally removed from the show, all I can think about is a Whoopi Goldberg-sounding hyena and a Jeremy Irons-sounding lion swimming into Snork village and destroying their entire race.

3:18 No Whoopi or Irons so far. Will keep watching, just in case.

4:11 The Snork governor (Governork) has an evil son. The son wants to break into Galileo’s Snork lab and find clues on how to solve the steam problem, so he can win the 500 pearls. This all sounds ridiculous, seeing as that his pops is the governor. You know he’s got money; why is he being so greedy? I saw their house, they’ve got like clam sofas and other bourgie things that poor Snorks (Poorks) couldn’t dream of having in their homes. Why, evil son, why?

4:54 Galileo invented a machine that will somehow transport them to the source. Sounds dangerous.

4:58 The governor’s punk son just broke into Galileo’s house and is snooping around. I hate this kid.

5:10 Galileo, right before initiating the device that transports the Snorks, says “keep your snorks crossed.” And like that, one thing about this show finally makes sense. Those stupid things on their heads are supposed to be snorkels. That’s why they are called Snorks. For the 97 percent of you who figured that out before minute one, congrats. You’re smarter than me when it comes to Snorks. Let me know which days you’re free for the ticker-tape parade in your honor.

5:36 In true evil son fashion, the son sneaks on the ship right as it blasts off. I hope they beat him down if they see him on the ship.

6:09 The Snorks randomly have one octopus friend onboard, but he just sits there, gets bossed around, and doesn’t contribute. Classic token.

6:23 The governor’s son (named Junior) gets scared and blows his cover. He’s freaking out because he’s nervous, because he’s a punk, and because he’s a coward. He wants off, but the other Snorks say that it’s too late, now. Ride or die, Junior. RIDE OR DIE.

6:47 They found “the source.” Unfortunately for me, the plot twist of it being the Source Awards did not come true. Just a place where steam lives.

I couldn’t be more sad right now.

6:56 The Snork ship springs multiple leaks. One of the Snorks screams “someone stop those leaks.” The octopus does it, instantly. No one says thank you, and the octopus doesn’t care. Classic token.

7:37 Whoa. The main Snork’s name is “Allstar.” And I thought T.I.’s kids had a lot to live up to.

7:47 Interesting. The octopus is the domesticated pet of the Snorks. Classic token.

8:21 Unreal, even by bad cartoon standards. The Snorks find the blockage of the steam source. To move it, they use a grappling hook to pull it out. And they do so, successfully. I wouldn’t have a problem with this were the Snorks’ ship not the size of a single fire ant and the piece of shrapnel blocking the steam not the size of Brooklyn.


8:57 Junior returns home, attempts to take credit for the reward.

9:45 The counsel of elders rewards Junior for fixing the steam, but sentences him to 20 years for going beyond the limits. Junior runs away.

The End.


OK, what in God’s Animated Earth was that? I’ve seen a lot of cartoons in my day, but nothing has been as bad as the Snorks. Finding out that this show was on the air for five years almost sent me into shock. That’s embarrassing.

Mark Lisanti, you have one more week to make up for this transgression, because please believe that come February, this ’80s segment is about to take a sharp turn for the BLACK.

You’ve been warned.

Filed Under: Drugs, Rembert Explains

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ rembert