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28 October 2014

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Stressed Eric

Stressed Eric

Stressed Eric does exactly what it says on the tin. The first half-hour animated sitcom made for British TV, Stressed Eric revolves around Eric Feeble, who is very, very stressed indeed.

Eric, voiced by Mark Heap, is a 40-year-old single dad with a crippling mortgage.

His wife Liz left him for a world of new age self-exploration, lumbering him with two brattish children: nine-year-old Brian has been kept back at school three years running and can't see an inanimate object without stuffing it in his mouth, six-year-old Claire is waiflike, frail and allergic to just about everything.

Luckily Eric has Portuguese au pair Maria to look after them; unluckily she's an utterly useless, 18-year-old waster.

Matters are made worse by neighbours the Perfects, high-flying and snobbish sadists who love rubbing Eric's nose in their success and his failure.

Worse still, Ray Perfect works at Eric's firm, lording it from above while Eric trudges along doing the work his ineffectual secretary Alison should have done and responding to the demands of unreasonable boss Paul Power.

With all this going on it's little surprise Eric is frequently in danger of being strangled by the throbbing vein in his temple.

Though created by Rugrats animators Klasky-Csupo, Stressed Eric is extremely British in style, perhaps excessively so.

As well as family and work, episodes also see Eric struggling with everyday strains of life from getting a video out of its wrapper to building a flatpack wardrobe.

Constantly downbeat, Eric never has a single victory, something which can make a potentially excellent programme depressing viewing at times.

Despite this, it ran for two series in the UK, had a brief run in the USA (Eric revoiced by The Simpsons' Hank Azaria) and paved the way for other 30-minute British animations such as Bob and Margaret.


Morwenna Banks
Claire Feeble / Heather Perfect
Rebecca Front
Doon Mackichan
Mark Heap
Eric Feeble
Carl Gorham
Brian Feeble
Alexander Armstrong
Ray Perfect
Alison Steadman
Mrs Perfect
Paul Shearer
Geoff McGivern
Gordon Kennedy


Carl Gorham
Michael Hatt
Cathy Malkasian
Steve Loter
Steve Ressell
Kim Burdon
Carl Gorham
Stig Bergqvist
Mitch Watson
Gabor Csupo
executive producer
Arlene Klasky
executive producer
Miles Bullough
executive producer
Claire Jennings
executive producer
Jerry Hibbert
executive producer
Carl Gorham

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