I’m working on a post for Another Website that presents relics of the web, websites that still survive in some form.
- There are sites that are that old and still survive.
- Then there are sites that old and survive, but are no longer updated. Some of these sites were never meant to be updated.
- And then there are sites that do not survive themselves, but are recorded elsewhere on the internet. Often the sole remnant is on the Internet Archive’s essential Wayback Machine.
One from this last category is a little site from some of the makers of a cowtown puppet show you may have heard of, called TimmyBigHands. Here is its first snapshot on Wayback, taken May 10th 2000 , and here is the last, taken April 4th 2001, before going down. You might be interested in the last content update. On hand at its dissolution were Bill Corbett, Patrick Brantseg, Paul Chaplin, Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson.
In addition to these, some of the Syrup Wars area (a standout section of the site) was saved on the website Smursh, probably by someone named Jared Erickson.
Do any of you remember TBH?
EDIT: The last update link was pointing to the original site’s domain, I’ve corrected it.
I remember it being very funny, but I don’t remember the actual content. It’s too bad it didn’t last very long.
I remember bits and pieces, such as Syrup Wars, The Cliparts (made entirely with the clipart that came with CorelDraw), and the Flash “game” Kill A Guy. Also some very funny written pieces, like Mike’s “Socratic Dialogue with a Steak.” Hey, I found it!
My memory of it is mainly that they were going for a very absurdist humor style quite unlike MST3k, which has the advantage of basically being unjudgeable. Like, one of the first essays put up was a review of food. Not any kind of it, just the basic concept of it. Also, the title character’s whole schtick was derailing any conversation to brag about having big hands. It’s one of those things that was funny the first few times but very quickly hit diminishing returns, so I wasn’t surprised it didn’t last long.
I remember very little about it, personally. I was aware of it and went there a few times because the out-there humor was fun, but I didn’t head there often.
I remember laughing a lot, yeah it was absurd, kind of like Lennon’s books were absurd, but were also a crack up.
They had it for sale for $10000.
I dunno, I think MST3K’s style is quite absurdist. They basically had almost anything happen on the SOL. Robots eating candy bars, Mike having money while out in space, any kind of visitor could come to the ship, at one point Tom Servo set up a cheese making vat on the bridge, and so on. The stuff on TBH seemed like they could have been fitted into the show’s host segments, they seemed to me to be right in that same mode.
I think the thing that doomed TimmyBigHands was, largely, humor sites were really a passing thing. At the very least it took time to build an audience up from nothing. Judging by how unknown the site is even among us hardcore MSTies, the word just didn’t get sufficiently out in time. It got some nods from a couple of big sites, and Satellite News mentioned it, but that was the age before social media, or even RSS readers, where a person would have to consciously think about a site and visit it to find out if there was anything new. A similar kind of site from the time was the late, lamented Brunching Shuttlecocks, which were in their heyday right about when TBH was running, but they had been at it for two years by then, and TBH lasted for less than one. It didn’t pick up quickly enough.
Looking through the site on Wayback, a lot of the humor still seems funny to me. Just think if it had taken off. I expect they would have returned to riffing eventually, but maybe as “TimmyBigTracks” or something like that.
In any event, the “main character” TimmyBigHands was just a site logo, I don’t think it was really intended to be anything other than a funny image to lodge in the reader’s mind, and inspire those later repeat visits.
I wonder if someone bought it? If they did, that would explain why they haven’t reused that material since then, they wouldn’t have the rights to it. If anyone did buy it, they certainly haven’t exploited it in the time since.
Before the site went to Domain Squatter Hell, there was a page up promising something called the “Heart Detectives.” It can be seen on Wayback if you go to the snapshot after the original site’s last update. I wonder what that was about? Was it a project by the purchaser of the TBH content?