The series chronicles the adventures of I.M. Weasel, an internationally famous, highly intelligent and much talented weasel who is adored by everyone, and I.R. Baboon, an ugly and idiotic baboon who is envious about Weasel's success and constantly tries to be better than him. The show premise begins from a humorous take on the classic nursery rhyme "Pop Goes the Weasel"; in fact, the series theme song, composed by Bill Fulton, written by Richard Pursel, and sung by April March, is based on the well-known musical version of the rhyme.
I Am Weasel was originally a part of the Cow and Chicken show, often airing as the third of three segments in an episode, after two Cow and Chicken segments. Eventually, I Am Weasel was spun off into its own series, aired in 1999 with reruns airing until April 2006, with both new episodes and the episodes that had aired on Cow and Chicken included in this series, totaling 79 episodes.
Today, the series is labeled a classic of Cartoon Network's late 1990s collection of Cartoon Cartoons (a collective name for the network's original animated programming). Since April 13, 2012, it is being aired on Cartoon Network, on the block Cartoon Planet.
The series usually consists of two anthropomorphic animal characters: I.M. Weasel and I.R. Baboon. Both characters' species are as suggested by their names.
I.M. Weasel (I.M. or Weasel for short) is the extremely gifted and talented protagonist of the series. He is a handsome young weasel who, although famous, is not snobby or stuck-up and is rather generous (for example, in one episode he donated his kidney to a sickly little boy in a kidney transplant) and is the distinguished celebrity who everyone admires. He is highly intelligent and has many skills (both social and practical), and is proficient in most known professions.
Though Weasel was never a bully to him, the fellow main character, I.R. Baboon (see I.R. Baboon below), is always trying to top the admired Weasel because he wants an equal or better share in admiration. Unlike his rival, Baboon is extremely idiotic and the target for ridicule because of his bright red buttocks, but Weasel tries to generously help out his friend.
Weasel is often assisted by a beautiful woman named Loulabelle who likes to dress as a nurse.
Voiced by: Michael Dorn.
I.R. Baboon (I.R. or Baboon for short) is the deuteragonist of the series. He is the exact opposite of Weasel who he is always trying to top in order to be better than him. I.R. is an unintelligent, jealous and ugly baboon, willing to sniff his finger half of the time and has no talent at most things. I.R. is in possession of a bright red butt that he never wears pants to cover, and therefore is ridiculed for it. He is often depicted doing the opposite of what most would consider sensible. As Weasel has good luck, I.R. seems to have bad luck: for instance, when he was about to get married, his bride fell in love with someone else and left him standing at the altar. I.R. is also the adoptive father of Grampa, a baby who was left on his doorstep in the episode "I.R. Mommy"; I.R. named it after his grandfather, whom he seems to greatly respect; at the end of the episode, Grampa grows up.
I.R. wears a white T-shirt with his short name "I.R." handwritten upside-down on the front of it. He lives in a run-down trailer near Weasel's mansion. I.R. fails to use proper grammar sometimes, explaining the titles for some episodes ("I Are Big Star", "I Are Music Man", "I Are a Artist", "I Are Bellhop", among others), and also refers to himself in third-person. He frequently attempts to outdo Weasel in everything, and when he believes that he has done so, will perform a routine victory dance which consists of putting his hands on his hips and jumping around in a circle while repeatedly chanting a declaration of his success. However, in some episodes, I.R. and Weasel are shown to be friends and partners instead of rivals, such as when they were pilots assisting in an "air-migration" service in the episode "I Am Bush Pilot", or when there were deceased ghosts trying to scare a D-movie actress portrayed by The Red Guy in the episode "I Are Ghost".
In the series finale "I Are Legend", Baboon finally becomes the star of the show, after Weasel quit in an attempt to release people from the horrors of television.
Voiced by: Charlie Adler.
Starting with season two, The Red Guy became a regular character on I Am Weasel while still keeping his role on Cow and Chicken. In the series, he is also referred as "I.B. Red Guy", an allusion to Weasel's and Baboon's names.
Voiced by: Charlie Adler.
- Loulabelle - Weasel's assistant who usually dresses as a nurse. She debuted in the episode "I.R. Mommy", from season two. Her appearances are mostly in that season, with her only appearance in other season in the episode "Time Weasel", from season three, which is also her last appearance in the series. She is supposed to be a girlfriend to Weasel in some episodes.
Voiced by: Susan Blakeslee (in season 2), Teresa Ganzel (in season 3).
- Jolly Roger - A recurring character named for the ship flag. He usually wears a white T-shirt (or in some episodes a tuxedo) with shorts and a white sailor cap, and uses coke-bottle glasses. He appears only in season five and in the episode "Unsinkable I.R.", from season three.
Voiced by: Dee Bradley Baker.
- Admiral Bullets - A Naval officer who relies on Weasel's help. He made appearances only in the episodes "This Bridge, Not Weasel Bridge" and "I.R. Mommy", from seasons one and two, respectively.
Voiced by: Jess Harnell (in season 1), Michael Gough (in season 2).
- Cow and Chicken characters - Besides the Red Guy, some other characters from Cow and Chicken made cameo appearances in I Am Weasel from season two. These include Cow (and Supercow), Chicken, Flem, Earl, Mom, Dad and Teacher.
Episodes Main article: List of I Am Weasel episodesI Am Weasel has a total of 79 episodes in 5 seasons that were produced from 1996 to September 1999. The series original run started on July 15, 1997 with the airing of the eleventh episode "Law of Gravity", yet as a series of segments on Cow and Chicken. Later on, the series was separated and premiered as a half-hour show on June 10, 1999. After the separation, 51 I Am Weasel episodes originally aired on Cow and Chicken began to air in the show own time slot, later being joined by 27 new episodes, totaling 79. The series original run ended in 2000.